What About Holy Roland Burris the Pure and Exalted?

Well, it looks like everyone in the political establishment and the media is playing along with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's gambit by hastily canonizing the newly appointed junior Senator from Illinois, Roland Burris, as the kind of unquestionably pure and saintly lion of the people Blago wanted us to view him as.

You know what question I've haven't heard anyone ask Mr. Burris?

[Cross-Posted on Library Grape, my new blog.]

It would go something like this (read in the voice of that rare breed of journalist that remembered how to do their job):

"Mr. Burris, the Democratic leadership in this country is unanimous in calling for Governor Blagojevich to resign.

The President-Elect and the entire Democratic Caucus in the Senate have stated for weeks that they would not accept any person appointed by Mr. Blagojevich to President-Elect Obama's vacated Senate seat.

Why now, after decrying Mr. Blagojevich's allegedly illegal actions with respect to trying to sell the vacated Senate seat, have you decided to forcefully thumb your nose to the entire elected leadership of the Democratic Party by accepting Mr. Blagojevich's appointment?

Although many say that you are a man of great character, why would you now then decide to get caught up in a naked plot by the Governor to hold onto power and, in the process, sow division and rancor in your Democratic Party?

Shouldn't you have let the process play out before deciding to complicate the matter in this way and run the risk of making the entire leadership of your chosen party look like ineffectual hacks should they ultimately cave to Mr. Blagojevich's demands?"

As usual, the media was fed a handy narrative and they ate it up like starving children.  More needs to be asked of Roland Burris about why he effectively decided to volley a big "Fuck You!" to nearly every important figure in national and Illinois Democratic politics.

Tags: Blago, Blagojevich, Illinois, Insults, obama, roland burris, scandal, Senate (all tags)



He wanted to be Senator?

It's not that hard.  He is an old man who has wanted to be a leader in government his entire life.  He was offered a position.  He took it.  

I don't know this guy, but I might do the same thing.  Then, once my appointment was solid, I'd join the call for impeachment, because NOBODY PUTS BABY IN A CORNER.

Er, I mean, Blagojevich can't expect favors from someone who he is transparently using.

by Dracomicron 2008-12-31 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: He wanted to be Senator?

why should he be held a bigger standard than the supreme court - that said a big F&^&%K You to the country in 2000 FL decision?

the man if decent , should be allowed in.

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-31 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: He wanted to be Senator?

Burris and the Supreme Court decision in 2000 totally unrelated.  This post is asking about the propriety of Burris telling every democratic leader in this country to take their pledge to not seat anyone Blago chooses and shove it right up their ass.  What say you on that score?

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: He wanted to be Senator?

I guess you missed my point. Tell me why and on what grounds you think that IF this man is rock solid in his ethics  and has a political background plus office(s) held, should he be not allowed?

then tell me why any senate majority ( party) should not be allowed to dismiss any senate minority ( party)candidate in the future.  If a majority vote is allowed to exert its muscles to refuse an appointed senator from being seated.

and then finally tell me what's the alternative , legally speaking?

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-31 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: He wanted to be Senator?

well, i guess you're missing my point.  regardless of the legality, i am probing how much of a huge fuck-you this is to the democratic leadership in illinois and DC.  burris could have bided his time but chose to accept the appointment and call everyone's bluff.  bad politics and a bad insult.

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: He wanted to be Senator?

you do know it called politics i.e. what have you done for me lately. the Big FU's are thrown everyday at each other.

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-31 08:51AM | 0 recs
Mumbai, that's not true - -
didn't everyone repay their political debts this past campaign season?  didn't anyone who ever received campaign support or appointive position repay the appointee with loyalty to them or their organization or their spouse?  LOL
Politics is 100% "what have you done for me lately", as well as "you're on your way down, see ya!"  And, there's nothing wrong with that, per se - - otherwise, things get petrified.  It's frustrating when you're on the wrong side of it, but it's politics.
Just look at Blago - - you'd never guess that he was re elected 2 years ago with minimal opposition and near unanimous establishment support and/or acquiesence.
by kosnomore 2008-12-31 09:46AM | 0 recs
Rachel Maddow basically asked him

those very questions.

His repeated response was that it was a legal appointment. I doubt he will deviate from that script, nor does he really have to. The "legal" card trumps much else.

by Neef 2008-12-31 08:16AM | 0 recs
Pretty much

The "legal" card trumps much else.

I'd hate to live in a society where it didn't.

by Dracomicron 2008-12-31 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Pretty much

Um, what??  So I guess the fact that something is legal should always obviate a discussion of whether it is ethical, appropriate or moral?  The fact that something is LEGAL is just a starting point.  It was perfectly LEGAL for Sarah Palin to accuse Obama of being a terrorist commie...

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 08:22AM | 0 recs
It doesn't obviate discussion at all

we can discuss it all day. however, legality is the foremost determinant in whether someone has the ability to do something.

A moral case against Burris (and I am one that sees one) will not, and probably should not, keep him out of the seat.

by Neef 2008-12-31 08:32AM | 0 recs

And it was perfectly legal for Palin to get destroyed in the election because she was a lunatic right-wing reactionary.  Democracy sorted it out, just as it will sort this issue out.

Blagojevich (duly elected) made an appointment (a process designed in our state and federal constitutions) that is, from what I can tell, a perfectly reasonable one to a party loyalist with lots of experience.  No impropriety with this selection has been found so far, nor does it seem likely to emerge.

When the seat is up for re-election, the party can put up primary opponents, if the appointee decides to run for another term.

The Democrats screwed up when they painted themselves into a corner over this.  They just didn't have the juice to take Blago down fast enough.

by Dracomicron 2008-12-31 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes

it seems like people only have one topic in mind and aren't able to look at this from another angle.  oh well.  anyone who wants to talk about the legality of the appointment, or lazer cats or anything else, go ahead.

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 08:41AM | 0 recs
I'm looking at it from all angles

The legal argument trumps all the others, however, and rightly so.

Anything else can be sorted by the voters in two years.

by Dracomicron 2008-12-31 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm looking at it from all angles

well, i know that I am always happy to stop talking about inappropriate shit that happens when someone exclaims "But it's legal!!"  I was trying to open a discussion about the propriety (e.g. of the political variety) of accepting the appointment, not rehash the whole legal/nonlegal thing.  but go ahead if you like.

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 08:48AM | 0 recs
It's perfectly proper

The seat wasn't bought or sold.  Blagojevich did the right thing for the wrong reasons.  That doesn't make it the wrong thing to do.

Democrats painted themselves into a corner and are now crying that they can't get out.

by Dracomicron 2008-12-31 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: It's perfectly proper

"propriety" = "correct or appropriate behavior".  just because it wasn't bought or sold doesn't make it appropriate for burris to accept and thrust himself into the middle of a huge pissing match.  are you this forgiving of your kids when they exclaim, "but what i did was LEGAL!"?

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes

Happy New Year!!

by John in Chicago 2008-12-31 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Rachel Maddow basically asked him

I love RM and saw the interview but wasn't impressed by the questions she asked.  She didn't get to the "so, what did you say FUCK YOU to every democratic leader in DC" angle

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 08:18AM | 0 recs
"More needs to be asked of Roland Burris . .
. . about why he effectively decided to volley a big "X@#$ You!" to nearly every important figure in national and Illinois Democratic politics"?
If we're to discuss this intellectually and intelligently, more needs to be asked of every important figure in national and Illinois Democratic politics about why Blago, who in 2006 was KNOWN to be corrupt and under investigation, got both a pass and unified support for reelection.  If they took out the trash in 2006, we wouldn't be dealing with a Gov. Blago in 2008.
And, say what you will, Burris ran AGAINST Blago and AGAINST the corrupt Chicago machine.  If the state and national parties (including Obama and Emanuel) either:  (1) supported Burris against Blago in 2002 (when Obama and Emanuel were key Blago supporters); or, (2) recruited and supported a primary challenge to the under investigation Blago in 2006, would we be having this discussion?
by kosnomore 2008-12-31 08:19AM | 0 recs
Did someone just drag in Obama and Rahm?

You just can't help yourself, can you?

by WashStateBlue 2008-12-31 08:22AM | 0 recs
Read Vanity Fair - -

they were key supporters in '02 (when Blago was the face of reform, and would vacate a house seat for Rahm, and would help build a state wide organization for Obama - - nothing wrong with any of that), but they shut up and walked away in '06, by which time they knew they'd worked to elect a crook to the state house.  Honestly, where was every prominent Illinois Democrat in '06?  Aren't we responsible to keep our house clean?

by kosnomore 2008-12-31 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Read Vanity Fair - -

omg!  can we get hillary in yet!?  /snark

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Read Vanity Fair - -

What did Obama know and when did he know it?!?!? Right, kosno?

I see you still haven't given up on the Primary Warz....lol

by John in Chicago 2008-12-31 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Read Vanity Fair - -

oh noes!!  questions must be answered!!

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Read Vanity Fair - -

both you guys are acting like the boozos you are. Kos asks and makes a smart point.  read the message before you dig a hole over the messenger.

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-31 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Read Vanity Fair - -

his/her point is fine.  it's just interesting coming from such a dead-ender

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 09:54AM | 0 recs
So who's reliving in the primary

if you're the one making silly juvenile disruptive comments on unrelated valid topics, as payback for primary slights?  

by kosnomore 2008-12-31 09:57AM | 0 recs
Thx, Mumbai - --
but, unfortunately, we've developed our own crop of mirror image "ditto heads".  
Judging by the amnesia, you'd think Blago was reelected in '06 as an independent candidate after defeat by a party activist-supported primary challenger.  Oh, wait, that was Connecticut!  In Illinois, the entire party organization and almost 100% of elected office holders backed the guy who was under investigation at the time!
by kosnomore 2008-12-31 09:55AM | 0 recs
I think this a little harsh on Burris

He shouldn't have stepped into this, he looked VERY uncomfortable when Rachel M. asked him about his about face on the appt.

I also don't trust him on his "I won't run again".

Still, I don't think he is villian here, Blago picked him because he KNEW what a monkee wrench this would throw to the Illinois party.

Burris is an iffy candidate to hold the seat in 2010, and anyone that trusts him to not run again, I got some swamp land in Florida you might be interested in.

by WashStateBlue 2008-12-31 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: I think this a little harsh on Burris

It's not an either-or proposition in terms of "Who's the villain".  Of course Blago is a psychotic asshole but Burris is also volleying up a HUGE insult to every democratic leader who matters in this country.  

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 08:24AM | 0 recs
Not a villian, oh no

he seems like a decent man, and he DID look uncomfortable on RM.

I do think he's an enabler. It's clear the man is highly ambitious (the tomb thing, yikes), and saw this as his brass ring. He may even have justified it in his head, the "Illinois needs two Senators" line is persuasive.

by Neef 2008-12-31 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Not a villian, oh no

his interview on RM was sad.  if he's a decent man, he must have been tearing himself up inside with all the tortured logic and rationalizing

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: What About Holy Roland Burris

I think Burris' case is pretty much "Hey, I haven't done anything wrong."  I think it's a valid point.

At the end of the day, either Blagojevich will get impeached or he won't.  Either he will get convicted or he won't.  Burris' appointment affects none of that.  So if this appointment itself is untainted, why the heck should Burris refuse it?  I don't believe he's under some holy obligation to avoid putting Harry Reid in a tough spot.

by Steve M 2008-12-31 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: What About Holy Roland Burris

well, for one thing, him accepting the appointment, as I point out above, is a huge fuck-you to every democratic leader in washington and is, therefore, bad politics and hurts the dem party -- not just douchebiscuit harry reid.

by campaignmonitor 2008-12-31 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: What About Holy Roland Burris

I wouldn't expect that concern to be at the top of anyone's list, and I think you're blowing things way out of proportion.

by Steve M 2008-12-31 08:49AM | 0 recs
We need a thicker skin, then

We shouldn't be swayed when someone tells us to "fuck off."

We should look at the facts and real issues.

by Dracomicron 2008-12-31 08:49AM | 0 recs
This is Reid's test

...and the first major test of the new Democratic way of doing business.

If Reid can't handle something as small as this without it turning into a fiasco, then he doesn't deserve to be in charge of the Senate.

by Dracomicron 2008-12-31 08:48AM | 0 recs
McConnell already set the max bailout amount,
we already in concept agreed to let the R's get away with more virtual filibusters, and the R's apparently are in control of the Holder hearing schedule . . .
If this is the first major test, hope they grade on a big big big curve.
by kosnomore 2008-12-31 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: What About Holy Roland

This appointment can and should be stalled. That Burris was stupid enough to accept it is proof enough of his unfitness. He could have waited and asked the Lieutenant Governor, a friend of 36 years, to appoint him. He would have had a reasonable shot given his experience and reputation. That's all gone now.

by skepticalbrotha 2008-12-31 10:54AM | 0 recs
High tech lynching

According to Congressman Rush, this is all a lynching by Harry Reid and the rest of the lily white Bull Conners in the Democratic Senate of a fine, honorable African American Trailblazer. Burris is getting hoodwinked. Bamboozled. Whitey is giving him the Okie Doke.

Who am I to question the Black Panther's assessment in these matters? I hope that Reverend Wright has sermon ready. This is right up his alley. Maybe something about chickens coming home to roost.

by hwc 2008-12-31 06:27PM | 0 recs


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