Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 31, 2008

THERE IS NO BULL CONNOR IN THE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS.... One can make a reasonable case that Roland Burris' appointment to the Senate should go through, Rod Blagojevich's scandal notwithstanding. But this is the wrong way to make the argument.

In an interview this morning on the CBS "Early Show," Rep. Bobby Rush compared Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's refusal to seat Roland Burris with the actions of leading segregationists from decades past, including George Wallace and Bull Connor.

Seriously, he did. Rush specifically said, "[T]he recent history of our nation has shown us that sometimes there could be individuals and there could be situations where school children -- where you have officials standing in the doorway of school children. You know, I'm talking about all of us back in 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas. I'm talking about George Wallace, Bull Connors and I'm sure that the U.S. Senate don't want to see themselves placed in the same position."

Burris himself appeared on NBC's "Today" this morning, and raised the same point, though in a more passive way: "Is it racism that is taking place? That's a question that someone may raise."

This strategy is a mistake. Blagojevich almost certainly considered Burris' race before making his announcement, but there's no evidence at all that Senate Democrats or Barack Obama are basing their opposition on anything but the governor's corruption allegations. The comparison of modern-day Senate Democrats to George Wallace and Bull Connor is baseless and irresponsible. For Burris to even raise the possibility that racism is a factor here isn't much better.

Strategically, a race-based strategy isn't just offensive, it's likely to be counter-productive. I seriously doubt Harry Reid is going to respond well to these kinds of accusations, especially when Reid has Barack Obama taking the same position.

Burris and his supporters who want to see him fill the vacancy have a far better option: emphasize the rule of law. Remind the political world, Illinois voters, and reporters that, like him or not, Blagojevich is the duly-elected governor, he has the sole authority to fill this vacancy, and he enjoys the presumption of innocence. Burris is unrelated to the governor's scandal, and he's fully qualified and eligible to serve. The Supreme Court precedent in the Powell case seems to back them up.

What's that old law-school adage? "When you have the facts, argue the facts. When you have the law, argue the law." My advice to Burris and his surrogates: skip the Bull Connor nonsense and go with the more compelling argument.

Steve Benen 12:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (92)

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The way I recall it from law school is: 'if you have the facts, pound the facts. If you have the law, pound the law. If you don't have either, pound the table.'

And that would seem to be the Rush/Burris approach...


Posted by: miguel on December 31, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently Rush has switched parties while we weren't looking. I can't think of a better reason for him to say this shit than to get Chip Saltsman elected to RNC chair. Obama has got to want to strangle this guy.

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP's big comeback after getting spanked on November 4th was "Barack the Magic Negro," and Bobby Rush is calling Harry Reid a racist?

/tactical headdesk

Posted by: Keori on December 31, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Can we give Rush to the Republicans. He sounds like he'd be right at home hanging with Clarence Thomas and Thomas Sowell.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on December 31, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Rush just made the dumbest argument ever. It is not just counter productive, it is simply offensive to everybody who has ever worked for civil rights. He should be ashamed.

Posted by: Ron Byers on December 31, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

It's not just that it is the dumbest answer ever. It is also antithetical to Obama's Philadelphia speech on race. Of course, the CBC is also complaining that Obama hasn't appointed enough blacks, so Rush isn't the only black living in the past that Obama seeks to transcend.

Posted by: wvng on December 31, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Our version was "When you have the law, argue the law. When you don't have the law, argue the facts."

Posted by: Michelle on December 31, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

That old law school axiom in full is: When the facts are in your favor argue the facts. When the law is in your favor argue the law. When you don’t have the law or the facts pound on the table. We have passed to the pounding on the table stage pretty quickly.

Posted by: Jim Updegraff on December 31, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Following Rush's flow of thought at that new conference yesterday I figured that he had blown the deal when he laid the race card. If Blago was serious about this appointment he would have seen this counterproductive argument for what it was and asked Rush (and Burris) to tone it down. Now it appears that the news conference and the appointment was merely another ploy by Blagojevich to let the crap flow to another corner of the sad saga.

This puts more light on just the kind of shit Obama had to put up with in running against people like Bobby Rush. Its a wonder he didn't abandon Illinois. If he hadn't hooked up with Michelle and her roots I have to wonder about where he might have ended up.

Posted by: lou on December 31, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

The more this goes on, the more I think that Rush and other Chicago politicians have a major grudge against Obama, so they're using the appointment to try and embarrass him.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on December 31, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Ya think?

Posted by: anonymous on December 31, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

On the law and facts, I'd say seat Burris, but this racist campaign by B. Rush, and the subtle acceptance of it by Burris himself, are beginning to change my mind. If this is how he's going to make the case for himself, he doesn't deserve it.

Of course, that doesn't change the law and the facts. I still don't see how the U.S. Senate can deny him the seat...

Posted by: Bruce K on December 31, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Is it kind of idiotic to make this a racial issue when the Democratic Senate caucus' objection to seating Blagojevich's pick was announced BEFORE we knew the identity or race of the eventual pick? This is the type of crazy racial politics that has backfired on liberals for years. Bobby Rush should be taken to the woodshed for his grandstanding. Hugely counterproductive, and for what?

By the way, I think the rule of law argument is compelling and Burris should be seated unless some type of quid pro quo is uncovered. Blago should be impeached ASAP, but he is in fact the governor until he is removed from office.

Posted by: danimal on December 31, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

It seems that who Illinois picks for their Senator ought to be State of Illinois' business and not the Democratic Party's, particularly the Democratic Senators in Washington. Allowing them to dictate is a slippery slope.

Blago definitely plays by the "If you're going to go, go BIG" rule.

Posted by: sjrsm on December 31, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

I was astounded that Blago was able to find anyone, anywhere who was willing to be appointed by him. As a political matter, I thought it'd be suicidal to be appointed by Gov. Gimme Bag-o-money. Of course, if Burris is truthful that he only wishes to serve out this partial term (and thereafter draw a full Senatorial pension, BTW), the political taint is not relevant to him.

Legally, Benet is correct: Blago has made a facially valid appointment. Under the case law, the Senate cannot refuse to seat Burris. The Senate could throw him out on a 2/3 vote, but I suspect the GOP would dearly love to have the chance to flip their racial issue problems by supporting Burris against the Democrats. 2/3 isn't likely to happen.

I'd say today that Burris is probably going to serve as Senator from Illinois.

Posted by: nightshift66 on December 31, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

The more this goes on, the more I think that Rush and other Chicago politicians have a major grudge against Obama, so they're using the appointment to try and embarrass him.

Rush certainly does, in spite of his 2000 victory over Obama in the congressional race. Obama has eclipsed him, and in a "post-racial" way. Blagojevich, as the nation has come to see, is suffering from a delusional envy ("That could've -- SHOULD'VE -- been me!!!) Burris is just an ordinary honest hack whose being led by his overwhelming ego and ambition. Beyond that, no other Chicago politician really has a grudge against Obama.

Posted by: DJ on December 31, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

This is part of the last gasp of '60s identity politics, and it will not work. Old men like Rush and Burriss can't see that the country has moved in a new direction where race-based politics don't work like they used to.

Posted by: Wrecktum on December 31, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

BTW -- does anybody believe that Reid is speaking for Robert Byrd here?

Byrd is the President pro tem of the US Senate, which gives him legal authority in the absence of the vice president. HE can swear Burris in -- and I don't think he needs any support from the floor to do it.

Posted by: anonymous on December 31, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Strategically, a race-based strategy isn't just offensive, it's likely to be counter-productive.

I agree with you that the legalistic approach to justifying Burris' appointment will win the day in the long run. But why do you assert that a race-based strategy is likely to be counter-productive? The constituencies that matter here are Chicago and Illinois: Burris' and Blagojavich's base, and the State Burris now represents, respectively. The "race card" is likely very effective there at least one more time. Don't you think that almost all African-American voters and politicians, and almost all liberal voters in Chicago generally, accept the validity of the Bull Connor analogy? Consider, as possible evidence, the continuing popularity of reverends Michael Pfleger and Jeremiah Wright, and their relentless anti-White rhetoric.

Meanwhile, Patrick Fitzgerald is seeking to postpone the indictment of Blagojevich until April. If Democrats find Blagojevich to be embarrassing, they better impeach him soon. With the tapes as evidence, it shouldn't take more than a day to impeach and another day for the upper house to remove him from office. Do Democrats universally believe that their problems will resign when threatening letters are delivered to them? I don't think so, but that is how Illinois Democrats are acting in this instance, at least up til now. If Blago continues to display what everyone finds to be insufferable egotism and chutzpah, then the Illinois Democrats need to summon at least as much political courage and take the action necessary to remove him. Until they do, Blago has all the legal authority of a humble and honorable governor.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on December 31, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

One thing conservative critics long had a point about: there is a certain, usually liberal (but often conservative when they want to tweak it) crowd who will just take anything unfavorable to any black person and say, the person being black is *why* they aren't getting favorable treatment. But conservatives/Likudniks often make the same mistake about criticism of Israel, implying such criticism must be either anti-Semitism (already weird since Arabs are "Semites" in the broad sense, hence despising Jews but not Arabs is like revulsion of Koreans but not Chinese) or from "self-hating Jews" like the fabulous Glenn Greenwald.

Note of course the political entity Israel is neither a religion, or a people per se. (It has of course harmed itself by allowing significant power to religious parties, which almost always make trouble and spread hatred unless e.g. Buddhist.)

Of course, curious that most of those C/Ls ironically and hypocritically despise Arabs/Moslems in a more genuinely direct way than liberals ever look down on Jews!

Posted by: Neil B ◙ on December 31, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

The more this goes on, the more I think that Rush and other Chicago politicians have a major grudge against Obama, so they're using the appointment to try and embarrass him.

As we mentioned yesterday, it'd be a mistake to assume that Chicago politicians are monolithic. The Illinois polly with the biggest grudge against Obama is probably Rickey Hendon, if it's not Rush. But Obama doesn't have a big enemies list in Chicago or downstate.

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you think that almost all African-American voters and politicians, and almost all liberal voters in Chicago generally, accept the validity of the Bull Connor analogy?

No, although I can see why you would very much like to pretend so. Next.

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

The Illinois polly with the biggest grudge against Obama is probably Rickey Hendon, if it's not Rush

Ah, yes, I had forgotten about Hendon. Which, I guess, says it all...

Posted by: DJ on December 31, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Forgot Rickey! How could you, Deej!?

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

He tried the same crap during the news conference yesterday. As a black man, I find him embarrassing. I think it is possible to oppose an appointee without being a racist. Rep. Rush is saying that you can't. He is simply wrong.

Posted by: ecthompson on December 31, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Forgot Rickey! How could you, Deej!?

Oh, because he's small potatoes, a circus clown, whatever dismissive cliche you'd like to use.

Posted by: DJ on December 31, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't he just? But don't tell Rickey.

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Dems were very stupid to say they wouldn't seat anyone appointed by B-Rod. They left the door open for him to appoint someone well-qualified, which apparently he did, to make it obvious that the Dems are against HIM, no matter what.

BTW, he hasn't even been INDICTED yet, so isn't all this hemming and hawing a bit premature?

Yeah, he's a blowhard. Yeah, he uses a lot of crude language and got caught (apparently) horse-trading. But from a Senate that gave a CONVICTED Senator a standing ovation, this is all a bit much.

Harry Reid et. al need to stand back and say, "Whoa." No matter who appointed him, Burris is qualified to be in the Senate. Why they want to leave this seat open until April is beyond me.

After suffering through the impeachment of Bill Clinton, shouldn't Dems be a little more circumspect about rushing to impeach Blago? Who the heck do they think the Lt. Gov. would appoint that would be better than Burris?

For the sake of the PARTY, the Lt. Gov. should say that he, too, would appoint Burris, and just urge the Senate to seat him.

The ReThugs are laughing it up at this internecine warfare.

I agree playing the race card this soon in the game is a mistake, but not as big a one as refusing to seat a qualified Senator, appointed by someone who has the power (and, I agree, the duty) to make the appointment.

Posted by: Cal Gal on December 31, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

This comment from Burris today is really disappointing:

"I think the Congressman has assessed it. It is a fact: there are no African-Americans in the United States Senate. That's a fact. And what he was indicating is we should not turn this into a situation where a qualified, dedicated, public servant will be denied the opportunity to serve. It could, then, give the appearance...of a lot of individuals, not only African-Americans, saying, 'A person of Roland Burris' qualifications is not seated because of the governor's problems wouldn't be seated? Is it racism that is taking place?' That's the question somebody else may raise."

Somebody else--but not Burris, that's for sure--may raise it. Gee, Roland, and we really liked you before all this.

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

(snicker) Behold the depth of shortstop's insights into public opinion.

Posted by: anonymous on December 31, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

I hope all of you Obamabots out there understand Obama's role in this mess. The state democrats and Obama himself felt that the only way to keep Blagojevich from making an appointment and/or maintain trust and promote transparency was to pass a law and hold a special election. The National Democrats did not want to risk losing the Seat - even though that would be remote, particulary if Obama campaigned for the democrat.

So, the local democrats bowed to the wishes of the national party, and low and behold, see what you have - an appointment by a legally elected governor and no indictment coming imminently from Fitzgerald.

Where exactly was Obama's leadership in calling for the special election regardless of what the National democrats thought? There's a reason why this guy has no accomplishments. Won't take a stand. Way too uncomfortable for him.

Posted by: Mary Ok on December 31, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, the problem with your argument and your usual -- and commendable -- attempt to 'lean over backwards' to find merit and rationality in an opposing argument, is that this -- it seems obvious to me -- is not about appointing Burris. It is solely about embarrassing Obama and -- particularly for Bobby Rush -- attacking his support in the black community.

(After all, going back to the Black Panther days, Rush's whole position is based on telling blacks 'whitey is against you, and will do anything to hold you back. You HAVE to support/vote for me to protect you." But with Obama about to be inaugurated -- with, after all, many more white votes than black ones -- this argument looks pretty thin, unless Rush can turn Obama into an 'Uncle Tom," an "Oreo.")

If Blagojevich HAD been interested in appointing Burris, it would hhave been easy. Turn over the appointment power to Quinn -- or if that were an 'admission of guilt' declare that 'while I retain the appointing power, I'll use it on behalf of whoever Quinn picks.' Since, while no one thinks Burris is a great choice, everybody seems to consider him an 'acceptable compromise' this would have been looked on as a great way out of the impasse.

But, of course, that wasn't what Odd-Rod wanted.

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on December 31, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Where exactly was Obama's leadership in calling for the special election regardless of what the National democrats thought? There's a reason why this guy has no accomplishments. Won't take a stand. Way too uncomfortable for him.
Posted by: Mary Ok

Yeah, being an African-American and coming out of nowhere six years ago, organizing a campaign that beat both Hillary Clinton and the Republicans to get elected President of the United States is not an accomplishment. Honestly, your stupidity must be painful to endure. How do you manage?

Posted by: DJ on December 31, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Where exactly was Obama's leadership in calling for the special election regardless of what the National democrats thought? There's a reason why this guy has no accomplishments. Won't take a stand. Way too uncomfortable for him.

Yay! Mary's back! exlibra, zeitgeist, TR: Mary's back!

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: ... Chicago generally, accept the validity of the Bull Connor analogy?
...
No, although I can see why you would very much like to pretend so. Next.

Why I "pretend" so is that Blago/Burris/Rush, who are from there, are in fact playing the "race card". Blago and Rush have in fact won elections in those constituencies, and they might have insight into what sorts of rhetoric win political support. Blago's ratings in the public opinion polls are comically low right, but he won elections. Blago might not be "good", but he's "cunning".

The Bull Connor analogy doesn't have to succeed in a national audience, it has to succeed in the urban Illinois audiences. Is there an African-American voter who can't remember multiple insults and worse from non-African-Americans? Among them, and among the liberals who think that Michael Pfleger is an enlightened speaker, I think that the race card can work in at least a few more elections, not nationally, but in some localities.

How do you know so much about Chicago and Illinois that you know the answer to my question is "no"?

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on December 31, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

How do you know so much about Chicago and Illinois that you know the answer to my question is "no"?

I live here and am extremely active in politics, you hopeless goofball. And almost everything you've presented as factual about the situation here at this moment is wildly inaccurate. Next.

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Blago and Rush have in fact won elections in those constituencies, and they might have insight into what sorts of rhetoric win political support. Blago's ratings in the public opinion polls are comically low right, but he won elections.

So have Obama and Durbin and Daley, none of whom play the race card. Blagojevich won his first election for governor in a four-way primary (one in which Roland Burris drew away some African-American votes from then-Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas).

You'll also note that Blagojevich didn't use the term "lynch" until the very end, after Rush's ridiculous performance.

Posted by: DJ on December 31, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

There's probably a lot of local politicians that don't like Obama. Didn't you read Alderman Toni Preckwinkle's comments in the New Yorker? Didn't you reak Todd Spivak's article in the Houston Press? He's well known for taking credit for the work of others. No one likes to work with people like that.

I don't know to what level these grudges will rise, but I personally don't think Obama will do much for the constituents in his community as President. Why do I think that? Because he has never done very much for them? Obama is about his own advancement and I am not sure how leaders like Bobby Rush help in stay where he is.

Posted by: Mary OK on December 31, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know to what level these grudges will rise, but I personally don't think Obama will do much for the constituents in his community as President. Why do I think that? Because he has never done very much for them? Obama is about his own advancement and I am not sure how leaders like Bobby Rush help in stay where he is.

You are totally right. In fact, I heard that Obama once surreptitiously flipped off Rush while giving a speech in 126% black Chicago. On the way to the speech, Larry Sinclair blew him in the back of a limo while Barack was on the phone verbally abusing Michelle.

Don't blame me. I'm just the messenger bringing you the real story about the President-Defect.

Posted by: Insane Fake Professor on December 31, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Where exactly was Obama's leadership in calling for the special election regardless of what the National democrats thought?

I, and I daresay a majority of my fellow citizens, would prefer that Obama focus on other, more important things than the nonsense in Illinois.

This is really not that significant of an issue. Burris has proven himself to be a sleazebag, along with Rush and Blago, with these absurd accusations of racism (how could a decision made weeks ago, before anyone knew what the skin color of a hypothetical appointee would be, possibly be racist?), but he's not connected to the scandal, so if he ends up in the Senate, oh well. He won't be the only sleazebag there.

Posted by: jeebus on December 31, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

DJ

Yes, Obama has succeeded in accomplishing his own advancement. Other than that, not so much, astounding when you consider his leadership skills. I guess we'll have to see what he does for the electorate at large. So many of his supporters think he will be different now that he is President.

As I said, as leader of the national and Illinois Democrats, Obama was in a postion to demand a special election and make it happen, but he didn't get involved when the National Democrats disagreed. So, this is where the situation has escalated.

DJ, call me stupid instead of addressing the issue of Obama's leadership in this area. That's very mature.

Posted by: Mary Ok on December 31, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I know nothing about Burris --- he may be a wonderfully straight arrow, and very well qualified to take a seat in the Senate --- but nothing he's done in the past 2 days has given me a very high opinion of the guy.

First, it shows incredibly poor judgement (or inappropriate levels of ambition) to accept the nomination from Blagojevich in the first place. And playing the race card when it is clearly inappropriate demonstrates more poor judgement and/or dishonesty.

As for Bobby Rush, I'm all for running a sane Democrat against him in a primary challenge in 2010 --- but I'm guessing such a challenge would fail miserably.

Simply put, Blagojevich is corrupt, contemptible, and possibly mentally imbalanced. Rush and Burris do themselves no favors by being useful idiots in Blagojevich's 'give the national party the finger' game.

Posted by: David Bailey on December 31, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

DJ, call me stupid instead of addressing the issue of Obama's leadership in this area. That's very mature.
Posted by: Mary Ok

You don't give me much to work with, madam. Either raise your intellectual game or step aside and let someone better suited for the job enter the debate.

Posted by: DJ on December 31, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

As shortstop, with her vast knowledge and deep experience will doubtless share with us, it's not exactly unusual for local folks to be less than pleased when a younger local guy like Obama goes further and farther than they did -- especially when, as with Rush, they beat him on the way up.

Burris's popularity, or anything stupid he may say, doesn't change the fact that 1) Blagojevich is governor, and 2) he's appointed Burris to the Senate.

Reid has indicated he wants to claim a simple majority vote is enough to challenge Blagojevich's qualifications to appoint a Senator to fill a vacancy. If they do that, Burris can sue the Senate, precipitating a legislative-judiciary conflict in a hurry.

I don't see how Blagojevich can be forced out of office before that happens.

Unresolved, this gets onto the agenda of every early Obama press conference, viz., 'if you don't want Burris, who DO you want in your old Senate seat?'

Or... "The US District Court has ordered the Senate to swear in Senator Burris, but the Senate has refused: should the Supreme Court hear the case?"

Or... "Ten Democratic Senators have voted with the Republicans to continue debating your economic package, Mr. President: isn't it time you let Senator Burris take his seat so that he can help you pass your agenda?"

(My own SWAG is that Byrd will stiff Reid and swear Burris in by Inauguration Day to pre-empt this nonsense.)

And that doesn't even consider the possibility that the Senate delays long enough that Blagojevich is forced out, and Quinn names somebody, anybody else-- who will be perceived as Obama's choice. Think of six months of speculation (Novak ain't dead yet) about Obama manuevering to put his own candidate in the Senate, playing smallball in Chicago rather than big plays in Congress.

Every way this plays out makes Obama look more like Blagojevich, not less.


Posted by: anonymous on December 31, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

... and on Blagojevich's "'give the national party the finger' , " let's give Thurs his due http://whiskeyfire.typepad.com/whiskey_fire/2008/12/good-for-you-asshole.html, for coining the phrase ""joie de fuck you."

Posted by: anonymous on December 31, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

So many of his supporters think he will be different now that he is President.

I could have told you he'd be just the same. Women were not fooled. Look what he did to Hillary, and the delegates and superdelegates were too scared to do anything about it because he was a large and menacing black man. It stinks.

Posted by: Insane Fake Professor on December 31, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

even better - IFP is back, too!

pass the stollen! :)

(or, if exlibra prefers, the Stoli.)

Posted by: zeitgeist on December 31, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, those Polish dames. Bring 'em on! Bring exleeb, I mean. I'll pass on the Stoli.

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

jeebus

It doesn't sound like you are from Illinois. A federal prosecutor has said that our Governor is on a corruption crime spree. Obama campaigned on clean government, and Obama had already called for a special election, along with Pat Quinn, the Lt. Governor. Obama allowed himself and other local democrats calling for transparency in the selection of a Senator, to be overruled by Harry Reid and others who did not to risk losing the seat - unlikely to happen.

As Obama said during the debate with John McCain, a President has to multi task sometimes. If he can't take a stand for a special election, after campaigning on integrity, change and reform, - well you have to wonder what he will take a stand on. This wouldn't have taken much of his time. Having his staff issuing a statement saying that he feels that his original call for a special election makes the most sense for the people in Illinois.

Posted by: Mary Ok on December 31, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

We get Mary AND IFP back all in one shot??? WOO HOO!! Exlibra, Zeitgeist, and shortstop can keep the Stoli, pass me some popcorn and the Patron Silver!!

Makes me wonder if the PUMA boards are a little less empty today...nah, not going to bother looking.

Posted by: Keori on December 31, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Aw, come on. Libs wept with joy solely because a black person was elected president. This was "historic" and proved America has put its racist past behind it.

Now they are going to say skin color doesn't make a difference?

Posted by: Luther on December 31, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Everywhere that Mary went, IFP was sure to go. She's that attractive.

Exlibra, Zeitgeist, and shortstop can keep the Stoli

Not me; get that Stoli away from me. Who has had the brownies for the last half hour? And is there any of that blue cheese ball left?

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'm going to talk about liberals and their annoying attitudes about race without noticing key distinctions! Pay attention to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Posted by: Loother on December 31, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

The President-Neglect has two weeks to spend in Hawaii doing nothing but tying up traffic, which is already bad on Oahu, not that he cares. Couldn't he spend some of that time helping to amend the Illinois Constitution to make a special election possible? The people of Illinois voted for him over Hillary, who lived there long before he did, so the least he can do is help get this senatorial mess straightened out. It wouldn't even be an issue if he hadn't been so arrogant as to run for president.

Posted by: Insane Fake Professor on December 31, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Everywhere that Mary went, IFP was sure to go. She's that attractive.

Actually, I used to wonder if perhaps they were conjoined twins ala Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear in "Stuck on You." Only not nearly as funny. (And that movie SUCKED!)

*passes shortstop brownies* Sorry, no more blue cheese. I'm moved on to fancy liberal garlic and herb goat cheese.

It wouldn't even be an issue if he hadn't been so arrogant as to run for president.

Come on now, IFP. The word you want is "uppity." Go ahead. Own it.

(BTW, the traffic on Oahu has gotten better, not worse, while the Obamas have been here, but that's because UH is on winter break and has nothing to do with an exclusive Lanikai neighborhood way out of the main traffic routes. Dumbass. Try harder.)

Posted by: Keori on December 31, 2008 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

stoli or no, shortstop, i may have to move across the river to your state just to have more entertaining politics. even Steve King can't create enough amusement to make up for how boringly innocent Iowa politics tends to be!

(and if its 'no' on the stoli, i do have bubbly in the basement apropos for this evening. . .)

Posted by: zeitgeist on December 31, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I doubt that the President-Suspect even knows that UH is out. He's only gone to exclusive private schools (and taken 20 years to pay off his tuition debts because he insisted on living a glamorous lifestyle, and may also have had a drug problem that cost a lot of money). Because of that, he had to work twice as hard to be accepted when he chose to be black instead of white. But he's nothing if not a successful schemer, as Senator Clinton found out when he cheated her in the caucus states.

Posted by: Insane Fake Professor on December 31, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Ooooh, Steve King. Love the drama.

Come on over, zeit; we'd be proud to have you. Of course, the nation owes Iowa a huge debt of gratitude this year. You were the ones who made us prick up our ears, sit up straight and say, "I'll be damned. Maybe he can do it."

And he did.

Ooh, that brought a half-tear to my eye as I remembered it. Must be all the refined sugar.

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

He's only gone to exclusive private schools (and taken 20 years to pay off his tuition debts because he insisted on living a glamorous lifestyle Posted by: Insane Fake Professor

Go to any hot Rush Street nightspot, any palatial condo on the Gold Coast, any high-end retail establishment on Michigan Avenue, and they are filled to the brim with community organizers making a low five figures.

Imbecile.

Posted by: DJ on December 31, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Sisters_(colleges)

Because Wellesley takes in anyone off the street...*snort*

Hillary still lost. Here's hoping she makes a fantastic Secretary of State. We still won't validate you. Don't you have a stale beer to cry in or something?

Posted by: Keori on December 31, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't sound like you are from Illinois.

Yeah, that's kind of my point. I'm not from Illinois, therefore I don't really give a shit about this (though it's interesting in a car-wreck sense).

Obama is no longer the Senator from Illinois; he's the president of the entire nation. Illinois has no special relevance to him anymore, other than personal ties. If this were going on in, say, Alaska, no one would expect Obama to involve himself in it, so there's no reason why it should be different just because it's happening in Illinois.

Now that Blago has appointed Burris, who is a buffoon but is more or less qualified for the office, we know that it won't be the end of the world if Blago gets to appoint the Senator. If the Senate succeeds in blocking the appointment, Blago will be impeached in short order anyway and the new governor will make the pick. Either way, this doesn't really affect anyone outside of Illinois.

Posted by: jeebus on December 31, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

zeit, whack me on the back. I think I've got a piece of brownie lodged in my windpipe.

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

better than what some others seem to have lodged in their. . .funny bones. *whack!*

Posted by: zeitgeist on December 31, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

"If the Senate succeeds in blocking the appointment, Blago will be impeached in short order anyway and the new governor will make the pick...."

Not so. Burris has a legal claim that he is already the legitimate Senator, so the office won't be vacant when (if) the lt. governor moves up.

He may not sue -- but his recent behavior suggests it ain't impossible, either.

Shortstop will doubtless share her vast experience that, just as all politics is local, all local politics are rivalries -- so the fact that a new governor is gonna have to pick ONE person, necessarily ticking off everybody who does NOT get picked, which could include Burris (who ain't making it easy to choose him again), will make it all the more sticky.

Cuz virtually anybody a new governor chooses will be seen as someone closer to Obama, viz. Jarrett.

Reid's contention is that the Senate can challenge the qualifications of a duly elected and sworn governor to fulfill his duties under state law because of press reports of ongoing investigations by a Federal prosecutor... yeah, that's gonna make good law.

So you're looking at a real possibility of a court fight in which Burris wins the first round, but the Senate refuses to seat him, and then a SECOND Senator is appointed who is more to Obama's liking... but Burris wins again, when a court upholds the first court's decision that the Senate has only the power to expel, not to exclude, so the second appointment isn't valid since the seat is not vacant.

Posted by: anonymous on December 31, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, zeit! You just can't beat the Heimlich maneuver. That brownie flew out of my mouth, across the room and hit a dorky-looking poster smack in his hilariously out-of-date beard while he was obsessively picking his scab. Sorry about that!

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

DJ: So have Obama and Durbin and Daley, none of whom play the race card. Blagojevich won his first election for governor in a four-way primary (one in which Roland Burris drew away some African-American votes from then-Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas).

Obama did play the race card, and won a higher percentage of the African-American vote than any other liberal has.

My claim is that there are some constituencies in Illinois where the race card still plays very well. shortstop says "no" because he lives there and knows for a fact that the race card is now completely ineffective, even in Rush's district.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on December 31, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Aw, crap. I missed the IFP resurrection. I also see the closed minded contingency that was circle jerking in their absolute certainty yesterday also doesn't understand parody.

Why am I not surprised?

Posted by: doubtful on December 31, 2008 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Illinois, too, Marler. Your idiocy doesn't fly.

Posted by: DJ on December 31, 2008 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Marler says this: Don't you think that almost all African-American voters and politicians, and almost all liberal voters in Chicago generally, accept the validity of the Bull Connor analogy?

I say this: No, although I can see why you would very much like to pretend so. Next.

From which Marler takes this: shortstop says "no" because he [sic] lives there and knows for a fact that the race card is now completely ineffective, even in Rush's district.

We never stop wondering how you manage to pull so much rank dishonesty out of your bottom on a daily basis, Matt. Truly, you are shameless in your misrepresentations. We wouldn't mind you blatantly bullshitting in the spirit of a good tussle, but we marvel at the way you seem to really believe that you're a different person than the one you keep showing us. It's a seriously accomplished self-delusion.

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

And YOURS does?

Look, this ain't complex: Burris has been legally appointed to fill a vacant Senate seat until January 2011. Next week, he will show up to be sworn in.

With Obama's encouragement, the Senate is likely to try to exclude him. Their authority to do that is dubious, at best.

If this keeps going on the way it's started to roll, in a month the Senate will be defying a court order: which, we are assured by shortstop, will be EXCELLENT politics for the first month of Obama's first term.

Posted by: anonymous on December 31, 2008 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

I also see the closed minded contingency that was circle jerking in their absolute certainty yesterday also doesn't understand parody.

Kind of an unfair generalization. A number of people disagreed with you yesterday, but there were large differences in the quality of the arguments they presented and how they presented them.

Posted by: shortstop on December 31, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not gone. I'm just helping Mary get ready for our big NYE bash. I'm squeezing the lemons and she's slicing the sour pickles. Party on, girlz!

Posted by: Insane Fake Professor on December 31, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Jeebus, maybe you are not aware of this, but the Federal Prosecutor has already interviewed Obama, Jarret, Emanuel about their activities around the sale of this senate seats and they all took their lawyers with them. y Obama is going to spend time on this, well just because it is Illinois and he is from there and corruption is all around him.

Obama campaigned for good government, transparancy, change and bi partisanship. I never bought into this because he has had ample oppportunities to demonstrate his committment to those things locally and never did. He isn't going to do it as President either.

The national democrats also should not be interfering with the idea of holding special elections either. They are not from Illinois, and they have plenty of other things to worry about it. But interfere they did, without a peep from Obama. If under the circumstances, Obama shouldn't be expected to reaffirm his committment to a special election to open up the process by the people for whom his message of change resonated, well then I guess that is why we will never get change.

Posted by: Mary Ok on December 31, 2008 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Right on, sister. The Senate has no business interfering in Illinois Senate politics, but the President-Reject has a duty to get in the middle of Illinois Senate politics. If you guys weren't so busy looking at shirtless beach photos of The One, your brains might work better.

Posted by: Insane Fake Professor on December 31, 2008 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. Cornyn and Bobby Rush should debate the justness of Minnesota seating a Jewish senator and the (perhaps injustice of) Illinois NOT seating an African-American senator.

Oughta be fun.

Posted by: MarkH on December 31, 2008 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Kind of an unfair generalization. -shortstop

Fair enough, and I agree with you, but forgive me if I don't feel like being fair. While some were less grating and insulting than others, the fact remains that none of them were nothing short of certain of their own infallibility.

It's that absolute certainty that really chafes my grits. I figure there's a fair to good chance I'm wrong (and ultimately, for little d democracy's sake, I don't want to be right), but I've seen a decent amount of qualified people in various media channels take the same position I argued yesterday.

Posted by: doubtful on December 31, 2008 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Nice to see Bobby Rush doesn't hold grudges and doesn't go out of his way to avoid embarassing his old enemies whenever possible.

Posted by: TCinLA on December 31, 2008 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

MatthewRMarler: But why do you assert that a race-based strategy is likely to be counter-productive? The constituencies that matter here are Chicago and Illinois: Burris' and Blagojavich's base, and the State Burris now represents, respectively. The "race card" is likely very effective there at least one more time. Don't you think that almost all African-American voters and politicians, and almost all liberal voters in Chicago generally, accept the validity of the Bull Connor analogy?

Perhaps "almost all" is too extreme.

There is a generational difference between African-Americans of Burris' generation and those of Obama's generation. If there were a way to get an accurate poll, I'd bet that the Bull Connor analogy plays very well in the older generation of African-American voters, less well in the younger generation. And the liberals who regard Michael Pfleger with respect? I'd bet that it plays very well among them also. And among the voters who elected Rush, to whom Rush is speaking? I'd bet it plays well among them as well. How about in East St. Louis, Carbondale, Edwardsville, Champagne-Urbana? I'd bet it plays well among liberal voters there. In Naperville, East Moline and Peoria? Not so much success there.

DJ, shortstop: your turns.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on December 31, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, IFP. Retirement was getting boring? Or are you a Mary-junkie and just couldn't kick the habit? ^_^

Posted by: Shade Tail on December 31, 2008 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Liberals who regard Michael Pfleger with respect???" That's a bigger strawman than Ray Bolger.

Posted by: DJ on December 31, 2008 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Ray Bolger was the Tin Man. This changes everything.

Christamighty, I'll spend as few words on this as possible.

There is a generational difference between African-Americans of Burris' generation and those of Obama's generation.

Well, yes, generational differences apply regardless of race. I suspect you'd take issue with anyone who painted old white guys with as broad a brush as you're using on old black people--as you continually use on black people in general, I don't need to add.

If there were a way to get an accurate poll, I'd bet that the Bull Connor analogy plays very well in the older generation of African-American voters, less well in the younger generation.

There's your flabby butt acting as the source of your info, because there isn't a poll as of now. Look, by continuing to use terms like "plays very well" (not much better than your previous "almost all African Americans and liberals"), you're not making distinctions between the quality, relevance and defensibility of various political appeals that touch on race, nor are you accepting that different people--even of the same age group--react differently to them. You're essentially accusing older African Americans of falling en masse for the grossest, most hamhanded play of a race card I've seen...well, since the primaries.

You write off an entire generation of Illinois black people as too stupid to recognize that not supporting the pick of a horrifically corrupt governor for the seat that governor tried to sell--do you think that Illinois' black population isn't outraged at Blago? Do you think they can't spot a manipulation when they see one?--is not the same as firehosing, jailing and beating the living daylights out of people trying to obtain their civil rights. It's an enormously offensive condescension.

And in it you are wildly wrong. Of course there are some black people who will agree with Rush's comparison, and many of them live in his district. There are far more who clearly recognize this play for what it is--there isn't any "plays very well" about it--but believe, like many here, that Burris should be seated on his own merits. There are others who recognize Rush's statements for what they are but shrug and figure it's the price you pay for getting a black senator. And there are others, including prominent black politicians like Danny Davis and Jesse White, as well as several state senators and reps, who are pissed to have black politicians and voters drawn into this self-serving crap of the governor's and have spoken out against it. (Years of reading your dishonest posts make me suspect you will attempt to make these sentences into some kind of support of your phrase, "plays very well with" as you attempt to save your original ludicrous argument. Don't even try it.)

That paragraph above is, like yours, personal impressions. But if we have a choice between my take on this and yours, I'm going with mine, because I live, work, whoop it up and politick in Chicago, and over the last several days I've had dozens of conversations with Chicagoans and Illinoisans on this subject as well as tapping numerous local media/information sources you've never heard of. You, as we've established, rarely get out of your chair in whatever strip-mall community you call home.

And the liberals who regard Michael Pfleger with respect? I'd bet that it plays very well among them also.

Your posts continually demonstrate your total reliance on the least informative and trustworthy sources of media and the skewed perspective that laziness creates. Pfleger gets a lot of press. He does not have a large following, nor do these armies of obeisant liberals you picture from your Barcalounger generally approve of all his activities. The most common reaction to Pfleger in Chicago is, "He's a grandstander and a drama queen, but he did a great job getting booze billboards out of poor neighborhoods," or something similar. But you wouldn't know that, because instead of asking people who know the situation for information, you sit back and solemnly pronounce.

How about in East St. Louis

Almost all black. Not, despite your mental picture, monolithic. See my paragraphs above.

Champagne [sic]-Urbana?

University town. Ever been to one? Ain't no easy acceptance of Rush's speech there. This little event is getting nuanced to death over the faculty coffeepots and in student organization panels, and getting even a loose consensus on it is a pipe dream.

Edwardsville

Slightly left of center/centrist state university town. You're going to have to try harder.

Carbondale

State university town in union country--which, in downstate Illinois, means "Democratic," not "progressive." If you think playing a black race card there is generally effective, you'd best go back to Google where you apparently spent 15 seconds preparing for your post.

It's hilarious to see that your image of a university community--any university community, for surely they're all the same in character, aren't they?--is as one-dimensional and stereotypical as, your posts show, your view of anyone in that strange circle of people we call Democrats.

You simply don't understand how angry Illinois is at Blago, nor do you twig that that rage extends to "liberals in general" and African Americans, who are quite capable of recognizing a Hail Mary pass when they see it. And, as usual, your willingness to make badly drawn cartoons out of entire groups of people who vote differently than you do--scratch that; you do it with everyone who's different than you--should embarrass you deeply, were you capable of even getting it.

After all of this I'm not sure my original, dismissive response wasn't the best, don't you think, DJ? You don't post in good faith, Marler.

Posted by: shortstop on January 1, 2009 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Shade Tail: I've noticed that when Mary busts through her ban to post, IFP feels she has to give her sister some support, not that Mary is properly grateful for that.

Posted by: shortstop on January 1, 2009 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop: University town. Ever been to one?

I have worked in universities. I have worked in the private sector. In my experience, some of the lefties of the universities have been as idiotic as some of the righties in the corporations.

I hope that on balance you are correct. I don't believe it, but I hope so. I think that "the race card" has a few live plays left, but if this is the last try, that will be good.

Meanwhile, we are stuck with the fact that Blago supported Rush's speaking of "lynching" and "hanging". Blago still hasn't been impeached, and Burris is the legal junior senator from Illinois.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 1, 2009 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

The one thing that I learned by listneing to Rev. Wright and Father Phfleger, is that you can't fill a Chruch on Chicago's south side without slamming whitey. If you want big donations, so that you can retire to a 1MM home by a golf course, you'll just have to ramp up the inflammtory rhetoric.

Posted by: Mary Ok on January 1, 2009 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

I have worked in universities.

Really? You don't seem to have paid much attention to your surroundings and the typical shape of academic discourse while you were there.

In my experience, some of the lefties of the universities have been as idiotic as some of the righties in the corporations.

No doubt. But that wasn't the argument you were making. You were attempting to pretend that most or all liberals in all Illinois universities would wholeheartedly embrace the appropriateness of comparing the Senate Dem caucus to Bull Connor. Are we switching topics now?

Meanwhile, we are stuck with the fact that Blago supported Rush's speaking of "lynching" and "hanging". Blago still hasn't been impeached, and Burris is the legal junior senator from Illinois.

Right. But that wasn't the point of the previous discussion, which was centered on your wholesale misreading of the people of Illinois. Are we switching topics now?

Just curious, Matt: Do you use your turn signal when driving?

Posted by: shortstop on January 1, 2009 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't know that I had a fan club on this web site. Had I known, I would have checked in more often. I've been looking for a job. Tough economy you know.

Now that I am a "lady who lunches", perhaps I qualify for a Senate seat. I plan to call my congressman tomorrow, to find out who I need to talk to. Since, he inherited the job from his father by being "appointed" to run in the General Election without even having to live in the state, I am not too hopeful. Well, at least he didn't vote for the TARP. He's afraid that he will be booted out for the way he got in. But since he keeps finding ringers to run against him and dilluting the vote against him, I think he'll be around for a long time. Since shortstop is so active in Illinois politics, maybe he knows the congressman.

Anyway, I hope IFP and the rest of you are having a Happy New year and good fortune continues throughout 2009.

Posted by: Mary Ok on January 1, 2009 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Mary, no wonder you're confused. Your Congressman is John Campbell, Ed Royce or Loretta Sanchez, not Dan Lipinski. Call on me anytime for help.

Posted by: shortstop, laughing uproariously on January 1, 2009 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: Matt: Do you use your turn signal when driving?

Yes. At least 90% of turns and lane changes.

Really? You don't seem to have paid much attention to your surroundings and the typical shape of academic discourse while you were there.

What you call "the typical shape of academic discourse" is a lot less common than you believe. Far more common is uninformed, biased ranting and raving.

More from the same CBS interview. Rush did also do what Steve Benen recommended. And he properly pointed out that the Illinois Assembly took a pass instead of acting.

begin quote

RODRIGUEZ: Shouldn't Governor Blagojevich maybe have given Roland Burris the chance to go in as the only African-American senator in a legitimate way that everyone would approve of?

Rep. RUSH: Well...

RODRIGUEZ: Is he being selfish here by appointing him this way? By remaining so defiant?

Rep. RUSH: Well, you know, he has the constitutional responsibility as governor of the state of Illinois to appoint. The General Assembly met a week or so ago, they passed the buck, they shifted, they punted, they did not declare a special election. Let me just say this. On January the 20th, President-elect Obama wants on his desk the Congress to deliver to him a stimulus package, hundreds of millions of dollars, and the people of the state of Illinois should not be deprived of a representative in the US Senate to be at the table to help decide where that money should go.

RODRIGUEZ: All right.

Rep. RUSH: We have many other issues and I just think that it is incumbent upon the US Senate and President Reid and others to make sure that Illinois is not short-changed as it relates to representation.

end quote

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 1, 2009 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks you shortstop.

Given today's temperature, I sure wish my US congressional district was in sunny California, but alas, the last time I checked ( this Nov. 4) Dan Lipinski Jr. was on the ballot here and no surprise - he won and I haven't found a job in CA so I haven't moved there.

Happy New Year. I think I'll go post on that Caroline Kennedy story that appeared today.

Posted by: Mary OK on January 1, 2009 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

What you call "the typical shape of academic discourse" is a lot less common than you believe.

You misread. Again. What I call the typical shape of academic discourse referred to the fact that if you get five faculty members in the same room, you'll get back six opinions. You, on the other hand, appear to be defining "ranting and raving" as "holding a view left of Matthew Marler's," as you continue to cling tightly to your beloved myth of lockstep faculty opinion. What I'm trying to get you to do, and you don't seem to be able to do it, is back off your amazingly foolish statement that everyone affiliated with Illinois universities accepts the equivalence of Bull Connor and Harry Reid.

And he properly pointed out that the Illinois Assembly took a pass instead of acting.

"Properly," eh? Does Bobby Rush know that the Illinois Constitution would have to be changed to make a special election possible? Does Bobby Rush think that doing so would have taken less time than impeaching the governor? Or does Bobby Rush know all this but is completely full of crap?

It goes without saying that you don't know these things in your rush to pronounce Rush's statement "proper." Are you going to stop revealing the level of your own ignorance about Illinois government and politics? What do you think you're accomplishing here?

Posted by: shortstop on January 1, 2009 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see enough discussion here of how good Burris is or isn't per se for the job - isn't that what should matter most, not unfair tainting from who picked him etc? As I said earlier, one of the prime indicators of Burris' character is how much he yanks racism card. (Kudos to bringing up, why not retaliate with "anti-Semitism" per Franken! BTW what does Franken think of Israel's conduct - the usual progressive distaste at how they are managing their circumstances?)
(Heh, and got to be careful when seeing "Rush" - it doesn't always mean the orotund oracular obfuscator himself.)

Posted by: Neil B ☺ on January 1, 2009 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Neil B

Roland Burris is 71 years old. His mausoleum tombstone lists all of the political positions he has ever had. He has room for another. He was elected to statewide office - but not governor for which he ran several times. He likely would not win the primary for Senator. He's been around Illinois politics for 40 years. He has no record of being corrupt - but his time has likely passed. If we were lookiing for a caretaker in that role - he would be an okay choice - but there probably are more respected choices out there. However, he hasn't said he won't run again in two years.

As for if he is good for the job of a Senator, who knows. What's required? Virtually nothing is required, except the ability to get re - elected or promoted out of the job.

Posted by: Mary OK on January 1, 2009 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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