TCS Daily


Seat Roland Burris

By Dan Proft - December 31, 2008 12:00 AM

Is Rod Blagojevich an idiot or an idiot savant?

That is not a trick question. It turns out he is mostly an idiot. But Blagojevich's selection of Roland Burris to fill the Obama senate seat was a shrewd tactical move legally and politically. Arrested for allegedly conspiring to sell the seat to the highest bidder, Blagojevich's lawyers can now argue he did nothing of the sort by pointing to who he actually appointed.

Burris is the rarest of all Chicago Democrats (his Centralia, IL roots notwithstanding): one who is heretofore untainted by scandal. That in itself is an accomplishment for any four-time statewide office holder in Illinois. Politically, Burris is a twofer as was telegraphed at the announcement by an almost giggly Blagojevich.

One, presenting Burris provided the Governor with the platform to give those in his party allied against him and against a special election--Democrat leaders in the Illinois House and U.S. Senate--the old one-finger salute. Like the citizens of Illinois, I wanted a special election, said Blagojevich, but since the General Assembly failed to act, I had to make this appointment.

Two, as an African-American, Burris brings significant political pressure to bear on Democrats in Illinois and in Washington to seat him.

And Roland Burris should be seated, not for those political reasons but because that is what is called for by law.

My preference was and is for a special election. But that's largely because I am a Republican and I think a Republican like Congressman Mark Kirk or Congressman Peter Roskam would have an excellent shot to win the Senate seat in a special election. However, that is not the process set forth by Illinois state statute, which clearly states...

"When a vacancy shall occur in the office of United States Senator from this state, the Governor shall make temporary appointment to fill such vacancy until the next election of representatives in Congress, at which time such vacancy shall be filled by election..." -- (10 ILCS 5/25-8)

The Chicago Democrats in charge had the opportunity to change this statute, but did not do so because they fear the same thing I anticipate -- namely, losing the seat. That fear should not be rewarded by deferring to their desired appointer (Pat Quinn); their fear should be spotlighted.

Roland Burris is the beneficiary of a cynical political maneuver by a soon-to-be impeached and indicted Governor. But Blagojevich has not yet been impeached, and he still enjoys the presumption of innocence. And every political appointment of this sort is at least in part a cynical political maneuver by the appointer. As long as Burris did nothing improper, why should he be held to a different standard than, say, Caroline Kennedy?

To not seat Burris is to do what Blagojevich has routinely done as governor, which is to simply ignore the rule of law when you do not like the outcome, and do not feel like putting in the work to change the law by the appropriate means and methods.

It is in times like these when, to paraphrase John Adams, we need to decide in Illinois if our government is one of laws or of men. To that end, I offer Illinois voters the following long-term remedy: seat Roland Burris until 2010 and then use that election, as provided by law, to unseat every single Chicago Democrat associated with this running catastrophe.

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30 Comments

MA Democrats
MA democrats changed their law from governor appointment to popular election prevent Romney from appointing a replacement for Kerry had he won in 2004.

Operation Chaos continues.

untainted by scandal"
The author says that this guy is untainted, but since we know that the idiot Blogovitch was auctioning the seat off, how do we know if this guy didn't buy it? Of course they would keep it secret.

How do we know anything?
How does the IRS know how much money you're making?

Except for tiny sums, it's ridiculously easy to track the movement of money. And even if Burris had given Blago a stack of unmarked hundreds he would have had to make a withdrawal somewhere, or cashed in some investment.

It's a reporter's job and a prosecutor's duty to look for this kind of thing. And it's very easy to find. Unexplained movements of money attract lots of attention.

Assumes reporters WANT to find out.
Too many are in the tank for politicians.

knowing anything
Your comments mean that you don't know about, or have never even heard about the underground ecomony re bribes, foreign accounts, money laundering for politicians and all other crooks. Newsflash Roy, it's not ridiculously easy.
Here's the solution I'll bet you favor though; more regulation, more federal agencies, more beaurocrats, more control over transactions.

This is going to be a great circus.
Their only solution is to follow the law. Since democrats don't follow the law when they don't like the law (a 'living' constitution) they will illegally try to block Senator Burris from serving his state.

This will be a great case before the Supreme Court during BHO first 100 days.

It is even sweeter that so many in BHO administration are from IL.

I heard a suggestion the Blago should have selected Jack Ryan. That would have been even more fun.

First test of BHO leadership
As leader of the democrat party, this is a great opportunity for BHO to take control and order Reid to follow the law.

Using one's head
It's always good to be cynical, marjon. But not to be excessively, ignorantly cynical. (Using the word in the sense of being uninformed.)

There is a consensus among all those who have looked into the situation that Blagojevitch has acted outrageously, even morally reprehensively. He certainly expresses a spirit in our politics that every other politician wishes could be a bit more.. sotto voce.

But he has apparently broken no laws. We will be looking closely into his affairs. And you should agree that there is no special prosecutor more qualified to do so than Patrick Fitzgerald. But most of us doubt that we will find that laws have been broken.

There is also general agreement that until and unless he is forced from office, as governor Blagojevitch is BOUND by his oath of office to designate a new senator, filling the vacant seat. That's not in dispute.

Furthermore, there is general agreement that Roland Burriss is a standup guy and qualified for office. And that more than likely he certainly traded neither favors nor money for the appointment. And in fact he would have been a total fool, in this environment, to have been found doing so. I don't see him as being that fool.

Again, we'll find all that out in grand detail.

The only reason Senate Democrats are making such a big deal out of all this is that it Looks Very Bad. And they all want to get on the right side of probity, pointing the finger and uttering foul imprecations about the evil deeds of their compatriot.

Oh for god sakes
I worked on Capitol Hill for thirty years, bub. I've seen a lot more than you think you know about cash, the grease of all politics. You'll need to learn a bit more before you can even see exactly how cash engages in these situations.

We've got our top federal prosecutor on the case. If anything amiss has actually taken place, Fitzgerald will find it. And the statutes describing graft in public office are very thoroughly written and well known to all.

As they are by Mr Blagojevitch.. who has been crowing about how they'll find no wrongdoing on his part. If I were to place money on this event, I'd put it on Mr B to be found innocent of any graft, but in jeopardy of impeachment for the more vaguely defined misuse of public office.

Obama has no dog in that race
BHO has no interest in the affair. It's just an Illinois thing, and a Senate thing. He'd be a fool to stick his nose in, and couldn't avoid coming out badly. The guy's far too astute a politican than to put himself in such a position.

Besides, I think there's quite a lot on his plate at the moment. Leader of the free world, captain of a tanking global economy.. everything that's gone wrong over the past eight years is now in pieces, in a basket, on his desk. Why should he take the time to offer his opinion in some sordid, regional affair?

30 years?
That explains a lot. Maybe that's why you are such a stauch defender of the power of the state, and have such a naive belief that they are some sort of social guardian angel for us rather than the filthy parasites they really are.

BHO is the leader of the democrat party. He IS the big dog.
All the parties involved are democrats. What discipline!

Blago followed the LAW.
Its funny how democrats didn't mind their president being impeached, losing is law license and having multiple affairs, but Blago has been NOT been convicted and he is being tossed to the wolves.

Savage is right, you all have mental disorders.

Fitzgerald is a stand up guy.
The facts in the Plame case did not matter.

"Fitzgerald will no doubt work hard to keep these issues out of the courtroom during what he contends is a straightforward perjury case. But surely what Libby is accused of lying about will ultimately be part of the trial. And it is in that way that Fitzgerald may have backed himself into a corner. Throughout the pre-trial motions in the case, he has argued, over and over, that it doesn't matter who leaked Valerie Wilson's identity, or why. It doesn't matter if Wilson was covert. It doesn't matter if the leak did any damage. In other words, the CIA leak is not relevant to the CIA leak case. Surely he will continue to argue that throughout the trial itself. But is that what his investigation — now in its third year — was really about?"

http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200603200927.asp

Let's hope he has the same tenacity for ALL lying politicians.

Not really..
..but apparently he didn't BREAK the law. It looks like Illinois doesn't have a law against solicitation of a bribe. Just the actual exchange of cash.

So they will have to impeach on the basis of a more general charge, like moral turpitude.

Which is something I think most Democrats can get behind. We don't like the exchange of cash for office or for legislation-- even though our candidates work in an arena where that's the only game in town (Congress).

Sexual dalliance, on the other hand, is something we think should be between a man and his family. Not quite the public's business, so long as the person acquits his office duties well and honorably.

In the same vein, we disapprove of those employers who tell their workers they must not smoke in the privacy of their homes, not just while at the office. That's far too intrusive.

Tell you what...
Throw off your chains. Be your own Tom Paine, citizen defender of freedom. Post your Declaration of Independence and tell the US government they're out of business.

Choose one: an armed takeover, or a citizen's initiative, to be put to the popular ballot. The wording would be up to you.

This is one fight I'll enjoy watching. Just like the one we had to end the government's monopoly on printing the money.

It's a provincial matter
Leadership of the Democratic Party takes place through the DNC or the DLC. The House and Senate each also have their Democratic leaders. This is not an issue Obama need get his shoes muddy in.

It looks best in the hands of an impartial special prosecutor. That's why I like Patrick Fitzerald heading the investigation. The case goes beyond party control, but is rather the People's business. Let the People decide.

It should be a "provincial matter"
But Harry Reid wants to federalize it.

If the Democrats want not to have Mr. Burris, they need need to seat him. Then they will have the right to investigate the circumstances of his appointment and if HE did something wrong, use whatever remedies they have to deal with him.

Apparently, its far to easy to trample all over a legal appontment, deny due process and hope to avoid public unpleasantness.

Has lied under oath?
So far he IS innocent AND he IS the governor.

That's why you don't understand liberty.
You don't understand the concept of the rule of law.

You follow the rule of whim, the rule of kings, the rule of tyrants.



Why should Reid allow any Republican to be seated?
As he said, he doesn't have to allow anyone he doesn't approve of to be seated.

Operation Chaos continues
"Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who this week begins her tenure as the first female chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said today that she was not consulted on the choice and indicated she might oppose it.

"I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA director," Feinstein said. "My position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.""

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-obama-cia-panetta6-2009jan06,0,5514283.story

Obama's Dog (Yes it Barks)
Essentially, what Reid is doing (unilaterally) is making Mr. Burris the subject of a legislative declaration of guilt w/o benefit of a trial-and that is a constitutionally prohibited device known as a "bill of attainder".

I'd be willing to bet that I agree on nothing politically with Mr. Burris-but the Senate Democrats treatment of this man is nothing short of disgraceful.

I doubt any incoming Prez would openly challenge the same party Senate majority leader because there'd be a huge kerfuffle about separation of powers...

But the right thing to do would be to have Reid arrested for denying Mr. Burris his civil rights by being made the subject of a legislative declaration of guilt...

Obama will swear to "uphold" and "defend" the constitution, and as i recall from all ememies-including those that fancy the term Senator as synonymous w/ "Exempt".



Bush Should Pardon Him
I think Blago was clever to appoint someone with not history of corruption and black as well. As the article says, Blago not only hasn't been convicted, he hasn't even been charged yet. The prosecutor has asked for more time. He may not have such a great case. Why didn't he wait until Blago actually sold the seat? Blago can also call Jackson Jr. and Ralm Emanuall (BHO's rep)to testify that that there was no mention of a bribe when they talked to Blago.

Wouldn't it be funny if Bush pardoned Blago? I think Blago should have appointed Lincoln. He would have gotten points for crossing party lines, picked the most popular guy in the states history and caught up with Missouri, who elected a dead guy to the Senate in 2000.

How can he be pardoned when not convicted?
Bush should pardon Scooter and those two border patrol agents.

Do you, you who take Liberty on “faith” and who proudly proclaim it to be irrational and subjective?
.

That august deliberative body, the US Senate
All we're seeing is a lot of political posturing on the part of Senate Dems. They know there's no serious reason to suspect Burris has bought his appointment.. and have said as much. All they're doing is mounting the moral bandwagon over Blagojevitch.

And yes, Senate rules can be trampled on, so long as no one dares object.

telling what
Why would you presume that I would take of of those two paths that you suggest? As if these notions of freedom just came to me lately.
If I did the first, they would kill me and it seems you're are finally admitting the state depends on deadly force to maintain itself.
If I take the second, I would also see no success because people like to vote for empty promises, by empty suits of more 'bread and circuses'.
People have been put into a condition of dependancy, just what statists want, and I keep congratulating you that this side that you favor has won.
If might give you personal pleasure to have me put down like some modern day Spartacus, but sorry if I have to disappoint you. People like me who would prefer actual freedom have to console ourselves with some of the few we have left, like pointing the fact out to naive people. We also have the pleasure of knowing we have the moral high ground; we don't want to force anybody to do anything, whereas you are will to kill people if they don't submit to your views.

And behind the third door...
I gave you two choices: "Choose one: an armed takeover, or a citizen's initiative, to be put to the popular ballot. The wording would be up to you."

And you don't want either one. And you don't offer a third choice. So here are some more:

Three: You can just gripe and complain for the rest of time;

Four: You can be a scofflaw, and evade paying taxes til they catch you.

But please, I don't want to put ideas into your head. What ARE you going to do?

"If I did the first, they would kill me and it seems you're are finally admitting the state depends on deadly force to maintain itself."

Actually the death sentence is not one they'd use for a Smith Act violation. (Actually they don't call it that any more. Calling for the violent overthrow of the USG.) What they do is to throw you where the sun don't shine.

Federal prisons like the one in Lexington have a hole under the floor, where they put people in solitary confinement with minimal contact with anyone.. not just close relatives but each other, guards, anyone at all. There are three women, for instance, who've been in the Hole since the 1970s, for political crimes. One was a Puerto Rican separatist, I forget what the other two are in for.

It's barbaric in the extreme, and far worse than a mere death penalty. But it does serve to deter those who might recommend armed insurrection. So you should be careful, as I am, in exactly how you exercise your freedoms.

where the sun doesn't shine
I thought we went through this before and you had admitted about what happens when they come to get you and you refuse to go to the rape rooms, or that dungeon you mention. Answer, they shoot you.
You are also mixing up issues, to say that taxes is equal to force is not recommending armed insurrection. It's pointing out how the existance of the state is based of force by the government towards the people.
So now you're on record as being a perso in favor of throwing people into dungeons if they don't submit to the government; told you I had the moral high ground.
But I won't bother to tell what I do myself, and for very good reasons.

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