Repeat After Me: "Roland Burris Is A Senator"

Maybe it's the advent of reality TV that has me a little hot under the collar about the charade that went on at the Capitol today in Washington when Roland Burris showed up. Maybe I'm like a lot of Americans who have come to recognize that our politicians have two faces – the one they display in front of the cameras and the one they show when the cameras aren't around.

Harry Reid spent the better part of his TV time glaring at the cameras like he was the tall, beak nosed Irish actor, James Cromwell, who plays the villainous dirty commander in all the police films, spouting righteous indignation like he'd gotten a fifty pound bag of it for Christmas. Does Reid feel that he stands for some mythical American consciousness that is supposed to ooze from the very center of the heartland?

I'd like to say – actually, I'm dying to say that Senator Reid succumbed to a latent racist desire to oppress any minorities in his path, but the reality is that Reid would have barred his own mother from taking her seat in the Senate if she had been appointed by Rod Blagojevich.

Now that the first act of this farce is over, what do we have?

A governor who is still governor of Illinois because the U.S. attorney who jumped the gun on his own investigation is burning the midnight oil while committing the number one prosecutorial sin - overzealousness. Fitzpatrick is wasting his time and our tax money trying to indict Blagojevich on a hundred and fifty counts of wrongdoing, the way they trained him to do it in prosecutor school, which means he's going have a thousand witnesses to interview, and ten thousand legal exhibits to organize. Pick five counts you've got Blagojevich on dead to rights and rock and roll – I’ve been on enough juries to tell Fitzpatrick that all that "preponderance" starts looking like "reasonable doubt" after a few weeks of mind numbing testimony.

A Senate majority leader who suffers from a lack of imagination. Harry Reid, you just watched the most improbable brown skinned presidential candidate in the history of the United States turn into the inevitable winner months before the election because of superior planning, superior execution, and a superior gameplan, and all you can do in the aftermath is ignore the changing trends in electoral districts across the country, including Illinois, to the point where you felt certain that ANY brown skinned Democratic candidate for Barack Obama's Senate seat had absolutely no chance of winning in a regular election. Jesse Jackson Jr. had at least as good a chance as your own favorite negro, Harold Ford, Jr., to win the seat in 2010. ALL of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s relatives are still eligible to vote, unlike Harold Ford Jr.'s motley crew of jailbirds/uncles.

A Senate appointee who has done nothing to cause himself to be barred from the Senate. Roland Burris looks a little mousy, but there's no crime in that. He very likely knows more about legal procedure than most of the parties involved in this charade as a former Illinois attorney general. He looks good in a suit. He is over 30 years of age. He has been a resident of his district for 9 years. And he is a citizen of the United States. It's harder to get a job at the Post Office than it is to qualify to be a member of the U.S. Senate.

The worst thing that happened to Harry Reid today was the rain. Any good reality show producer will tell you that rain heightens and intensifies drama. A character who is standing out in the rain, braving the elements, often garners more sympathy than they would in the same situation without a downpour.

The move by Blagojevich to appoint Burris is a public "f--k you" to everybody who tried to tell him what to do. It reminded me of Albert C. Barnes, the pharmaceutical magnate and art collector who surprised everyone when he left his massive collection of paintings in the care of historically black Lincoln University after being snubbed by the art world for years. It really doesn't matter, though, if the move was done for spite or not - at the time the decision was announced, it was still Blagojevich's to make.

Now that the cameras aren't rolling, I would suggest that Senator Reid wipe that nasty frown off of his face and ask Senator Burris to accept his apologies for having to showboat for his constituents back home. Then I suggest that the Senate's Democratic leader put the all call out to his key cronies that they had better be working on a way to backpedal their way out of this thing by next week, so they can enjoy some of the Obama love coming to DC the weekend after next.

Because if you’re not careful, Harry, you could end up being The Biggest Loser.

You can do it, Harry. Just repeat after me. "Ro-land Bu-rris. Ro-land Bu-rris. Ro-land Bu-rris is the junior senator from Illinois".

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Anonymous said...

The main issue I had with Blagojevich appointing Burris was his reasoning. Sure Burris is qualified but that damn sure isn't the reason Blagojevich appointed him(typing that name is too much work I might have to abbreviate next time lol)

As you stated it was his way of basically saying eff you all, look at what I can STILL do because I am STILL Governor.

As for Burris I am sure he will make a great Senator, but personally I don't know if I would want a seat given to me just because someone had a point to prove.

King Politics said...

Clearly Blago has screwed this up royally, but quite frankly, it's my impression that Burris was the optimal compromise candidate all along. Because he's sworn not to stand for reelection in 2010, this saved Blago from having to choose between Jackson, Jr. Danny Davis or any of the other qualified persons.

I agree with Brown Man that the newest villain in all this is Harry Reid. His early insistence that he would never seat anyone nominated by Blago put him in this bind and now he's too stubborn to admit he's wrong.

Anonymous said...

"He very likely knows more about legal procedure than most of the parties involved in this charade as a former Illinois attorney general."

I do not like Burris. While he was running for office, he refused to release a man from prison, even after another confessed to the crime, and even after DNA cleared him. Burris still did not release him.

I do not like Burris.

He is an egomaniac.

I do not like him at all.

Anonymous said...

Here is the story about the imprisoned man. He served 11 years for a crime he didn't commit. A prosecutor resigned rather than continue:

""What I took away was that [Burris] wasn’t going to do anything to seem soft on crime," Kenney said. "He didn’t have the guts."

In her resignation letter, Kenney claimed Burris had "seen fit to ignore the evidence in this case."

"I cannot sit idly by as this office continues to pursue the unjust prosecution of Rolando Cruz," she wrote. "I realized that I was being asked to help execute an innocent man."

add to that his crazy tomb he has built for his departure from this world, a shrine engraved "Trailblazer".

Children named Roland and Rolanda.

The guy is full of himself. To the point where, as Rolando Cruz knows, can be dangerous.

I just don't like him.

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