Harry Reid Responds on Blogo’s Senate Pick Roland Burris


RolandBurris.jpgRoland Burris has few detractors and may be a very interesting, somewhat unassailable choice to fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat. Burris — a former Attorney General and Comptroller of Illinois — seems to be a decent guy. (photo courtesy of The HistoryMakers)
The only problem is that scandal-plagued Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich wound mortally wound even the very, very best prospective candidate’s legitimacy by selecting him or her.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Senate Democratic Leadership had this to say about Blagojevich’s moves to fill Obama’s seat:

We again urge Gov. Blagojevich to not make this appointment. It is unfair to Mr. Burris, it is unfair to the people of Illinois and it will ultimately not stand. The governor must put the interests of the people of Illinois and all Americans first by stepping aside now and letting his successor appoint someone who we will seat.

Reid and his team are right. Blagojevich, until and unless he is cleared, has zero legitimacy in the eyes of most of his citizens, and should not sully Roland Burris’s name and record with this appointment.
But Reid and the Senate leadership should make a positive, constructive statement about Roland Burris and his service — and indicate publicly that he is the kind of person who should be on any person’s list as candidates to fill the vacant Illinois Senate seat.
And if nominated formally, I hope Roland Burris does not accept from Blagojevich.
— Steve Clemons


12 comments on “Harry Reid Responds on Blogo’s Senate Pick Roland Burris

  1. DonS says:

    … , and its not that I think myself any sort of paragon, but just that most pols capitalize on presumption of superiority, in public, yet have far more to be ashamed of than the average Joe! Generally speaking of course. Ha ha.


  2. ... says:

    DonS – essential job criteria of a politician it seems.. it is rare to find one outside of this norm..


  3. DonS says:

    …, yeah, pretty much if you can spell politician, you can spell hypocrite writ large


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And while we’re flushin’, lets dissappear that ginny Pelosi too…..
    Take Nancy Pelosi off the table as Speaker of the House
    By Joyce Lynn
    Online Journal Contributing Writer
    Dec 31, 2008, 00:28
    Democrats, it’s time to clean the House. Start at the top.
    When the 111th Congress convenes in January, it is time for a change — a change of the Speaker of the House. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) in her two years as speaker has enabled a pro-Bush, pro-corporate agenda almost as facilely and frequently as Republican presidential nominee John McCain.
    In November 2006, voters put Democrats in the majority in Congress to end the Iraq occupation and hold Bush responsible for the war. But the among first things she did when she became speaker was take impeachment off the table, giving Bush a blank check to wage the Iraq war for two more years.
    Showing disdain for those opposed the war, Pelosi snubbed peace demonstrators outside her San Francisco home, morphing into Bush who refused to meet Cindy Sheehan and peace protesters outside his Crawford, Texas, compound.
    Under Pelosi’s leadership, Congress gave Bush a half-trillion dollars for the Iraq war Pelosi said she wanted to stop. More than 1,200 U.S. soldiers and thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children have died since Pelosi became speaker.
    Pelosi has refused to sanction hearings to collect evidence about impeachable offenses, and she quashed other House members’ impeachment efforts. By last June, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) had compiled at least 35 articles of impeachment for G.W. Bush. The first 16 articles relate to the Iraq war: for secret propaganda; deception about 9/11; weapons of mass destruction, and illegal spending in an unauthorized and undeclared war.
    Pelosi also enabled legislation legalizing warrantless wiretapping and granting immunity not only for telecommunications company executives, but also for Bush, Dick Cheney, and other administration officials. The law obliterated our Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure.
    Pelosi looked the other way as Bush politicized the Justice Department, using US attorneys to corrupt the voting process and wage political vendettas against Democrats. Former Alabama Governor Donald Siegelman spent time in federal prison after Karl Rove’s political associates trumped up charges against him. Pelosi has let White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolton, now former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, and now former Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove defy congressional subpoenas.
    In September, Pelosi joined with Bush to plunder even more of the Treasury for their corporate cronies under the guise of a $700 billion Wall Street bailout. Pelosi with other congressional Democrats stood at the microphones, salivating at the prospect of helping Bush loot the U.S. Treasury. The scene was sickeningly reminiscent of Senate Democratic leaders Tom Daschle and Richard Gephardt, with presidential ambitions on their sleeves, rush to the White House six years earlier embracing Bush and his illegal and immoral preemptive attack on the people of Iraq.
    Instead of educating and leading and representing, Pelosi and her Democratic cohorts quiver at the thought they might be blamed for a terrorist attack or financial collapse if they deny Bush what he wants.
    Are Pelosi’s repeated capitulations to Bush due to complicity — knowing inside information about 9/11, torture, and wiretapping? If she were compromised, Pelosi could have refused the speaker’s position. If she were afraid of political retaliation like that against Siegelman, she could have stepped down.
    If Bush et al had threatened another 9/11 or martial law if the Democrats voted against his corporate agenda, the smart, powerful, proactive politician would hold a press conference surrounded with other vulnerable officials and tell the American public the truth.
    But instead, Pelosi appears a willing tool. She has used her position to enrich herself and her family. The first female Speaker of the House is part of a cabal, one which, unfortunately, includes other congressional women dressed in Democratic cloth coats by day and power suits by night. Through their positions in Congress, Pelosi along with, most notably, Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) and Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) are enriching their family financial coffers and building dynasties. (Feinstein, Harman, and Clinton voted for the Iraq resolution.)
    Sheehan, who challenged Pelosi in November for California’s 8th Congressional District, the San Francisco seat Pelosi has held since 1987, issued a campaign-like manifesto in May 2008: “Blood is being poured into the bank accounts of the ruling elite while it is being drained out of our soldiers, families, and communities . . .”
    Pelosi has confused politics with constitutional responsibility. Protesters shouted, “Know your power, Nancy. Impeach, impeach,” interrupting a San Francisco event in August for her book ironically titled “Know Your Power.” Pelosi cavalierly told them to take their passion and . . . vote for Barack Obama.
    Pelosi has amassed a power base in Congress during her 20 years as a House member, the last two years as Speaker. According to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Pelosi has doled out millions from her political action committee to help elect other congressional Democrats — ensuring their votes on the war, economy, and constitutional matters and their indebtedness to her reelection as speaker.
    A corporate media blackout of Sheehan’s challenge and the acquiescence of progressive talk show hosts, bloggers, and magazine editors and reporters further entrench Pelosi’s power.
    Pelosi sided with President-elect Obama late in the Democratic primaries against Sen. Clinton and has built bridges to his transition team. However, other members of Congress could serve with distinction as speaker, while forging a legislative agenda to benefit America and the people of America. It is time for a politically astute leader who possesses courage, morals, and ethics, perhaps someone like Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). (Pelosi called the civil rights leader “the conscience of the U.S. Congress.”)
    Under Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), public approval of Congress sunk in July to 9 percent, an all time low. Rather than be fooled again, it is time for the Democrats to elect a Speaker who knows how to use power.
    © 2008 Joyce Lynn


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I have an idea…
    Lets flush Reid down the same crapper Blogo is destined to dissappear down. At least Blogo still has balls. But Reid? No balls, no integrity, no nuthin’. He should flush real easily. No plunger required. Might as well let that scumbag GOP liar Roberts work the handle. After all, he’s the guy that snipped Reid’s balls.


  6. daCascadian says:

    Looks like the system lied to me that time, serving a page that said I did the captcha wrong.
    Please excuse.
    “It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine…” – REM


  7. daCascadian says:

    What a childish stunt.
    I suspect that Mr. Fitzgerald will have the last word in this matter. You folks need to cool off & let matters take their course.
    [second attempt – captcha still broken]
    “…It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine…” – REM


  8. daCascadian says:

    What a childish stunt.
    I suspect that Mr. Fitzgerald will have the last word in this matter. You folks need to cool off & let matters take their course.
    “…It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine…” – REM


  9. rich says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if Fitzgerald, the Illinois Senate, U.S. Senate Dems and Bobby Rush can work towards clearing Burris to be seated.
    The original crime was Blagos–not Burris’. And the Governor doesn’t lose his power to appoint. If we’ve learned anything the past 16 years, it’s that an Executive under siege can hang on, and still perform his duties.
    Sans Blago’s conviction and removal, Harry Reid will have to prove Senator-appoint Roland Burris is tainted to refuse to seat him legitimately.
    Very interesting. Sen. Reid’s congenital avoidance of even the merest hint of possible Republican attacks has hoist him on his own petard. Where there’s no sin or crime, and nothing to defend, Reid’s reflexive posture in the face of possible smears is unnecessary and damaging.
    So Bobby Rush has made an interesting move. If Reid punishes Burris for Blago’s as-yet unproven crime, he’s punishing the wrong man. That won’t go over well. Call it a lynching. Call it politically incompetent. But if Harry Reid can’t prove Burris is corrupt, or that Blago worked a quid pro quo, in THIS instance — he’ll pay a price. The more he drags it out, the higher that price will be. Many have noted Reid’s habit of handing Republicans the cudgel used to assail Democrats; acceding once again will up the cost once more.
    Happy New Year. May you live in intersting times. Or, in Chicago.


  10. Steve Clemons says:

    Sam — you may indeed be right. I think Burris was a very shrewd
    move by Blagojevich. The Governor may actually succeed in
    getting Burris there – which won’t in the end be all that bad for
    public interests as he seems to be a quite decent guy. But it does
    mean that he’ll have been tainted by Blagojevich’s earlier behavior.
    The Senate is now committed to fighting him being seated — but
    the institution’s legal authority in this is vague.
    All the best, steve clemons


  11. Sam Thornton says:

    Do I hear the sound of Democrats once again snatching defeat from the jaws of
    victory? Besides the Burris pick being responsible on its own merits, it’s a
    great tactical move by Blago.
    If Democrats continue riding their high horse on this issue, they may just find
    themselves ceding the seat to a Republican in a special election. Chalk up
    another moral victory for the Dems. Dummies.


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