Friday, January 2, 2009

Going Burristic

I'm a little mystified by Harry Reid's continued grandstanding re the IL senate seat. It's pretty clear that Burris didn't pay Blago -- he doesn't have the money, he isn't that dumb, even Blago isn't dumb enough to have asked -- and given that, I don't see what the Senate's grounds are. Governors are under no constitutional obligation to choose the best man for the job; they may, and do, use whatever criteria they like; they may actively seek corrupt or bad appointees (if e.g. they want someone they can easily unseat in the future); in fact, as far as I know it is perfectly legal for a governor to consider only people who are willing to pay him a million dollars, as long as he doesn't collect. The Amar/Chafetz argument that the appointment violated due process because some candidates were unfairly excluded is patently silly. And it seems politically expedient to drop the matter rather than to drag it out for another month. The seat is up for election in two years; Burris can't win a statewide Democratic primary (he lost to Blago!); there's no reason to think that he'll be in the public eye at all if Reid backs down.

I understand why it's politically expedient for Obama to oppose the Burris pick: Burris = Blago + Black power, both of which are toxic to him. But (1) he'd clearly rather see the issue dead somehow, (2) he isn't the one doing the shouting, Reid is, and I don't understand why Reid thinks this is a good idea.

4 comments:

Jeremy said...

Recently the prosecution was given a 3 month extension to file an indictment.

"A federal judge on Monday gave prosecutors an additional three months to obtain a corruption indictment of Mr. Blagojevich..."

This may force them to take Burris. Could you imagine them not allowing the seat to be filled until the conclusion of a trial. This thing could stretch out two years!

The prosecution really must not have shit if they felt they needed to ask for an additional 3 months to dredge lake Michigan for dead bodies with Blago's fingerprints.

Jenny said...

You sonofabitch. That's all. Keep doing whatever it is you do.

Sarang said...

I don't know how this will go down: 1. Reid is in high dudgeon and won't back down; 2. Obama can't make him b'se of the weird racial politics involved. But as you point out, if Blago can't be removed there's nothing to be done and Reid will give up embarrassed in the end. The prosecution's fuckup is forgivable -- they figured he'd quit, and so did I until he didn't -- but at this point it seems best to let the story die asap.

Jenny's remark -- assuming it pertains to Blago -- is a valuable corrective to the media's one-sided coverage.

Jeremy said...

Done Deal