In a display of political bravado, disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich today appointed former Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate, challenging national Democratic leaders to reject the appointment of an African-American to the seat that propelled Barack Obama to the White House.
The defiant move tests the resolve of Senate Democrats who said they would not admit anyone appointed by Blagojevich, who is facing impeachment after being accused of trying to sell the Senate seat for personal gain. And it reveals to a nation celebrating Obama's victory the underbelly of Chicago's race-based political scene.
President-elect Obama supported the announcement by Senate Democrats that Blagojevich's appointment "will ultimately not stand."
I'm not so sure about that. It seems to me that the Senate Democrats won't want to kick the black man out of the Senate because of the alleged crimes of the Governor. Remember how defiant the Democratic Party leadership was about Michigan and Florida voting too early in the primary season. Well, all their delegates were seated in the end.
Also, this gives Blago a good argument for his legal innocence. Actions speak louder than words. Maybe he talked about what he might get for the Senate seat, but in the end he appointed a worthy black man (and former political opponent). No harm, no foul. I think he'll get off without a trial and without an impeachment, probably after agreeing to resign and getting a guaranteed retirement pension from the state. The Democrats don't want any more distractions so they'll let him go peacefully. It's harder to figure out Fitzgerald. After his successful (but seemingly petty) prosecution of Scooter Libby, I'm guessing, he won't want to give up. I'd love to see Obama fire him (just for the political drama), but I don't think Obama has the brass to do that.