Blagojevich Appoints

Illinois Governer Rod Blagojevich has appointed Roland Burris to replace President Elect Barack Obama as Senator from Illinois. It is Blagojevich’s legal right and responsibility to make this appointment, and Burris is probably a suitable choice, but the fact that Blagojevich is under suspicion of having attempted to sell this senate seat to the highest bidder makes this appointment problematic.

According to Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader:

It is truly regrettable that… Governor Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety. Anyone appointed by Governor Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and … will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.

It is not known how much Mr. Burris paid for the seat.


  1. #1 Joel
    December 30, 2008

    Don’t judge the appointee by the appointor, don’cha know?

  2. #2 JanieBelle
    December 30, 2008

    Under the circumstances, Joel, how can we not?

  3. #3 coffee fiend
    December 31, 2008

    Blagojevich represents everything that is crooked politics… and he doesn’t show even a hint of remorse

  4. #4 T. Hunt
    December 31, 2008

    Regardless of the governor’s legal troubles, it seems that Sen. Reid HAS to seat Burris absent any evidence that Burris (not Blagojevich) is unfit to serve. Blagojevich may be one rotten SOB but until there is another legal mechanism in place to fill Obama’s vacated seat, Illinois has to go with the one that’s in place now.

    For Sen. Reid to make that sort of statement before doing any checking on Mr. Burris is the same sort of ignorant use of power that we’ve put up with for 8 years. Follow the law: Gov. Blagojevich is still innocent until proven guilty and Mr. Burris is his lawful appointee unless he is deemed unfit (in his own right) to serve.

    Then again, the Democrats have shown they couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the directions were printed on the sole…

    T. Hunt

  5. #5 David Lee
    December 31, 2008

    I’m for following the law here. Innocent until proven guilty. It’s a lawful appointment.

    Burris is a reasonable choice and might make a better senator than Obama did. The bar for ethics in the Senate is pretty low, let’s face it. It’s a rich white club of war criminals, mostly. It could only be improved with some diversity.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    December 31, 2008

    Then again, the Democrats have shown they couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the directions were printed on the sole…

    I want to start a list of sayings like this. I love it. And of course it is totally true. most of the time.

    I would like to point out what no one, even Rachel Maddow and a constitutional law expert on the show yesterday seemed to not notice: The caucus is a post-election non-constitutional procedural thingie. Not being with the caucus is certainly an impediment, but it does not mean “can’t be a senator.”

    The part about the piss in the boot is, however, very true: Reid made and idle threat that he won’t be able to do much with. He did not think it through.

  7. #7 Joshua Zelinsky
    December 31, 2008

    The Constitution does allow the Senate to judge whether members are qualified. However, that seems to be generally interpreted to apply solely to basic issues such as age and citizenship. Given that there is no evidence that the appointment of Burris had anything wrong with it there’s no good reason for the Senate to not seat him.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    December 31, 2008

    Joshua: Right, but the leader said “not in my caucus.” I may be interpreting this wrong, but I interpret “caucus” differently than having an actual seat in the senate. As you seem to be suggesting, I doubt a resolution to not seat Burris would fly. (Of course, I don’t actually know how that is done.)