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View Diary: Mr. Burris Is Coming To Washington (402 comments)

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  •  I carpool with a coworker from Chicago (0+ / 0-)

    Every day of the week.  We've talked quite a bit about the Blagojevich scenario.

    He was totally unsurprised at Blago turning out crooked, thinks he should resign immediately, and refuses to trust anyone selected by him.

    Granted, he doesn't live in Illinois any longer, but he did up to about a year ago.  Short of a special election, is there any way of telling how many Illinoisans feel the way you do, versus how many feel the way my coworker does?

    Besides, a special election asks a different question than the question at hand.  A special election asks, who do you want to be senator?  The question at hand is, should Illinois have two senators, Durbin and Burris, or just one, Durbin.

    False dichotomy.  It ignores the potential for the Illinois legislature to impeach Blagojevich or the Supreme Court to rule him incapable of making the choice--both of which options were on the table and not taken--at which point Quinn would have appointed someone and nobody in the Senate would stand in the way.

    This perfectly legal ultimatum was in place before Blagojevich ever made his choice, and the members of your state's government chose not to act to head it off.

    Thanks for your concern, but I didn't see anybody suggesting non-residents have veto power over appointed senators from other states.

    According to the Constitution, 67 very specific non-residents do in fact have that power.

    •  Options not taken (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inland, rainmanjr

      ignores the potential for the Illinois legislature to impeach Blagojevich or the Supreme Court to rule him incapable of making the choice--both of which options were on the table and not taken

      Precisely.  The legislature could also have opted to change the law to require a special election.  They did not.  So, the process for selecting a new senator defaults to the duly elected governor.

      We don't like him.  No one is surprised that he might be dirty.  But we re-elected him anyway, and must live with it for now. For me, I am looking forward to having 59 democratic votes, not 58.  

      Why are we always looking for ways to hand victory to the republicans?  And we blame Harry Reid??  I guarantee you that a similarly appointed republican in a republican majority would not be facing this kind of doubt.

      •  Seat Burris and move on (1+ / 0-)
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        lgcap

        As far as I know the law has not changed.  You are still innocent until proven guilty.  Blog babies has the right to appoint Burris and Burris has the right to take the seat.  give up the nonsense and let the guy be seated and move on - this is rediculous.

        Not only did we beat the British now we have to beat the Bushes.

        by libbie on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 04:30:38 PM PST

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        •  And... (0+ / 0-)

          Blog babies has the right to appoint Burris and Burris has the right to take the seat.

          And the Senate has the right to refuse to seat him or expel him from the Senate.

          This isn't about what's legal, it's a question of who should exercise what legal authority they have.  It's a question of what is both wise and right.  And it's unwise to seat anyone appointed by someone facing as much public heat as Blagojevich, even if they themselves appear to be clean.

          Blago is trying to tie himself as an anchor to the state of Illinois and the Democratic Party.  If he's going down, he's perfectly happy to take us all down with him.  It's in our party's and our country's best interests to cut him loose.

        •  You're right Libbie (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          libbie

          BarbinMD has posted and written several diaries that have been simply putrid in their villification of Burris and distorting him and his record.  BarbinMD conveniently forgot to state Burris's main point as reported by AP:  But in front of a scrum of reporters at Chicago's Midway airport, Burris exclaimed: "This is all politics and theater, but I am the junior senator (for Illinois) according to every law book in the nation."

      •  We're better than they are (0+ / 0-)

        Precisely.  The legislature could also have opted to change the law to require a special election.  They did not.  So, the process for selecting a new senator defaults to the duly elected governor.

        Reid was public with his ultimatum.  Do not try to appoint a new Senator.  Every Democratic Senator, many Governors, and the President-Elect all called on Blagojevich to resign and not to try to appoint a new Senator.  It was crystal-clear that, if Blagojevich did make an appointment (perfectly legal under Illinois law), the Senate would nevertheless attempt to block it (perfectly legal under the Constitution).

        With that knowledge, neither of the other two branches of government in Illinois took the steps that they could have taken to remove Blagojevich's power to make that appointment.  They could have headed off this confrontation and did not.

        Which is why I'm frustrated now by the "woe is Illinois" comments and diaries.  Illinois--or, the duly elected/appointed government thereof--could have prevented this and chose not to.

        Not that I expect Reid to follow through on his threat.  Our Majority Leader has never made an ultimatum he didn't decide to abandon.  And I think we'll pay the price for it, in terms of effective governance.  We're in a much better position with 58 votes out of 99 than with 59 votes out of 100 and a Blagojevich anchor.

        I guarantee you that a similarly appointed republican in a republican majority would not be facing this kind of doubt.

        And it's precisely because we Democrats must hold ourselves to a higher standard than the Republicans do that this entire ordeal is taking place.  The voters just resoundingly rejected Republican governance partly because of the blind eye they turned toward corruption.

        We must have not only no impropriety, but not even the appearance of impropriety, or else our tenure in the majority will be short-lived and impotent.  Don't forget that Democratic hubris and accusations of corruption played a large part in our resounding 1994 Congressional defeat, and the Democratic Party has still barely recovered its spine since then.

    •  Well, you could ask us. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rainmanjr

      Or you could see the opinion of the Illinois body politic as found in its statutes.  Oh, look, it gives appointment power to the governor.

      What more of an opinion do you want?  

      Like any exclusive club, the Senate SHOULD be able to choose its own membership. Burris? Not our kind, dear.

      by Inland on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 04:11:44 PM PST

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      •  I doubt I could ask 13 million people anything (0+ / 0-)

        If I could, special elections wouldn't cost so much.

        •  That's why we don't have them. (0+ / 0-)

          They cost so much.  How about asking us if we want special elections?  Because the statute books have the answer to that question right there, in a big "no thanks".  

          I guess in light of the lack of other information, we'll just have to settle for the will of the people as to process, as expressed in statute. Illinois people, that is, assuming we still count for anything.

          Like any exclusive club, the Senate SHOULD be able to choose its own membership. Burris? Not our kind, dear.

          by Inland on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 05:24:29 PM PST

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