Set Up

So it seems the Governor  has gone and appointed former A.G. and primary rival Ronald Burris to fill Obama's seat in the US Senate.  The sheer audacity of it makes me wish I'd gotten that prescription for anti-seizure medication. Or at least anti-nausea.   

If the Elvis-impersonator-slash-governor isn't totaly insane, than he's a very clever bastard.  What a perfectly Machiavellian way to poison your political rival!  Burris ran against the governer when he was up for his second term, and was endorsed by, you guessed it, Obama. Now Blagojevich has made it impossible for Burris to become senator -- by nominating him as senator!  Governor Pilate would be proud...

What bugs me most of all, though, is the racism inherent in the nomination. It's becoming clear that Governor Elvis chose Burris because of his race.  He's banking on the Senate (and the Illinois Secretary of State) being uncomfortable with refusing to seat Burris, as he would be the only African American senator now that Obama has been elected president.    (A future entry coming, on how there isn't really a strong legal option to refuse to seat Burris). 

I'm willing to bet by the time I get back from dinner, the news and blogosphere will be filled with exactly this conversation about race. It's exactly the kind of dysfunctional manipulation that has given affirmative-action the poisoned taint of tokenism.   

The answer isn't having a corrupt governor appoint an African American candidate who has lost almost every race he's run in.  The answer might be Illinois electing or appointing a competent candidate -- there are a lot to chose from in Illinois (my home state). And the question isn't just "Will Illinois appoint an African American senator"  but "Why are the other 99 senators white?"

OK, dinner calls...

1 comment:

  1. Hey, whatever blago's motivation are he will find them cold comfort in his prison cell.