Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Blagojevich, Burris and Reid

With President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration less than two weeks away, the ongoing saga over embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's decision to select Roland Burris as the incoming commander-in-chief's successor in the U.S. Senate continues to descend into even more political theatre.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-Nev.] refused to seat Burris. He cited Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's decision to not certify Blagojevich's selection because of the corruption allegations under which federal authorities arrested him early last month. The Associated Press reported earlier this morning Democrats had decided to seat Burris, but the Chicago Tribune later indicated Reid would seat Obama's successor only if the Illinois Supreme Court orders White to sign off on the appointment.

Blagojevich's appointment of Burris to succeed Obama in the U.S. Senate is perfectly legal, but his decision remains a brillant act of defiance against his innumerable critics who continue to call for his resignation. Capitol Hill's circus-like atmosphere yesterday in light of an expanding recession, the conflict on the Gaza Strip between Hamas and Israel and a virtual laundry list of other problems the Democratically-controlled Congress must tackle in the coming months threatens to make skeptical Americans more cynical of the politicians who claim to represent their interest. Let's hope Reid and company come to a quick solution and get back to the people's business.

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