Friday, February 20, 2009



Remember when the Illinois state legislature was madly trying to come up with a way to present an interim US Senator other than by means of an appointment by Rod Blagojevich? Remember when the US Senate Democrats, led by Harry Reid, said that they would accept no Blagojevich appointee, regardless of who it is, because the disgraced governor’s selection would be too “tainted” by the scandal? Remember when Mr Blagojevich named Roland Burris, and the US Senate said “Nope, no Blagojevich appointee, too tainted.”

And then remember when Harry Reid start the process of backing down? First came “leaving the door open to negotiations”. Then there were the meetings and the setting of conditions. And finally, the conditions met, the backdown was complete: we saw Senator Burris seated.

We might have thought that the end of it, but for that nagging doubt, that voice in the back of our collective mind that told us that there was something else. That Harry Reid was right from the start, and shouldn’t have fallen into what seems to be the standard Democratic pit in recent years, the bottomless pit of spineless acquiescence.

Even so, we almost tuned that voice out, quieted it, squelched it, stifled it.

Almost. But it came bellowing back out, newly fortified.

Stronger and louder, day by day by day, until it became a demand for the resignation of a Senator seated only a month earlier — of a Senator that should not have been seated at all, because of the taint.

Senator Burris should be removed, and his position should be filled by a special election in Illinois.

The states need better ways of replacing elected officials than having it done by appointment. And the US Senate Democrats need a stronger leader than Harry Reid, who has let us down quite consistently for years now.

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