This morning, the secretary of the United States Senate refused to allow Roland Burris entry to the Senate chambers.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White did not sign the certificate of appointment for Burris, which was the reason given by the Senate secretary. The real cause of the refusal to seat Burris is the obvious embarrassment by Democrats by Burris’ selection by Governor Blagojevich. Senate Majority Harry Reid is already on record opposing Burris, saying that there is “a cloud over anyone that comes from the state of Illinois being appointed by Blagojevich."
I understand that Democrats do not much like seating anyone nominated by Governor Blagojevich, but the idea that the law can be so easily subverted should trouble everyone. Like it or not, Governor Blagojevich is just that, the legally-elected Governor for the state of Illinois, and by law he has the right to select anyone he deems qualified to finish the remainder of Senator Obama’s term. It is important to understand that at this moment in time, not only has Governor Blagojevich not been convicted of anything, he has not been impeached nor has he even formally responded yet to the accusations against him. Imagine the precedent set, if a governor’s nominee is rejected while the governor is in the full legal authority of his office, simply because the appointment is unpopular with other Senators.
The hypocrisy of refusing to seat Burris is all the more blatant by the shameful manipulations being played to seat Al Franken as the new Senator from Minnesota. I can accept that Franken may have won the election, Coleman’s protests notwithstanding, but the obvious corruption of the method used in the recount is appalling. The notion of seating anyone while the process is still underway is so deceitful as to be unthinkable, except of course that we are talking about politicians. The process being used to shove him into the seat is so unnatural that it may be apropos to address his larcenous person as Senator Frankenstein.
This should not be taken to mean that Democrats alone are crooks at play. No, let’s not forget Senators Craig and Stevens, whose personal conduct went unexamined, let alone condemned, so long as they looked politically adept. The Grand Old Party became the object of well-deserved scorn by voters, for talking up character and values while keeping such reprobates in its ranks. Let’s not forget that support for our esteemed members of the United States Senate has held steady at subterranean numbers so low that Richard Nixon’s nadir was a dozen points higher. It may be that America’s greatest enemy in the near future may not be a Middle-East terrorist organization, an oil cartel, or a foreign conglomerate out to buy our infrastructure – it may well be that, as so often in the past, the greatest threat to America’s future is its Senate.