The Senate has a plan to slow-walk the Roland Burris appointment until Rod Blagojevich is impeached. This plan will guarantee dozens of stories about race, the Democrats' slap in the face to African-Americans, the deep cruelty and perversion of the Constitution by the Democrats, and just an overall bad spate of stories in the news as Burris makes the case for his rightful seating.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has said he will not certify the controversial appointment by disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
But even if the Illinois justices force him to make the appointment official, Senate Democrats in Washington will still resist.
Senate officials tell Politico that if presented with the appointment, they are likely to give the Rules Committee 90 days to determine the propriety of the appointment by looking into such issues as whether Blagojevich received anything in return for it.
“A motion to refer credentials to the committee has the effect of delaying seating,” a Senate Democratic aide said. “The motion is debatable and amendable.”
Another official explained: “That buys us 90 days.”
That should be enough so the senators won’t have to act to prevent Burris from joining the chamber. Blagojevich’s defiance inflamed Illinois legislators, speeding up the impeachment process.
“He will not be governor by Valentine’s Day,” the official said.
What a truly awful idea. It's a recipe to make it an even bigger, more consequential story, symbolic of a general Democratic malfeasance, all pushed by the conservative noise machine, of course. Not to mention the "rupture" in the Democratic Party that will be endlessly flogged. Four more black House members have called for Burris to be seated. Then there's this circus:
Should Roland Burris show up Tuesday for duty in the Senate, armed police officers stand ready to bar him from the floor.
This cinematic showdown is among an elaborate set of contingencies that Democratic leaders are planning if, as expected, the Illinoisan shows up with newly elected senators pressing his claim that he is the legitimate replacement for President-elect Barack Obama after the disputed appointment of Burris by Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich.
A black man being blocked entry to the Capitol. That's going to look AWESOME on TV. As Jane notes, these are the same Capitol police that weren't employed to arrest members of the Bush Administration for failing to honor legal Congressional subpoenas.
Meanwhile, over in New York, David Paterson is considering appointing a "caretaker" Senator for two years, who would allow the seat to go up for grabs in 2010. That's a great idea except for the "caretaker" part. Why not do away with the appointment process altogether if something can happen like it has in Illinois, or the pressures to allow the people to choose there own representatives forces a caretaker like in New York? Why the hell are we still empowering individual governors to make these decisions?
UPDATE: Robert Farley makes a good point, that Cabinet appointments would be less likely to choose Senators if special elections were mandated, but it's not a good enough point to keep a functional aristocracy in place. Some things make sense regardless of the political consequences.