Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Foot Shot

In a rather dismal display of self-serving and self-destructive stupidity, the Senate refused to seat Roland Burriss as the Junior Senator from Illinois. The new and improved excuse: his certificate of appointment was deficient.

From today's NY Times:

Mr. Burris made his way to the secretary of the Senate’s office for what Senate officials described as a “brief and amicable” meeting about why Mr. Burris’s certificate of appointment did not comply with Senate rules.

During that session, where Mr. Burris was backed by a team of lawyers and Senate officials by a team of parliamentarians, participants said that Mr. Burris asked to be sworn in. But he was told by the Senate officials that his credential was invalid since it lacked the state seal as well as the signature of the Illinois secretary of state, who has refused to sign.

Oh, please.

The real reason is that the Democratic Senate leadership shot off their collective mouths too early in order to distance themselves from a governor just charged with corruption for trying to sell the senate seat. They didn't bother thinking it through. Now, given the general consensus among legal scholars that the appointment is valid because that governor has not been either convicted or impeached, the leadership has to find some reason for their initial stupidity. Apparently the lack of a signature on the credential was the only thing they could find.

Make no mistake, at this point the rather inelegantly designed play-acting (and that is just what it is) is really about saving face:

Senior Democratic officials said there was a growing sense among Senate Democrats and advisers to Mr. Obama that Mr. Burris should ultimately be seated, as long as it could be done in a face-saving way for Democrats who had initially said they would block the appointment, made by Rod R. Blagojevich, the embattled governor of Illinois.


Oh, and heckuva job, Harry. That foot you just shot? It's yours.


Well, tickle-me-Elmo, what have we here?

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats plan to accept Roland Burris for President-elect Barack Obama's vacant seat, the Associated Press is reporting.

I can't wait to see the reasoning for this 180.

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