Commentary Magazine


Not Very Changey

This report doesn’t sound like Roland Burris is going away quietly:

I am now the junior senator from the state of Illinois,” he said from the pulpit of a South Side church on what he said was the eve of his trip to Washington.

Burris and his backers described his future in religious terms, saying his move to the U.S. Senate is preordained.

“Friends, we’re going to have to have some powerful prayer. . . . They can’t deny what the Lord has ordained,” said Burris at New Covenant Baptist Church, 740 E. 77th, surrounded by ministers, politicians and activists.

He said he was humbled by the support but said Illinois couldn’t send a better person to D.C., citing his history as a four-time-elected statewide officeholder.

Blagojevich’s appointment of Burris created an uproar. He made it as he faces allegations he tried to sell Obama’s seat — and foes who want him out of office.

Critics say a defiant Blagojevich used the race card in choosing Burris, the first African American to win statewide office.

Burris said he plans to report quietly for work. “I’m going to be as diplomatic and professional as I can be. I’m going to have to work with the other 99 senators. … I will not create any theater.”

He said he’ll tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid he was properly appointed.

And the Illinois Democrats keep digging, now sending a subpoena for Burris to appear at the impeachment proceedings on Wednesday when Burris is due to be in D.C. The Illinois Democrats in cahoots with Reid seem to be intent on playing the role of bully, trying to strong arm Burris out of his seat. It would seem the Great Conciliator, the Agent of Change, should give them some advice. If they all hope to escape this without further embarrassment it might be a good idea to start treating the Junior Senator from Illinois with some respect. If not, he’s going to make all their lives miserable — for as long as the litigation lasts.