Tennessee Governor Tim Bredesen advises his fellow Democrats: “There is a clear path laid out in law as to how to fill this seat. Blagojevich is the governor. He has not been impeached, he has not been convicted of any crime, and the man he has appointed is by all accounts qualified and respectable. Fellow Democrats: stop what you’re doing, seat Mr. Burris, start us back on the path of respecting the rule of law even when we don’t like it, and most importantly turn your attention to a long list of issues that actually matter.”
Dan Schnur agrees: “Go ahead and give Burris the seat. A jury will decide whether Blagojevich is a criminal or just delusional. Either way, Burris is a hack. But there are no rules against hacks serving in the United States Senate. If it turns out that Burris gave the governor something of value in return for the seat (beyond support from African-American voters and jurors), he should be removed. But right now, there’s no good reason not to seat him.”
But Dan Gerstein suggests “carrots and sticks” be employed to get Burris to resign. Yeah, doesn’t Burris know this thing is bleeping golden?
And anyone who builds himself something like this isn’t likely, I suspect, to walk away from one more title (“U.S. Senator”) to be chiseled in just the right place.
Meanwhile, Colorado’s Governor selects someone for the open Senate seat there with expertise on a top issue (education), no relation to anyone in the Senate (past or present), and no excessive personal wealth. What’s up with that?
On the other hand, Michael Bennet is unknown, lacks any constituency, and may have a tough time in 2010. Perhaps governors shouldn’t get carried away with merit. (Or is Bennet a placeholder? It’s hard to keep straight who’s a real senator and who’s just seat-warming.)
One wonders if the next administration will explain the situation in Gaza in the unequivocal language used by President Bush in his weekly radio address: “This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas — a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction. Eighteen months ago, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in a coup, and since then has imported thousands of guns and rockets and mortars. Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, but Hamas routinely violated that ceasefire by launching rockets into Israel. On December 19th, Hamas announced an end to the ceasefire and soon unleashed a barrage of rockets and mortars that deliberately targeted innocent Israelis — an act of terror that is opposed by the legitimate leader of the Palestinian people, President Abbas. . . The United States is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation facing the Palestinian people. Since Hamas’s violent takeover in the summer of 2007, living conditions have worsened for Palestinians in Gaza. By spending its resources on rocket launchers instead of roads and schools, Hamas has demonstrated that it has no intention of serving the Palestinian people.”
In its report on President Bush’s condemnation of Hamas the Washington Post plays “honest broker”:”Bush’s criticism of Hamas was focused largely on allegations that the group endangers innocent Palestinians, using civilian areas to hide in and focusing scant resources on weapons.” Excuse me, but is there some factual dispute over Hamas’s situating weapons in neighborhoods and using children as human shields? And if President Obama makes a similar comment will the Post still describe his information as based on mere “allegations”?
If conservatives didn’t have enough complaints about George W. Bush, the New York Times praises a number of his health care efforts. Actually, if you look carefully enough at the reservations raised by the Times (e.g. refusing to let government set drug prices), you’ll find some pretty good reasons for conservatives to be happy as well.