Look Who’s “Shredding the Constitution” Now

The Wall Street Journal’s editors take no prisoners with this slam at the Senate Democrats:

While the Constitution says the Senate can determine its own membership, the Court in Powell interpreted Article I, Section 5 to say that “in judging the qualifications of its members, Congress is limited to the standing qualifications prescribed in the Constitution.” Nowhere in the Constitution is there a “qualification” saying that a Senator must not have been appointed by an embarrassing Illinois Governor.

Aside from the Democrats’ weak legal position, one also has to question their political acumen on this one. Sure, they don’t want an “Appointee of Blago” lurking around the Senate for two years as a constant reminder of their corrupt Governor and their own failure to immediately strip Blago of his appointment powers. But will it be any better with “Appointee of Blago’s Successor”? Really, that would seem to set off a whole new round of  second-guessing and speculation about that person’s involvement in the Chicago quagmire.

Indeed, is there any Illinois Democrat who hasn’t given money to Blago, isn’t one of “Senate Candidates #1-5” and has no ties to any of Blago-gate’s multifaceted schemes? If so, he/she is likely to be a placeholder that will throw open the seat in 2010 anyway.

And to be blunt, how’s it going to look for the Democrats to be blocking Burris after we learn that Harry Reid objected to three other African-American politicians to fill the slot? The Chicago Sun Times reports:

Days before Gov. Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, top Senate Democrat Harry Reid made it clear who he didn’t want in the post: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Danny Davis or Emil Jones.

Perhaps the tapes which reportedly captured some of the conversations will reveal why Reid didn’t think any of these politicians could win a state-wide race.

In short, trying to block Burris seems like a huge hassle for very little benefit. Why not accept Burris gracefully, impeach Blago and declare that the party won’t consider (or fund) Burris as the incumbent in 2010? At some point, the Democrats would be wise to cut their losses — and this seems the easiest way to do it. As an added benefit it would also comport with the Constitution.