Control The Team
Jane Hamsher sez:
The Illinois legislature had their chance to strip Blago of his appointment power and call a special election, but the Democrats got cute and decided they didn't want to risk losing the seat (Reid sent a letter opposing a special election).
So they made this particular bed.
Now the Senate Democratic Caucus have said they will not let Burris join their exclusive little club. Really? As The Christian Progressive Liberal notes over at Jack & Jill Politics, that's a rich one:
Harry Reid, as well as the President-Elect, needs to explain why Traitor Joe Lieberman was allowed to keep his Senate seat, his committee assignments and his privileges when the man all but joined the Republican Party by publicly dissing PE Obama, and actively campaigning for Obama’s opponent, Sen. John McCain - thereby signing off on all the race-baiting inherently involved in McCain’s campaign, brought with an assist from the Moose Queen Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Reid needs to explain what the difference is in keeping Lieberman the Weasel vs. seating Roland Burris, the near-squeaky clean former AG from Illinois.
I would add that the little end run by the Attorney General to have Blagojevich removed by the state supreme court and the Senate's clearly unconstitutional assertion that they can refuse to seat anyone they choose doesn't exactly reassure me that the Dems are going to be all that much more respectful of the law than the Republicans were. There are proper ways to handle this stuff and these are not among them.
I agree with Will Bunch. They should just seat Burris. It's not the end of the world, he's a good Dem who, as the Jack and Jill poster Jane excerpts above says, is far likelier to support Obama's agenda than the backstabbing Joe Lieberman. They blew it and they shouldn't make it any worse by refusing to seat someone who mets all the legal requirements of the job. (And anyway, this could be a dangerous precedent. Suppose senators in the future decide that in a time 'o war, they won't seat someone who calls himself a socialist --- like Bernie Sanders? It could easily happen.)
I have to say that I'm a little bit disappointed in the Obama political team. I have absolutely no problem with their response to the ignoramuses in the press or the way they conducted their internal investigation. But the stupidity about the special election, the AG filing that idiotic suit, letting Reid and the senate Dems run around like a bunch of hysterical Victorian spinsters --- it's not good. They need to get control of the Democratic political professionals in a hurry or they're going to screw them before they even get started.