Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Burris Tainted? What A Surprise!

A few weeks ago, when former-Governor Rod Blagojevich was caught by the Justice Department on tape trying to sell the vacant Illinois senate seat, many progressive bloggers warned about seating anyone appointed by Blagojevich for the seat. At the time, it even looked like Majority Leader Reid and senate Democrats understood the situation. Reid acted like he'd developed a spine when he said they would never seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich.

But then Blagojevich appointed an African-American, Roland Burris (pictured), and the waffling began. Even though the Democratic Party has a proud tradition of standing up for racial justice, Reid acted like he was afraid of being branded a racist and once again showed he really had no spine. After all, Burris claimed he had done nothing for Blagojevich and had been asked for nothing. He even testified this way under oath in the Illinois Legislature.

Progressive bloggers pointed out that Burris had been a fund-raiser for Blagojevich in the past, and it was unknown what he has promised to get the senate seat. But we were ignored, and even criticized for speaking against this "honest" politician. After all, he would vote as a Democrat, wouldn't he?

Personally, I didn't care how he would vote or what color his skin was. Allowing Blagojevich to fill the senate seat was just wrong. Anyone he appointed would be tainted and we would always wonder whether promises were made or money was paid for the seat. Now it looks like we were right.

Afraid he had been caught on tape by the Justice Department, Burris is now changing his story. He admits he lied to the Illinois legislature. It turns out that Blagojevich's brother asked Burris three times to raise money for the governor -- and Burris agreed. He still claims that no money ever changed hands, because he says he's a "lousy fundraiser".

How can we believe that? And even if it's true, were promises made of future actions or money? The man has lied to us. He wanted to be senator so bad that he made some kind of deal with Blagojevich. Whether anything actually happened or not is a moot point now.

Burris should be kicked out of the senate (actually, he should never have been allowed in). And while we're at it, can we replace Reid as Majority Leader? He has shown no leadership skills.

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