Make that one lapse

I’ll agree that Obama’s vetting team dropped the ball on Governor Bill Richardson when it came to his nomination for Commerce Secretary.  But as I understand from CNN, the Obama team knew there was a probe, what they did not know, until Richardson personally told them, was that it personally affected his office of Governor. At that point, Richardson also withdrew his name from consideration. Which is where I would say that was entirely decent of the man.  I have no idea what “news reports” David Broder was referring to, since CNN did not refer to this matter until after the fact.  Should the Obama team have vetted Richardson better, damn straight they should have.  At the least it proves an embarrassment.  But because Richardson willingly withdrew his name, it does say a lot about his willingness to see the new administration on better ethical grounds than the last one.  Where GW, we know for a fact was willing to cling to and even reward failure because of the ideological alliances they held with him.  At the least, Broder could have discussed that aspect, he couldn’t be bothered.  And thus we know what slant Broder will be taking with the new administration; any minor mistake will be overreacted to and harshly judged.  But Richardson withdrew his name before Obama has even been sworn into office.  So, until inauguration day, the incoming Obama administration lacks one nominee, who will have to be replaced.  That too Broder might have remarked upon and did not.  Instead…

According to CNN, Obama basically stayed out of the Senate fight over not seating anyone appointed to Obama’s vacated Senate seat that was appointed by Gov. Blago.  He did however have stern words to Gov. Blago that he ought to vacate his own office over corruption charges.  I don’t recall CNN reporting anything like what Broder claimed, that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid was backed by Obama over the refusal to seat anyone appointed by Blago.  While I can understand not wanting someone “tainted” by Blago; Blago at the time of appointing Ronald Burris was not yet facing impeachment, federal prosecutors had not yet brought federal charges to bring him before a federal court of law.  So regardless of his well-publicized taint, he was still within his power to appoint anyone he wished and for the appointee to have his signed paperwork submitted to the Senate.  So it ends up being the highly egotistical—and amusingly so—Ronald Burris.  CNN did not go into the details of Burris running for various offices and being rejected by the voters, I’ll assume that would be true.  But that the offices Burris did hold, presumably he was above reproach.  Is Burris to be tainted because it may take months to remove Blago from office and in that time, the Senate will have to tend to the affairs of passing laws with only 98 members?  And afterwards, there would have to be the selection of the Governor to replace Blago should he be removed from office, a careful scrutiny of that individual (if that is possible in Illinois politics) who replaces him would then be in order.  How long would that take?  Can the Senate do without some appointee to Obama’s old seat for a year or better?  Coleman’s lawsuit challenging Al Franken’s winning the election in Minnesota will keep that seat vacant for months, or unless Coleman finally concedes under pressure that he was actually defeated by a comedian.  So, I can consider beyond Rep. Rush playing the race card, that Harry Reid did have much to reconsider.  He may have to bite the bullet and place Burris in that Illinois Senate seat because of some major issues coming down the pike that immediately affect the American people.  That too was something that Broder might have discussed, the enormous pressure that Congress is facing to get something done.  And the American people might be entertained by petty vendettas in the politcal world, but that it won’t keep a roof over their heads.  While Blago is still governor, he has the authority to appoint whomever he wishes.  If as Broder suggests that Burris hadn’t even held political office for the last 20 years, why not him?  As he would have been relatively free of the pay for play scandal afflicting the Gov.’s office.  Which Broder couldn’t be bothered considering that as well.  Yeah, we all know the political maneuverings that was to follow and Burris’ own grandstanding before the cameras to get what he wanted.  But this embarrassment is for the Democratic party as a whole and not something to be hung solely on Obama’s neck like an albatross.  Too bad, that Broder wasn’t prepared to look at the broader picture before spewing.  Some dean of journalists.

On the other hand, Jonah Goldberg looks at the crapola of Illinois politics and rubs his hands gleefully.  We already know where Goldberg stands at anytime, his partisan rancor is well out in front of any serious reporting or opinion making at least based on the facts.  I read his column through, I’ll assume that as far as Illinois politics is concerned; there is nothing that is now salvagable about any of it and the voters could scrap the whole thing and start over from scratch.  But that is for Illinois to resolve, what has that to do with the President elect?  Then as a reminder to Goldberg, no state in the union is above reproach.  I’ll reference former Senator Larry Craig who got caught in a sex sting operation.  He pleaded guilty, after he got caught and exposed to the national news media, he claimed he would resign.  Then he went back on his word on both counts.  He proved to be a mighty major embarrassment to the state of Idaho and the GOP who supported him.  (Sexual misfeasance is only a no no if you are a Democratic president, such as Bill Clinton.) But no one tried to hang Craig on Bush.  How about that.  Because Craig was the Senate’s problem and the problem of the GOP in general and a problem for the State of Idaho.  And Craig’s legal woes were of his own making.  So let us put it bluntly, even if Idaho is known for putting some of the zaniest people in office at the federal level, Idahoans unlike the punditry (Goldberg and Broder) recognize personal responsibility.  You wallow in the mud, we are going to say to your face that you stink.  We won’t say, that your neighbor who didn’t wallow in the mud with you stinks as well.  But leave it to Broder and Goldberg to say the opposite:  You stink just because of the state you represent, the people you have associations with, not necessarily because of your own actions.  To that I reply, why do you suppose the GOP got trounced by 2008 and a Dem African-American got elected to the presidency?  Simply because the GOP weren’t prepared to stand on principle at all when it came to GW.  For Goldberg too, he could be looking at the bigger picture too instead of allowing his “sore loser” stance to act as a set of blinders.

Every party has its problems, with the Burris case in particular, the problem for the Dems has been exposed early.


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