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Tuesday
Dec302008

Blago Picks Burris, Continuing the Greatest Political Show On Earth

Embattled Ill. Gov. "Hot" Rod Blagojevich never fails to disappoint.

Throwing everyone a curveball Tuesday, Hot Rod picked the esteemed careerist, four decades plus Democratic veteran/law & order, former Illinois Attorney General and first popularly elected black state official Roland Burris as his appointment to President-elect Barack Obama's senate seat.

CHICAGO — Defying U.S. Senate leaders and his own state's lawmakers, Gov. Blagojevich on Tuesday appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate. Blagojevich, accused of trying to sell Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder, praised the 71-year-old Burris' integrity and asked that the corruption allegations not "taint this good and honest man."

"The people of Illinois are entitled to have two United States senators represent them in Washington D.C.," Blagojevich said. "As governor I am required to make this appointment."

Burris, standing at the governor's side, said he's eager to get to work in Washington. He said he has no connection to the charges against Blagojevich, who was arrested on Dec. 9 and accused of trying to profit from appointing Obama's replacement.

Burris was the first African-American elected to major statewide office. He's served as Illinois' comptroller and ran for governor three times _ the last time losing to Blagojevich. (Huffington Post)

Fascinating!

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is continuing his swan song that the senate will not accept anyone the tainted Blago picks into the Dem caucus. But by picking Burris, Hot Rod has thrown down the ultimate triple dog dare -- pass over my qualified black appointment, haters! -- a point clarified at the press conference in even simpler terms by Illinois Dem. Rep. Bobby Rush*.

*Not to be confused by the chittlin' circuit, nightfishin', proudly henpecked -- pecked by the right hen -- bluesman Bobby Rush who enjoys serenading thicky-thick girls. Because with a mama who loves blues from Arkansas that's who I thought of immediately when I heard the name Rep. Bobby Rush. I half expected him to belt out how "Sue, she's a good 'un!" when he hopped on the stage.

Noting that without Obama there would be no African-American members of the Senate, Rush, a former Black Panther, warned the press not to "hang or lynch" Burris by associating him with the ethics scandals plaguing the governor.

"I would ask you the not hang or lynch the appointee as you castigate the appointer and separate the appointee from the appointer," said Rush. "Roland Burris is worthy and he is the only one who can stand in the gap during this time and gather the confidence, re-establishing confidence of the people of the state of Illinois." (Huffington Post)

Rush, in so many terms, asked that people not punish Burris for Blago's crimes. Fair enough. But he also made the point that a Negroless Senate cannot stand. You can read this a lot of ways. Or you can go the simple route and claim that Rep. Rush just said if you don't confirm Burris, you are a racist.

I mean. Here's a direct quote.

"There are no African-Americans in the Senate, and I don't think that anyone, any U.S. Senator who is sitting right now would want to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the U.S. Senate. I don't think they want to go on record doing that.

Rush promised to take his case to the Congressional Black Caucus, and he said he intended to lobby Senators as well -- including his Illinois colleague, Dick Durbin.

"Let me remind you that the state of Illinois and the people of the state of Illinois in their collective wisdom have sent two African-Americans to the U.S. Senate," Rush said. "That makes a difference. This is not just a state of Illinois matter ... but indeed, by this decision, it has tremendous national importance."

That's an interesting way to go in getting a fellow appointed. (To be fair, Blago also played a little "he's a black guy, push it through" hand of bid whist there too.) I don't know how successful that will be, but it's guaranteed to be entertaining.

Either way, NOW this shizz is officially interesting to me. Burris is 71 and has watched other hot shots come and go while he was passed over. First Jesse Jackson, Sr. running for president. Then Jesse's son going to the House. Then Carol Moseley Braun going to the senate first, followed later by Barack Obama, who is now our president-elect. Burris in many ways paved the way for these individuals and during the whole press conference he had a grin on his face that said, "You will not take this away from me."

This appointment, which everyone else was running from, Burris essentially ran towards as this was his last chance at such a huge and influential position. I can't really hate on the guy for this category five level of "opportunity = crisis." He knows he's being used and he doesn't care. If anything, at this point, home skillet might being using Blago. And we all know that the senate seat is a *bleeping* valuable thing.

This is going to be a lovely way to burn.

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Reader Comments (21)

Lol at Momma Snob for getting the Bobby Rushes confused. Loves it!

I don't know much about AG Burris' qualifications, but NO ONE that Blago nominates should be allowed to take Obama's seat. I don't care if they would be the only Martian to be in Senate.

Anything that comes from Blago's camp is tainted and can't be trusted.

December 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergrown

Yeah, I was thinking about the same Bobby Rush and was major confused. What do you expect from an Alabama hillbilly? Okay, Imma need these white dudes to stop playing the race card. I'm also gonna need for a friend of mine to get the heck out of Chicago. Craziness on this level has GOT to be catching.

December 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterroslynholcomb

roslyn: To me, if you hear the name Bobby Rush and you start singing "Sue" you are all right with me.

She's a good 'un! She took her shoes off! That's what she did!

Lawd, my mama, my aunt and that music. My Aunt saw Bobby in concert a few years back and was SOOOO HAPPY that she got pulled up on the stage (my aunt is a big, big girl -- of course), so she was more than happy to play "Sue" for Bobby that night.

But really, if someone challenges my blackness EVER, I am whipping out a "I can sing a Bobby Rush song" defense.

Oh ... and Chicago has got THE CRAZY baaaad.

December 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Snob

ughhh. Blagobreath got em back with a black dude. "I would ask you the not hang or lynch the appointee..."
yep he got his haters back.

but what happened to letting the people of Ill. decide if he was fit to stay in office, let alone appoint someone to replace PE Obama??

reminds me of Clarence Thomas.....

December 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertxbabe98

I think that Obama's statement should nullify the race card Rush tried.

December 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMJ

I wish Blago had appointed Diane Nash with whom I used to march in Nashville before most of you were botn. She is one of the unsung greats and I still hope somehow she ends up in Barack's chair. I have written about this several tomes at HuffPo. Thanks for the sanity here.

December 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStephen C. Rose

So the assumption is that we black people must accept any black person, just because he's black? And the rest of the populace has to accept this black nominee because otherwise they're racists and "lynchers"? How about all of us hold out for someone whose qualifications are known/verifiable/unimpeachable? How about we demand someone who does the entire country proud? Too much to hope for, I suppose.

December 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Burris should've just said, "No."

December 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterInterrobang?!

He just finished reading the Biblical story of the 'unjust steward" and is trying to save his azz.

December 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteruglyblackjohn

Funniest comment posted about this:

Blago done pulled a shank out from underneath his perfectly coiffed hair and cut all them mofos and there's not a damn thing any of them can do about it except put a Hello Kitty band-aid on the situation and call it a day.

HILARIOUS.

I loved it.

And I support Burris for this position.

December 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrikyrah

Stop saying Burris should've refused the appointment and stop saying anybody Blago appoints will be tainted. Stop drinking the koolaid. All politicians wheel and deal. That's nothing new.

December 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRo

nice post

December 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterweb design India

Blago was given a direct order by Senate Democrats not to appoint anyone because of his tainted record. Now, if you were hiring someone for a job, and you discovered that one of the references were from a known criminal that would compromise the integrity of the individual who even considered that person as a reliable source. Burris was systemically chosen to embarrass the new administration because they did not play ball with Blago. I've already written my Senator and said you need to block this appointment. First, why do we continue to let white folk use black folk as tokens, and then we turn around like Rep. Rush and justify the action. I am most disappointed that Burris (a seasoned politician) did not look at the political implications of accepting this appointment. Second, Burris has run for governor on a number of occassions and has not been able to win one general election. This means that this particular Senate seat would still be competitive even if Burris' appointment is accepted. This is why you hear very few Republicans complaining about Burris accepting this appointment. Burris and Blago made a Senate seat which is not traditionally competitive-- competitive due to a political temper tantrum on the part of our disgraced governor. Burris needs to be blocked.

December 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterresearchbuff

@researchbuff

I agree, Harry Reid needs to BLOCK this appointment ASAP!! I am sick and tired of the 60's slave minded ingnorant blk wanabee leaders bring race into the question all of the time.BUrris will NOT WIN in 2010!! HE IS UN-ELECTABLE.

December 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

And here I was thinking that I was the only person under 50 that knew Bobby Rush the blues singer as the FIRST Bobby Rush he thinks of.

Like your mom, I love Bobby Rush.

Bobby and I are both from Mississippi

December 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTariq Nelson

It's sucks that there aren't more black people in the Senate. My dad said there has only been 3 in the last century, Moseley Braun, Obama, and I'm not sure who else.

January 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterjuicyFRUITee

I'm sorry.

I just don't think that Burris has enough soap to wash the Blago stank off of him. I admire his record of public service, and fully acknowledge his contribution to the struggle.

It will not be enough. Blago's scandal saw to that.

On a lighter note; I saw the Bobby Rush video.

LOVES IT!

But, why do all the jheri-curled brothas have to crush on us big girls???

Why, I ask you; Why?

Deedlelee

January 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterculinarychick

What is really sad is to see Rush and Burris play the race card when this has nothing to do with race. What is Rush saying, that this senate seat is a black seat and only a black man can fill it? Don't they know they should save the race card for something really good?

January 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterscott

I keep hoping that the politics of people like Bobby Rush, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will go away with the election of Barack Obama. I realize that these folks did a lot for the plight of black people but they still seems like opportunists to me and I'm turned off by just listening to them.

January 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSoapbubble

this story is gettin good!!

(1) Blago is still a jerk, and always will be, but I got a soft spot for chutzpah! When somebody has the stones to pull off something like this, I just can't help but to admire it!

(2) yeah, yeah, yeah.. tainted, tainted whatever.. but can we really stop giving credence to the principle of "guilt-by-association," and soon? if it can be proven that Burris has no involvement in Blagojevich's scandal, and if he's qualified to represent the state of Illinois, then the question of scandal with respect to Burris is (*almost*) mooted...

the only value in blocking Burris' appointment is to disallow Blagojevich's defiant gambit and to help the so-called healing process of moving past the scandal.. while I'll give that there is *some* limited value in this, it's not an automatic...

(3) Rep. Rush is talentless. using the words "lynch" and "hang" is completely uncalled for and is shameless, mindless race-baiting...

(4) Harry Reid needs to fight his own battles and stop leaning on the (at times, very disappointing) Congressional Black Caucus... you wanna block him, block him your damn self... we (i.e., Black people) are not going riot in the streets if you do what you gotta with this Senate appointment..

the whole thing touches on a sore spot we like to call "divide-and-conquer" tactics, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you didn't know that, Harry Reid... Besides, how do you block a Senator with House Reps?

(ain't been here in while... how you doing B-Snob :)

January 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbklynbam

Now if playing the race card wasn't pathetic enough, Burris and Rush are now invoking religion. When will mainstream black america grow weary of people such as this?

January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterscott
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