Orlando's picture

    Rest in Peace, Roland Burris

    Ah, vindication.

    Yesterday, I felt like I was the only one criticizing the Roland Burris pick for Roland Burris (as opposed to Blagojevich having the gall to make an appointment in the first place).

    Today, the truth about Burris and his planet-sized ego is coming out.

    Some fun links:

    Burris already has his grave site, complete with a massive memorial.

    The Chicago Sun-Times documents Burris' belief that he is divinely directed to hold office.

    Burris makes my point for me on MSNBC.

    You have to read pretty far into this one for the payoff. Burris is described as friendly and honest. But he's also quoted as saying Barack Obama wouldn't have been possible without Roland Burris.

    Friendly and honest, he may be. But he's still a putz. And one who has been repeatedly rejected by the voters of Illinois.




    One more:

    Danny Davis, an Illinois Congressman who had expressed interest in the Senate seat, illustrates what happens when ego doesn't get in the way of reason.

    Hi O - I get why you don't like the guy, but I still maintain that being a putz or having an ego does not disqualify him as a candidate. Moreover, saying he was rejected 4 times really doesn't tell the whole story. His inability to get elected is a simple combination of timing, racism, and the impenetrability of the Illinois machine more than it is anything that he is or did. Burris was usually running in a strong Republican year or against the Chicago Machine. Look at the elections he lost:

    1979 - ran for Comptroller (won). Was the first African American to win statewide office.

    1984 - he ran against Paul Simon for US Senate (primary election, lost). Simon was already popular - he was Lt. Governor to a Republican Governor and built support on both sides of the aisle. At that same time, Harold Washington had just left the US House to be Mayor of Chicago. Many in the city and downstate were (sadly) just plain unwilling to see another African American in a position of that kind of power.

    1994 - ran for Governor (lost). Although I can't explain how he lost the primary, it's pretty clear that NO Democrat was going to beat incumbent Jim Edgar, so maybe no one cared about the Dem primary.

    1995 - ran for Mayor of Chicago (lost). He ran in a primary against Daley which was just dumb. No way anyone could beat Daley. Even Obama would have a rough go of it.

    1998 - ran for Governor (lost). Again, he lost in the primary but at the time everyone knew George Ryan was pretty much a sure thing - Edgar endorsed him, and Edgar left office on good terms. Here, Burris made his one big mistake by making the primary a racial issue. He lost a lot of support over that.

    2002 - ran for Governor (lost to Blagojevich). Here, Dems had a chance because Ryan's corruption scandal was in full-force. Blagojevich had the full support of Dick Mell and the Chicago machine. Also, the primary was a three-way race diluting whatever support Burris picked up. The results were actually pretty close.

    Better arguments to disqualify him from office:

    1) he seems to be hung up on race-as-victim status which runs counter to the racial platform the Dems are trying to develop.

    2) there are rumors that he only ran for governor in 2002 to siphon minority votes away from Paul Vallas to help out Blagojevich (suggests a stronger relationship and casts suspicion of that "taint" everyone's worried about).

    3) I think someone else here mentioned it but he sought the death penalty for an innocent guy as a political stunt.

    4) the Chicago Tribune (about 20 years ago) ran articles showing a strong correlation between contributions made to Burris' campaign fund and the awarding of state contracts. I haven't been able to find anything more concrete because most online databases don't go back that far (for free) and our university library is closed until the 5th.

    In other words, there are better arguments out there as to why, with a little digging, Burris might not be a good choice. If you really think the Senate needs to block seating this guy they need to be presented with better info than "he's a putz."

    And, yes, I'm admitting your instincts were more right than mine. But in my defense I *did* say I had concerns and was going to dig further... :)

    Is it me or did both Burris and Blagojevich sound kinda drugged at the press conference?  Espcially Burris.  Unclear speech, slow and rather goofy I thought.  I really don't like speaking in public under the influence but I guess there are those that might find it helpful.

    And here I was concerned I wouldn't have anything to laugh about when Bush left office!  The whole Blagojevich thing is so over the top now with the addition of Burris it's almost like a three ring circus.  Throw in the Gonzolas WSJ interview and uncoming court apperance (I am SO hoping) plus the Magic Negro folderol I just don't know where to look next!

    By the way, hope all had nice Christmases and will have a great New Year. 

    I've never trusted Burris since he found it politically expedient to leave an innocent man on death row. Eric Zorn at the Tribune explains it better than me. It's not surprising that this morally shallow man would take an appointment from Blagojevich. Mary Brigid Kenney for Senate not Roland Burris.


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