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    Roland Burris and the Sad, Sad State of Illinois Politics

    Roland Burris? I haven't paid much attention to Illinois politics in a while, but when I was still paying attention, Roland Burris, a once respected elected official, had turned into a sad caricature of himself.

    Some highlights: 

    • He refers to himself in the third person repeatedly. As in "Roland Burris wants a senate seat."
    • He named is kids Roland, Jr. and Rolanda. But not because he's a megalomaniac or anything.
    • He has been trying to win high office since 1994. Back then, he was the Attorney General running for Governor. He lost in the Democratic primary to the state Comptroller, Dawn Clark Netsch. He was quite pissy in defeat.
    • He ran for Chicago mayor against Daley in 1995. He lost.
    • In 1998, he ran for Governor again and lost the primary again. By a lot.
    • In 2002, he ran for Governor again. By this point, he was a joke.

    Apparently, he expressed interest in Obama's senate seat early, but wasn't considered seriously. This could possibly be because he's been out of office for 14 years. It could also be because he's an idiot.

    Blagojevich could be getting something from Burris. It would be brazenly stupid to sell the senate seat when he's being indicted for attempting to sell the senate seat. But I think it's fairly clear that Blagojevich is not just brazenly stupid, but blazingly so as well.

    If he's not getting anything out of it, this move is a gigantic eff you to the Illinois Democratic Party. It's saying, "You want to impeach me? Fine. Here's your Senator, good luck holding on to the seat in 2010."

    Blagojevich, classy to the end. What a jackass.

    UPDATE: I've been reading what some other people are saying at TPM and Washington Monthly. There are apparently at least some Illinois voters who are suggesting that Burris is ethical and well-liked, and is a great choice. To this I say, pardon me while I barf. Burris is a legend in his own mind and this former Illinois voter has never liked nor respected him. He has run for Senate and Governor and lost repeatedly--meaning those voters who supposedly like and respect him did not vote for him. It's a cheap way for Burris to get what he covets and I think it's a disgusting choice.

    UPDATE 2 - 3PM EST: Blagojevich goes ahead and does it. Roland Burris is officially named to fill Obama's senate seat. But Harry Reid says absolutely not and Illinois Attorney General Secretary of State (and crack tumbler) Jesse White has Reid's back. In other news, the circus cancelled it's upcoming Chicago engagement, citing redundancy.

    UPDATE 3 - 6PM EST: After searching all day long, I finally found an article that appears to agree with my analysis of Roland Burris. Also, you can watch the incredibly weird press conference online now:

    UPDATE 5 (Last one, I promise): Obama agrees with me. Okay, not really. But he agrees with Harry Reid.



    That Senate seat was supposed to MINE! I'm demanding my $10 back from Blago.

    Sigh. New York is now my only shot. It's a good thing that Kennedy imploded her candidacy. I assure you that when I do my introductory tour, no one will accuse me of trading on my name. Maybe I can get four of five rent-controlled apartments out of it, like Chuck Rangel.

    It's great to finally have a political party with moral standards in power, no?

    A thought has just occurred to me. Blago is probably gonna be bored in prison. Plus, he'll need some income. Why don't you let him keep the $10 if he agrees to guest blog at Dag. We're a little too ethical around here. We need some cheapening.

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