Skip to comments.Lightweight Burris Just Part of the Spectacle
Posted on 01/01/2009 10:00:49 AM PST by Clintonfatigued
And then Tuesday, we learned that Roland Burris, a guy who has been hanging around in Illinois politics for decades, saw in all of this an opportunity to vault himself into the Senate -- no matter what Obama and every other Democrat from Springfield to Washington thought.
Everyone, including Obama, has been exceedingly polite in their public comments about Burris. I have known him for years and I like him. But I have never been confused about the level of his talent. He was elected as far back as 1978 as state comptroller and stayed in that low-visibility office for 12 years before moving up to attorney general in 1990.
When he tried to climb higher, he found the competition too tough. He lost a Senate race to Paul Simon, tried three times for the nomination for governor without success, and ran for mayor of Chicago with the same result. He couldn't get past the Democratic primary in any of those contests.
Burris is, in short, typical of a lot of politicians in both parties who find a comfortable lodging for years in down-ballot offices but never make the cut for the major prizes. He was distinctive in Illinois mainly for breaking the color barrier in statewide office, thanks to his downstate birth and friendships and his pleasant, accommodating personality.
It was no accident that, after Obama was elected, Burris' name rarely figured in speculation for the Senate seat. At 71, decades after his last successful election, his political career seemed over. But not in his mind.
Burris held a news conference putting himself forward as a possible successor to Obama, but he never figured as a rival to the statewide officials and House members interested in the seat.
(Excerpt) Read more at realclearpolitics.com ...
I found the selection a surprise. Before this, Burris had been yesterday’s news.
I have yet to hear any remarks from Republicans about this selection, which hopefully means they are keeping a low profile and leaving this in the Democrats’ laps.
There's no need. The democrats are doing a wonderful job of screwing this up on their own. The longer Chicago politics stays in the news the better.
—link to a good wrapup of Burris by a Chicago columnist—
-—I’m surprised that Broder isn’t kissing Burris’ toe—
“Repeal the 17th Amendment.”
I don’t agree. The corrupt Illinois legislature protected by self-drawn legislative districts is in itself a case for the 17th. Amendment.
If Burris is a lightweight he should fit in nicely with the other senators. I can probably name the senators on one hand who aren’t...
BINGO! ClintonFatigued absolutely gets it.
The freepers saying bleepgate is an excuse to repeal the 17th amendment are out of their minds. Everything the Illinois State Legislature has done during this scandal is proof of why we need to KEEP the 17th amendment.
If "the founders" were around to see what "state legislatures" look like today, they'd be spinning in their graves. There's no way in hell James Madison would want the likes of Emil Jones and Mike Madigan appointing their buddies to federal office for life, regardless of how "the system was supposed to work" in 1789 to "enpower the states". If the "abolish the 17th amendment" crowd would take a long hard look at how these legislators ACTUALLY work and quit yapping about how "the founders" MEANT the system to work, they'd realize these hacks in the state legislature could care less about the "best interests" of their respective states.
And if the "abolish the 17th amendment" crowd is so damned concerned about having government the way it was "originally" set up, how come not one of these guys is demanding we abolish the 12th amendment and make John McCain the Vice President, as "the founders" intended in 1789 for the runner-up in the presidential contest to become Vice President.
So do you want government restructured the way it was "originally" setup or not? Make up your mind, guys.
One thing I will admit to is that the Founders didn't anticipate party politics because Washington's election was not a contested campaign. However, the very next campaign between Adams and Jefferson began the party politics of personal destruction, with Jefferson himself penning mean-spirited essays against Adams under a pseudonym.
However, to your larger question, what do you think about the overall argument for/against federalism?
Why not just eliminate city, county, and state governments altogether and just vote for Congress and President?
If we're going to maintain the concept of sovereign states, then state governments must rule, and the federal government should sit atop state government to manage interstate affairs, foreign affairs, and national defense. All else should remain with the states. In order for the states to rule the federal government, and not have the federal government rule the states (as the 9th and 10th amendments meant it to be), then you must have a system that starts at the grass-roots (that means you and me), and that weaves its way through the tapestry of government. To do that, we vote for our local governments, we vote for our state governements, and our state elected representatives manage their relationships with the other states via the federation.
If we don't like how the federation is operating, we change our state governemnts. After all, each state is but 1/50th of the federation. We make our states to be what we want, and then our states represent us at the federal table.
And one more thing.
There is a difference between state legislative districts and congressional districts.
In California, the legislature draws up both. We just passed a redistricting ballot proposition that changes the way state legislative districts are drawn in order to eliminate the case of state politicians choosing their voters, instead of voters choosing their politicians.
And besides, these districts only affect the House -- we're talking about the Senate which has a statewide "district" that would fall under the 17th.
All I care about is taking this seat in 2010 (or in a special still possible if Quinn takes over and insists and Burris is not seated).
If silently pointing and laughing is the best approach so be it.
Have the legislature appoint Senators and you'll see the seats for sale spectacle played out coast-to coast. Disaster.
And under such a system we may have not controlled the Senate since the 50's. Maybe briefly and narrowly in the early part of this decade.
The constitution can be amended for a reason.
The Senate defending the "interests of the state governments" sounds good in theory but in truth it would bring nothing good in modern society. Just create a powerful unelected body of worse people than are there now.
Power to the people. Yes the "we're not a democracy" people may take ridiculous issue with that but we need more of it not less. The people may be stupid but ti's better than the alternative.