Corruption

Reid Is Backing Down As Fast As He Can

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The Washington Post and The Boston Globe are both reporting that the Senate's Democratic leaders, after insisting that no one appointed by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich would be allowed to replace Barack Obama, are getting ready to let Roland Burris take his seat after all. Although Burris was not seated yesterday, ostensibly because his appointment papers did not bear the signature of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with him today and signaled that he will eventually be allowed to serve. The two prerequisites seem to be 1) a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court on whether White's signature is necessary and, if so, whether he may legally withhold it and 2) Burris' testimony to the state legislature (which is working on the governor's impeachment) about the circumstances of his appointment. Burris is scheduled to testify tomorrow. "Once that's done, we will be in a different position," said Reid, who called Burris "very engaging" and "very nice."

White refused to sign Burris' credentials because he did not think a governor facing corruption charges should appoint Obama's successor, especially since Blagojevich is accused of trying (or at least hopng) to get something of value in exchange for that appointment. But White does not seem to have any legal grounds for withholding his signature, and he now says it doesn't matter anyway, telling WGN Radio "they could have seated him without my signature," which he called purely "ceremonial." He confidently predicted that Burris would be seated. Unless Burris testifies tomorrow that he bribed Blagojevich to choose him (an allegation no one has made), it sounds like he could be seated in a matter of days.

That's the right decision, since it's the one required by law. But by announcing that Burris would be barred from the Senate as a matter of principle and quickly giving in, Reid and his allies look like the spineless, shifty hacks they are. By trying to avoid the embarrassment of serving with a man appointed by a fellow Democrat accused of corruption, they have only magnified their humiliation.

On Monday I noted that Reid was getting ready to give in. Last week I said Reid never should have tried to keep Burris out. In a recent column, Steve Chapman concurred.

NEXT: Some Questions for Eric Holder

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  1. If he has no legal authority to withhold his signature, then what on Earth is the point of requiring it? That would mean that the only scenario in which his signature would become an issue would be if he were physically unable to give it, e.g. being stuck in an elevator or in an accident. And I assume there must be some provision for his deputy to sign in such a situation.

    If he needs to sign the document for it to be effective, he needs to be able to withhold it under the law. If he has no choice but to sign it, then the signature is a silly extra layer of bureaucracy and should be done away with.

  2. Reid and his allies look like the spineless, shifty hacks they are. By trying to avoid the embarrassment of serving with a man appointed by a fellow Democrat accused of corruption, they have only magnified their humiliation.

    Hear! Hear!

  3. The best refutations of the conspiracy theorists come from clusterfucks like this.

  4. ha! ha!

  5. I love it when they squirm.

  6. These democrats seem to be pretty fucking stupid are started out by shooting themselves in the foot. First, the idea that some prick from Nevada thinks he has a say so in whom Illinois chooses as Senator is mind blowing. But egomaniac Senators is probably a redundancy.

    There there is the fact that this “old trial lawyer” is apparently too fucking stupid to understand the simple legal concepts circumscribed by this issue. Hell even Fox News seemed to even understand that there was no basis, other than the signature issue, for withholding Burris from the senate.

    Then, third, you think this stupid tool would WANT another Democrat in the Senate. Gee Reid, you want less Democrats?

    So this is why many of you will never be Senators, you are not stupid arrogant pricks.

  7. From the Post article — Assuming Burris runs for a full six year term in 2010 — and not doing so could well be part of the agreement that will allow him to be seated

    I don’t know if it is true, but I heard this same story on the radio this morning. The logic is awesome — he will only be seated if selected by a governor accused of taking bribes in filling the seat, but not if he is going to ask the people to elect him.

    It is also interesting that they are making political deals associated with future employment on whether or not to seat him, why does this sound so familiar?

  8. Once again, you always win a fight with Harry Reid.

  9. Pure, perverse, genius. Its hard to imagine how the Dems could have made the Blago mess even worse, but they have managed.

    Appointing Burris was a very cunning move by Blago.

    Because Burris is a black man replacing a black man, the optics of yesterday’s spectacle (an all-white Senate refusing to seat a legally appointed black man and having him escorted from the chamber by security) were absolutely horrible.

    Making an unimpeachable (snerk) appointment also helps defuse the scandal (under the no blood, no foul principle) and reminds everyone in Springfield that Blago is still the Gov. and still has a bag full of carrots and sticks.

  10. And just how do Reid and his cronies propose to keep Burris from running in 2010? Put up Alan Keyes as his primary opponent, maybe?

  11. It was indeed satanically brilliant.

    On the other hand, Burris is still a murderous psychopath.

  12. Nothing see here! Move along! The Democratic Party is categorically incapable of being wrong. Move along! Don’t make me call you racists, people!

  13. MR. DEAN, THE URKOBOLD HAS INSIDE INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2010 SENATE RACE IN ILLINOIS. THE FIX IS IN, AND THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE CANNOT POSSIBLY WIN. BECAUSE THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE CANNOT POSSIBLY LOSE.

  14. I thought people were innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law. How can Reid dismiss Burris, while Blagojevich hasn’t been convicted?

  15. All I can say is:

    BLAGO for PRESIDENT

    He’s the only one out of this ship of fools who demonstrated a modicum of intelligence. OK, he outsmarted Harry Reid, which hasn’t been hard lately.

    I’m still trying to figure out, other than the swear words, the difference between what Blago stands accused of trying to get in exchange for this seat and this kind of political stunt the Senate leadership has just tried to pull.

    What exactly was Harry Reid trying to get from Burris?

    He won’t run in 2010? hahahaha

  16. HUMILIATION!!

    QUAD DAMAGE!!!

    YOU HAVE LOST THE LEAD!!!!

  17. I thought people were innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.

    Pet Peeve time:

    No. You are guilty or not regardless of what a court says.

    You are presumed innocent in legal proceedings in order to place the burden of proof on the prosecution.

    Things are looking bad for Franken, BTW. I just saw that Harry Reid has sworn that Coleman will never be seated.

  18. Nothing see here! Move along! The Democratic Party is categorically incapable of being wrong. Move along! Don’t make me call you racists, people!

    Pretty much.

    Is it just me, or is Blagojevich kind of like a Lex Luthor with hair?

  19. I just saw that Harry Reid has sworn that Coleman will never be seated.

    I think that means Franken will lose given Reid’s track record.

  20. Harry Reid backing down from a hastily occupied position? Say it ain’t so!

    A lot of people, myself included, predicted this last week. My postings, IIRC, involved saying something like: “Harry Reid’s resolve will collapse like a house of card in a Texas typhoon.”

    With all due apologies to decks of cards, and Dan Rather Wannabees, everywhere.

  21. Pure, perverse, genius. Its hard to imagine how the Dems could have made the Blago mess even worse, but they have managed.

    Agreed. They had two bad choices: refuse to seat the only Black Senator in Congress, or seat a Senator appointed by the poster-boy for political corruption, and they did both in the span of about 48 hours.

    I just wish they had gotten to 60 in the Senate. It was hilarious to watch Pelosi+Reid scapegoat Bush for congressional ineptness and unbelievably low polling numbers for the last 2 years. Any bets on how often the 41 Senate Republicans get blamed for things over the next 2 years?

  22. You all joke about racism but that is all this is. Pure blatant naked racism.

  23. Like the way I’ll only eat black cock.

  24. Given that this is Harry “I won the Iraq War by declaring it lost” Reid, I look for him to soon be taking credit for his creation of the most diverse senate evah!

  25. LurkerBold is not even trying anymore. It’s just sad, like an old man taking out his false teeth and throwing them at you.

  26. Dingy Harry, spineless? There’s a breaking dog-bites-man headline.

  27. When did Reason turn into a mirror of the Daily Kos? “Spineless, shifty hacks?” This used to be a place for political discussion without whiny partisan name calling. Just because your team lost this time doesn’t mean you need to try to match the other side for bad sportsmanship.

  28. Daily Kos? More like one of those white supremicist rag newsletters.

  29. This sucks. I was looking for any excuse to not pay my taxes. Now I have to buy one of those banned books.

    I was thinking the Frankin fiasco might play into this. It would be absurd to not seat Burris (who most everyone thinks is “clean”) and to then seat Franken after his “victory”. Or is that not true? Do non-party hack people think Franken won the votes?

  30. Just because your team lost this time

    Pray tell me the last time “our” team won? Or are you one of those assholes who think everyone who doesn’t adore The Party Of The One has to be a… a… Republican! [cue scary music]

    Zip up your pants, your Manichaeisms are hanging out.

  31. What the Senate has every right to do is seat him, then vote to kick him out.

    Of course, doing that would actually require the Senate leadership have some spine, and principles.

  32. Sugar Free, you guys do act like a bunch of fanatical Republicans most of the time.

  33. You won’t be yawning when the workers are free.

  34. I kind of liked Reid’s original argument- since Blago was accused of corruption, the appointment wasn’t valid. It helps support my argument that, if any one in the Congress is corrupt, the laws they pass are not valid, and I don’t have to follow them!

  35. Do non-party hack people think Franken won the votes?

    Yes.

  36. Trick question, you party hack! GOTCHA!

  37. Do non-party hack people think Franken won the votes?

    I’d bet $20 that he did, but I really don’t care.

  38. I am glad that the ReasonRepublican War on Freedom Machine was not allowed to steal Al Franken’s senate seat from him.

  39. Trick question, you party hack! GOTCHA!

    O, you sly boots!

  40. That’s the right decision, since it’s the one required by law. But by announcing that Burris would be barred from the Senate as a matter of principle and quickly giving in, Reid and his allies look like the spineless, shifty hacks they are.

    Win, win!

    Seriously, I guess Blagojevich wasn’t a hapless clown after all.

  41. Blagojevich should be the next LP candidate for president. He’s so cool and sly, and has thicker hair than any man in public life.

  42. PL,

    Pet peeve: Blagojevich’s “hair” is actually an experimental helmet and radio receiver. You’re not the first to make the mistake.
    It’s key feature is the downward ‘swoop’ in the front–optimized for reception of the newly opened 700 MHz band.

  43. Thanks “Reason” putting forward your obseravation, as outlined in the headline to this article, and getting it right too!

    The photo of The Holier than Thou = Reid and Mr Burris tells it all. Reid is sitting and holding his fingers with his other hand which says I’m holding back and not feeling very comfortable.

  44. Similar to Reid’s “the (Iraq)war is lost”.
    This guy is just the worst. I BEG Nevadans to toss him out next election.

  45. Whoops I didn’t finish my post…so here goes again.

    Thanks “Reason” putting forward your obseravation, as outlined in the headline to this article, and getting it right too!

    The photo of The Holier than Thou = Reid and Mr Burris tells it all. Reid is sitting and holding his fingers with his other hand which says I’m holding back and not feeling very comfortable.

    On the other hand Mr. Burris is forming a pyramid or steepling with his hands. This says to me he feels on top of his gain. And good for him…now take your seat in the Senate.

    PS This is the first time I have visited this site. The headline on Google news got my attention and dropped by…and all the way for Toronto…Canada, eh?!

  46. FREE ONLINE TV, MOVIES, MUSIC, VIRTUAL WORLDS, GOOD GAMES, AND FREE COLLEGE EDUCATIONS @ INTERNETSURFSHACK.COM

  47. Blago is proven to be a better war game strategist that Reid ‘my lips”…you know what he’s said.
    Wish Blago was running for President in Canada, eh?!

    PS Wonder where I can get a t-shirt with the photo of the “Warrior” on it?

  48. Tears of laughter are filling my eyes. What-a-hoot, eh?!

    Just read that Jimmy Carter phoned Burris this morning. Gave Mr B a “boost”…you’ll be a good Senator, said the former president.

    And LOL…The One is rapidly back peddelling about the cloud over Mr. B….the sky is now clear over him. Good 180, PEBO.

    And get this, the Reid says he’ll be democratic senate leader until 2015. That’s the way to pat yourself on the back….oh my gads.

  49. Reid Is Backing Down As Fast As He Can

    You could have put that title on any Reid-related post and it would have been just as accurate.

  50. The Senate dems are being idiots. As noted before, Senators from other states have NO say about the Senators a state wishes to send to the hill. But if the SoS of the state which you are from did not properly complete paperwork, the Senate can prevent you from being seated on a technicality.

    Since the rules of the Senate require the SoS signature to be seated, then that’s what needs to be done. If the SoS of IL refuses, he/she should be punished for not doing their duty. Someone from the state must give it the official blessing, if not the SoS, who? The governor? This is more of a state issue than federal.

    If this was a republican controlled Senate, they probably would try just as hard to keep him out. Many of the people calling Reid names now, would be praising the republican leadership.

  51. “If this was a republican controlled Senate, they probably would try just as hard to keep him out. Many of the people calling Reid names now, would be praising the republican leadership.”

    No I would be calling them dumbasses. It should be noted that Blago told the legislature to hold a special election. They refused on the urging of Reid because Reid was afraid a Republican might win. The Dems totally did this to themselves. If they were anything but pigheaded, power hungry assholes, they would have done the right thing and urged the Legislature to call and election and (gasp) let the voters decide.

  52. While you may call them dumbasses, many would not.

    Blago doesn’t need a special election, his appointment is valid, which is why the SoS of IL must sign off or should face the consequences.

    “””The Dems totally did this to themselves.”””

    Did what? Making a fool of themselves? That I would agree. This issue is really a state issue. Illinois needs to do what is right so the paperwork is in order.

  53. Reid and his allies look like the spineless, shifty hacks they are

    ‘Tis funny.
    Reid has nuts the size and shape of raisins.

  54. Do non-party hack people think Franken won the votes?

    Yes.

    Speaking mainly for yourself, or is that your impression of the opinion of most of the community of non-hacks?

    Based on what I’ve read, I’m of the opinion you almost can’t have a solid opinion here. First Coleman won. But, wait let’s contest clearly cast votes (both sides did this, but with team Hannity making it out to be strictly a Democrat thing). Team Franken asks “How many do we need?” Count some more. Shit, not enough, keep counting. Presto, we win, time to stop counting now. Oh, and ignore those precincts where we counted more votes than there were registered voters – nothing to see there.

    I am slightly biased against Al Franken, but that’s mostly because I’ve listened to him on Air America. Can’t ties be judged to favor the lesser of the two idiots?

  55. Can anyone confirm this? Did the voters of Minnesota actually elect Stuart Smalley as U.S. Senator?

  56. That’s the right decision, since it’s the one required by law.

    It’s the one required by Supreme Court precedent. The Senate could, of course, want a new ruling since it’s been a while since Adam Clayton Powell. In general I think that, while the Senate is free to expel members and does have some right to judge credentials, the power could be abused. However, a literal reading of the Constitution could indeed support the Senate denying his seat.

    However, it’s still odd to see such devotion to stare decisis at Reason. I suppose it’s because the power of the Senate to reject duly elected Senators would be so dangerous.

  57. Not sure who RC Dean is, but he’s the first guy to publicly say the obvious, at least according to Google. Blagojevich is obviously trying to say “No blood, no foul” as regards the Senate seat, and Burris is dumb enough and greedy enough to play along. For the rest of it, Blago is just going to claim it was just lots of harsh talk and no illegal actions.

    I’m beginning to think that Fitzgerald has bungled this one.

  58. Reid Is Backing Down As Fast As He Can

    You should just make this a macro.

  59. Shannon Jacobs,

    The attempt to sell Obama’s senate seat is the weakest part of Fitzgerald’s case. I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t even make it into the indictment.

    Blago is screwed five ways to Sunday on any number of other episodes; the effort to sell the seat was just the motivating factor for the arrest, because the Chicago papers were going to report on it, and forced Fitzgerald’s hand.

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