Senate Dems Will Seat Blago Appointee Burris

Via TPM:

The Secretary of the Senate has determined that the new credentials presented today on behalf of Mr. Burris now satisfy Senate Rules and validate his appointment to the vacant Illinois Senate seat. . . . "As we had outlined to Mr. Burris, a path needed to be followed that respects the rules of the Senate. We committed to Mr. Burris that once those requirements were satisfied, we would be able to proceed. We are pleased that everything is now in order, we congratulate Senator-designee Burris on his appointment and we look forward to working with him in the 111th Congress."

So that letter in December from Senate Democrats about not seating any Blago appointee? Nevermind. They never meant it. What a humiliating embarrassment for Reid and Durbin.

Speaking for me only

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    Embarrassing (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:57:50 PM EST
    To have these guys on our side. Lily-livered comes to mind.

    And scary (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:01:44 PM EST
    We have life and death problems to fix and we need the best team possible. It is clear that we do not have that in this moment in time. I'm not feeling very optimistic at the moment.

    When I feel like that (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:07:59 PM EST
    (which is pretty often) I try to remind myself about how it would be if McCain had been elected and I picture one of those "1/20/09, the end of an error" bumperstickers.

    Oh Well (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:08:00 PM EST
    You can always hide under your bed. I am not particularly scared, but I am embarrassed. It is obvious to me that Blagojevich's race card ploy worked like a charm. The only reason these guys backed down, imo, is that they did not want to deal with defending their original decision/letter in the face of being called racist for denying the only AA senator a seat.

    Idiots with fingers always in the wind.


    Are you saying (3.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:19:16 PM EST
    the only reason he is being seated is because he is Black? Are you saying his only qualification is that he is Black and other than that he is not qualified for the position?

    Because personally I don't think either of those are the case but it certainly sounds like you do. Wish to clarify?


    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:21:54 PM EST
    Waste of time with you, just like Talex. This issue has been explained over and over, if you really want to understand I suggest you do your homework.

    I heard the press ask about race once (none / 0) (#48)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:04:51 PM EST
    Burris shrugged it off and said it was not a factor at all. The press accepted that as did everyone else except those who went digging for any reason to bury Burris. One even went as far as to mention Rush Limbaugh as if he rules the world or something. maybe that was even you as I don't remember it was such a silly post.

    Funny how you never complained about Obama playing the race card. Very selective of you.


    You Are FOS (none / 0) (#49)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:12:11 PM EST
    And have no idea what I have ever written here. Talex indeed.

    I guess you don't know what (1.50 / 2) (#57)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:32:37 PM EST
    the word "maybe" means.

    But on the other hand you are sure writing about race now!

    Well to bad. Burris is in. BTD's argument was a loser. Yours is a loser. And I was right on the money with my take.


    Right On The Money? (none / 0) (#58)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:38:35 PM EST
    You would not know if you were right on the money if you were standing on top of Ft. Knox.

    It is embarrassing (none / 0) (#12)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:12:56 PM EST
    and really a shame that they let this happen so soon after the election and so close to the inauguration.

    Last night I saw Bobby Rush on CNN making light of his role in it, perhaps even joking about it, I couldn't really tell, but he was laughing.  I've seen him a number of times trying to back away from his original ploy.


    The only thing more embarrassing (none / 0) (#61)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:56:43 PM EST
    will be when Burris takes the floor to introduce the "Pardon Rod Blagojevich Bill of 2009".

    GRRRRRRR (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:14:11 PM EST

    Like the old (pre-2004) story: (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by scribe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:15:54 PM EST
    Q.  Why are the Red Sox and lawn furniture the same come September?

    A.  Because that's when they both fold up and get put away.

    I guess (like there was any doubt) that can be applied to Reid and any month of the year, now.

    Really, if anyone is at all surprised by this, (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by allimom99 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:21:58 PM EST
    they just haven' been paying attention. Harry's been kowtowing to W ever since he got his job - why wouldn't he back down when he realized how stupd this whole thing looks. I think the leadership in BOTH houses should be replaced, for NOT LEADING. What a joke.

    allimom99 (none / 0) (#54)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:29:30 PM EST
    did you go to ISU? just seeing if you are an old friend...that name is close to her email address!

    The sad part (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by eric on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:18:21 PM EST
    is that Reid painted himself into a corner in this battle.  He fails so many of these tests.

    What you missed (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:23:17 PM EST
    in the original letter was this:

    Please understand that should you decide to ignore the request of the Senate Democratic Caucus and make an appointment we would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated, unless of course they have all their paperwork in order and all that.

    To be fair, that last part wasn't in my copy of the letter either.  Who knew, it was just a paperwork issue all along!

    That sentence must have also (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by eric on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:28:22 PM EST
    been missing from the post-appointment statement the Reid made, which is the one that really put Reid in a position of no compromise:
    Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.

    Reid is such a tool.


    Just like Bush (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:58:52 PM EST
    they had no exit strategy.

    At this point, they're really hitching their wagon to the unproven assumption that nothing sketchy was involved in the Burris appointment.  Imagine if it comes out later that Burris somehow did pay to play.  Not gonna be much room for the "who coulda known?" defense then, eh?


    Lose-lose (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:03:08 PM EST
    By taking this stand, Reid et al set them up for a lose-lose.  Holler about seating him, and they look foolish, as they do now.  Don't holler about seating him, and something turns up, they look stupid for not fighting.

    Exactly - how can they be so sure (none / 0) (#56)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:31:55 PM EST
    that Burris is 100% clean?  Seems like a big chance to take, when they know the process was corrupt.

    It really was a farce all along.


    Outwitted, outlasted, outplayed (none / 0) (#62)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:59:58 PM EST
    Reid would have been the first one voted off the island on Survivor.

    Seriously, when are the Majority Leader elections? Do they have those every new Congress?  Can we get someone who at least has a strategic thought every now and then, like Schumer, or even Kerry?


    No not actually (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:41:23 PM EST
    You said: "Reid is such a tool".

    In reality "Reid is such a fool" - for making that shoot from the hip statement in the first place before weighing the situation. He bluffed when he should not have bluffed and was called and lost. He may live in Nevada but he doesn't play his hand like you should in Nevada. You don't play a hand guaranteed to lose.

    I really never thought we could have a Senate majority leader as weak as Tom Daschle. Boy was I wrong!

    Tom Daschle  has the right ideas on health care. Too bad he doesn't have the backbone to not be Mr. El Foldo as is his nature. No wonder Obama picked him. Kindred souls.


    The pertinent sentence (none / 0) (#42)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:29:19 PM EST
    in the letter is:

    "to determine whether such a person should be seated"

    The senate did exactly that and found no 'legitimate' legal or political reason to not seat him.

    But forget what the letter actually said - let the delusional bashing go on!


    No delusion here (none / 0) (#45)
    by eric on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:48:07 PM EST
    it isn't the letter, it is the statement afterwords that I cite.

    What's more important is that everyone saved face. (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by jerry on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:31:26 PM EST
    But BTD, everyone here saved face.  Doesn't that make you feel any better?

    It;'s pretty clear now ... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:32:31 PM EST
    that the only point of the letter was to try to stop Blago from appointing someone.  

    But it's not a big issue for me.  So many other important issues.  And to me Burris seems like he'll be a fairly good Senator for at least two years. Probably longer.

    Probably (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by blueaura on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:14:42 PM EST
    And Blago knew that. He's crazy, but he's not entirely stupid. He knew full well that Reid wouldn't stick to his guns, particularly if he played the race card. Reid should be ashamed, being bested by the likes of him.

    The point of the letter... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by christinep on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 07:15:01 PM EST
    I agree. Sometimes the "bluff" is called. What strikes me most, tho, is the emotion with which some approach this tempest-in-teapot issue. There is the "emotion" engendered by Blagojevich and there is the better portion of the law. (I.e, While legal arguments can and should always be made for every side, the resolution here comports more with the federal/state determination dichotomy at the center of our government--the state does get to name its senators.)

    Hey (none / 0) (#64)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 08:02:00 PM EST
    That was a really great comment!

    The letter alone (none / 0) (#23)
    by eric on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:36:33 PM EST
    wasn't fatal.  It said the Senate would examine the appointment.  It was the statement made by Reid after the appointment that the Senate would not accept Burris.  That was his big mistake.

    He should have realized, at least in the back of his mind, that the situation might require him to reverse course.  He should have left himself an out - the categorical refusal was stupid.


    A 180 degree pivot ... (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:07:16 PM EST
    by a politician?  I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!



    C'mon, we're talking about Senate invertebrates (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by fafnir on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:44:07 PM EST
    This is the right outcome, and the Senate Dems should not have opposed his appointment from the beginning. It was only a matter of time when Reid, Durbin and Obama would cave -- especially when they didn't have a legal leg upon which to stand. Congratulations, Senator Burris!

    Reid and Durbin and 98 other Senators (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:47:45 PM EST
    have bigger problems right now then the trials and tribulations of either Blago or Burris. And at the rate that Dems are being investigated and indicted right now, we'll barely remember this next year. I'm glad it's done with.

    You're assuming that Burris (none / 0) (#28)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:01:59 PM EST
    has been honest and there was no quid pro quo in his appointment. I can't imagine why that should be the default assumption.

    Big Deal... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Rashomon66 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:58:11 PM EST
    No politicians would deny him his seat. Even Republicans would do the same in a similar situation. You are assuming some politicians somewhere would all say no.
    I think there are more serious things we need to address now.

    Not surprising (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:06:32 PM EST
    One might even use the word predictable.  

    As Predicted (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by blueaura on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:12:29 PM EST
    If you didn't think Reid would cave, then I have an excellent, gently used bridge to sell you.

    They were just following orders (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Saul on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:15:11 PM EST
    from Obama.  

    Who can now add this to his long list of (5.00 / 0) (#41)
    by allimom99 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:26:58 PM EST
    flip-flops. What WILL they think of next - appointing Rick warren to the Supreme Court? That's at least as good as expecting Sanjay Gupta to promote UHC.

    Just as I suspected all along.... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by blogname on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:54:43 PM EST
    The law was not on the side of the Dems -- and having such a sweeping standard which finds that unproven allegations of misconduct "taint" indviduals is political suicide in Washington DC.

    Uh (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:15:46 PM EST
    The law is unsettled and remains so.  There is not some secret book of legal interpretations that the Democrats consulted before deciding to cave.  They understand, as many commentors on this site do not despite repeated explanations, that there are reasonable arguments on both sides.  Their decision on whether to press the point was ultimately political.

    The decision to RAISE the point (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:18:49 PM EST
    was also political (and imo constitutional). to raise the point and then CAVE on the point was the political blunder.

    Do one or the other - if you raise the pont, then follow through wit it. IF you are not willing to follow through, then keep quiet about it.


    Just pols being pols ... (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:47:55 PM EST
    to use one of your favorite phrases.

    being crappy pols in (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:54:34 PM EST
    this case.

    the standard was pretty damn (none / 0) (#47)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:56:49 PM EST
    specific, and had to do with misconduct in filling that very seat.
    I can't believe the ridiculous kabuki dance here.
    Burris' appointment is corrupt on its face, period.

    I hope Burris' ability as a Senator (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by esmense on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:18:56 PM EST
    proves as great as his desire to be a Senator.

    Reid has a knack for crawling far out on a limb -- and foolishly assuming that none of his opponents have a saw.

    Is That Obama's Velvet Shiv in Reid's Back? (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by JoeCHI on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 10:22:33 PM EST
    What a humiliating embarrassment for Reid and Durbin.

    Obama, too!  After all, Reid and Obama both traversed the same 180-degree trajectory regarding Burris.  

    Reid, being a good Democrat, followed Obama's lead by opposing any appointment made by Blagojevich.  Reid had Obama's back, and went to bat for Obama.  

    Reid took all the incoming fire from the media and from the public.  Not only that, Reid  was also willing to do Obama's bidding while keeping Obama's fingerprints off of the process, allowing Obama to float above the political fray.

    Then the political winds reversed.

    Sensing the change in public and, especially, DC  pundit opinion,  Obama's minions at Huffington Post started to push the meme that it was Obama, like a benevolent deus ex machina, who instructed Reid to back down on Burris.


    Reid had Obama's back on this one.  Obama never had Reids, and he split when the going got tough.  No doubt, Reid is wondering how he ended up with a velvet shiv where the President-elect was supposed to be.

    Don't bother looking for the President-elect's fingerprints on the shiv, Senator.  The cult doesn't do fingerprints.

    If the shiv in his back (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 03:36:59 AM EST
    makes Reid grow a backbone, this whole episode may be worthwhile.

    Don`t be silly. (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 04:04:45 AM EST
    P.S. Found the umlaut but cannot locate the apoytrophe.  No wonder those German compound words are so unwieldy.  Frankfurt airport.

    Why is it? (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:54:41 PM EST
    That many people saw this weeks ago.  Reid caving - all who are surprised, please raise your hand.

    You're right - what an embarrassment.

    Illinois Sec of state (none / 0) (#16)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:18:00 PM EST
    apparently signed the certificate this afternoon.

    Did I not hear Durbin say (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:57:35 PM EST
    just yesterday that even if the credentials were in order the Senate was going to consider it in some way? I took it as a stall tactic until Blago is removed from office.

    Dems in disarray. The stories just write themselves.

    Today I saw a clip (none / 0) (#9)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:09:11 PM EST
    of Durbin when he said we can't accept an appointee from Blago, but it was an old clip.

    Here's what Durbin said Sunday (none / 0) (#67)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 03:35:08 AM EST
    on "Face the Nation":
    "I started off obviously skeptical, as all of the Democratic members did," Durbin, D-Ill., said on "Face the Nation" on CBS. "But as time has gone on and we've looked closely, we want to be fair to Roland Burris. If he has the proper certification and papers, then we're going to take one look at the process and move forward from there."

    I was only half watching the show at the time, and heard the part in bold and thought they were going to have some sort of hearings or something.


    Republicans in the Senate (none / 0) (#5)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:06:07 PM EST
    are going to have a ball with this.  We'll never hear the end of it.

    The best we can hope for now is that he turns out to be a very good Senator and that the people will largely forget about this.  The likelihood of this isn't high, I agree, given the colorful nature of Blago, the timing, and all the press coverage.  But sometimes the American short memory and ability to be distracted is truly amazing.

    Please, please don't let there have been any backroom quid pro quo deal between Burris and Blago for this seat.  If there was, the Republicans will dig it up and it will be blown up into a huge issue, and they'll spend hours on the Senate floor and in the press bloviating about it while finding a way to use it to obstruct legislation that actually, you know, helps people.

    Reid was punked. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by wurman on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:29:41 PM EST
    Blagojevich ran a perfect gambit.

    Won't it look marvelous when Fitzgerald rolls out the grand jury indictments.

    I'm curious as to where & when any sentient mammal thinks that Guv Rod B. went straight, abandoned his past behaviors, & appointed a neutral, squeaky clean candidate to the US senate.

    If Reid's cave-in was predictable, so's the train wreck over Burris when the tapes are made public.


    Wait (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:08:55 PM EST
    you want Congress to help people?

    Fancy that :) n/t (none / 0) (#10)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:10:10 PM EST
    Doubt It (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:10:34 PM EST
    I think that their new schtick is that they are trying to appear as if they are against racism.

    Oh, I see (none / 0) (#14)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:15:35 PM EST
    Just like they are suddenly concerned about spending and debt.  Resurrected fiscal conservatives.

    Well my guess is that they were salivating at the thought of a Blago appointee actually getting into the Senate.  Kinda like when they give the Dems advice on TV.

    We know these guys and we know they'll make hay out of it.


    Repub strategist on Hardball, (none / 0) (#53)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:24:21 PM EST
    Todd Harris, just now said that Burris is tainted and that they want someone who is tainted to get the Senate seat so that they can beat him in the election in two years.  Not that this guy speaks for the entire party, but I think he's right.  He didn't hesitate for a second with his answer and he used the term "we" as if it was common knowledge in the R party.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:30:11 PM EST
    With Burris being tainted is not why he will most likely lose the 2010 senate race, it is because he has a record of losing, another reason for not seating Burris. F'ing idiots!!!

    heheheh. (none / 0) (#65)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 09:37:46 PM EST
    this is true.  hilariously true.  

    What else is new? (none / 0) (#20)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:29:02 PM EST
    This cave in doesn't upset me as much as their total cave in on Iraq and FISA. Maybe I'm just getting immune to disappointment or lack of leadership.

    Getting the drift now (none / 0) (#30)
    by SOS on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:03:17 PM EST
    about how the Romans felt with their Senate running the ship?

    You remember (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:05:58 PM EST
    what happened to the Roman Empire when their leaders' egos got too big?

    Those (none / 0) (#35)
    by SOS on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:13:36 PM EST
    that ignore the past are doomed to repeat it the ol' saying goes.

    Durbin cartoon (none / 0) (#70)
    by blueaura on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:56:40 AM EST