Does Sen. Feinstein Read The Letters She Signs?

Sen. Diane Feinstein has decided that Roland Burris should be seated:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein rejected the reasoning that all of the chamber's Democrats, herself included, had cited in a letter last week that corruption charges against Burris' patron, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, tainted his appointment. "Does the governor have the power, under law, to make the appointment? And the answer is yes," said Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, which judges the credentials of senators.

Funny, less than a month ago, Feinstein signed a letter saying the opposite:

Please understand that should you [Blagojevich] 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.

Begging the question, does Feinstein read the letters she signs?

Speaking for me only

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    She's a jump ahead of Julian Bond (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 06:06:16 PM EST
    who just announced that the NAACP will hold a news conference tomorrow to support Burris.

    Feinstein noted that she already was getting lobbied by her constituents of color in California.  With the NAACP and Julian Bond on Burris side, I bet that other signatories of that letter will change their minds soon, too.

    Wonder if Dems recall Bond (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:38:31 PM EST
    was refused his seat in the Georgia legislature -- until the U.S. Supreme Court, in Bond v. Floyd, smacked down the state legislature?

    Wonder if Bond is going to publicly wonder how much really has changed in more than four decades since?

    What a way for the oldest civil rights organization to open its centennial year -- since its founding as a reaction to racist riots and lynchings in, where else, Illinois . . . and in its state capital, the home of Lincoln.  And, of course, the site where Obama launched his campaign -- and thus a site with layers of meaning in African American history that went right past the msm, of course.

    Oh, this will be so fraught with historic meaning for those with the capacity for memory.  So, scratch the msm on that count, but I'll be watching the black press.  This, this may begin the vaunted but deferred national discourse on race, and there's none better than Bond to do it.


    Do many people believe (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:57:17 PM EST
    that if Blagojevich had appointed a white politician, the Senate would have seated him by now?

    I've heard and read it said (none / 0) (#56)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 11:01:49 PM EST
    but have no idea how many so "believe."  Reader polls are self-selected.  But reader responses in black press commentary are certainly interesting and seem to be growing and picking up steam as the story does.  

    Here's an interesting roundup (none / 0) (#58)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 11:09:15 PM EST
    of a range of opinions, with some subtle insights, via AP as well.  Btw, I saw Sharpton on this today and thought he was more forceful than this story suggests.

    Very interesting link (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 11:18:41 PM EST
    Thanks for that.

    And also see the Chicago Trib (none / 0) (#74)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:22:29 AM EST
    op eds, especially columns by Zorn and Byrne.  Plus comments.

    I especially commend Byrne's line about Illinois Dems.  But let it not be prophetic about their performance when they go national: "If any lesson is to be learned from this farce, it's that Democrats know how to get elected but can't govern."

    And Kass is ever fun to read, as he attempts to explain to a sweet young CNN thang that the spectacle at the Senate was just everyday stuff in Chitown.  'Tis true, from what I've seen and read; Blago is just another in a long line of pols who emulate Roman emperors in their role of  providing jaded flatlanders -- and especially their jaded Chitown press -- with entertainment.  

    It's easier to understand if you read up on Chicago in the '20s -- Ben Hecht's Front Page, the musical Chicago, etc. (I'm amid a research project on the '20s in Chicago and particularly recommend reading up on the Dil [sic] Pickle Club and Bughouse Square).  Then realize that the press and public in Chicago so loved that period that they're still stuck in time.  All that's missing in this story is that Burris didn't show up in D.C. with a moll.


    Here's an indication (none / 0) (#60)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 11:18:42 PM EST
    of how this is playing with his hometown crowd - current online poll at the Chicago Defender (doesn't indicated number of respondents though):

    Do you want former Attorney General Roland Burris as our next Illinois Senator?

    Yes: 44%

    No, because of Blagojevich´s legal issues: 33%

    No, and not because of Blagojevich: 16%

    Undecided: 7%

    So a majority of his hometown crowd don't want him.

    Pretty close to how it's playing with the broader population:

    Overall, 51 percent in the USA Today-Gallup poll said the Senate should block Burris from filling the now open seat, and opposition to his becoming the new junior senator from Illinois rises to 59 percent among those paying close attention to the controversy swarming around his selection by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

    Read the AP clip that Cream City posted above (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Upstart Crow on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 11:42:06 PM EST
    with its penetrating image: a 72-year-old black man walking in the cold January rain, after being closed out of the room by the white men.

    I wonder how many of the people polled above were African American.

    And I wonder how those numbers are going to move by the end of the week. Especially if this mess continues.


    Just the image (none / 0) (#63)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 11:55:51 PM EST
    Blagojevich wants to play on for his own benefit, just as some of the people quoted in that AP piece noted. They didn't seem to be too happy to be used by Blago for his own purposes, even while admiring the nerve of his "gangster move." You can't help but feel for how some others quoted are taking it - it's disgusting that there's no AA senator right now. But that's not what it's about - it's about not allowing a tainted process to put someone into the Senate who will always be a reproach to Dems through the 111th. Better to stand up for proper process and an untainted appointment or election, and tough out the nonsense now. If White doesn't appoint an AA senator though, Davis, Burris, or someone else, that will be bad. How Burris has played this - shamelessly using the race card - makes me hope very much it's not him.

    And I'd expect most of the people polled at the Chicago Defender were African American.


    If *Quinn* doesn't appoint... (none / 0) (#64)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:01:35 AM EST
    Defender prefferred JJJr (none / 0) (#65)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:20:19 AM EST
    and others of a younger generation than Burris -- there is a backstory.  But it and others in the black press definitely want to see an African American in the Senate from Chicago (and actually two in the Senate, with another from New York, btw, to be appointed by its African American governor).  That's the institutional stance.  Re the reader poll, it is frustrating not to have total numbers, but I suspect participation is low, as those percentages have been the same since the morning.

    Also interesting to see msm columnists of color explaining Burris and what his several, historic statewide wins meant in his time to Chicago and beyond; one calls Burris "the Obama of the '70s."

    Sort of makes me wonder what Obama will look like in the '40s.  The 2040s.:-)


    The appointee has to be AA (none / 0) (#69)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:32:15 AM EST
    But how we get to there matters.

    And maybe by the 2040s this kind of race-based circus will look like the most incredibly barbarous backwardness. Which it is.


    That almost makes me (none / 0) (#73)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:00:23 AM EST
    want to live long enough to see it.  Nah.

    Speaking of Lincoln ... (none / 0) (#68)
    by cymro on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:30:44 AM EST
    ... he once wrote:

    I can never be satisfied with any one who would be block-head enough to have me

    Maybe this is where Grouch Marx got the inspiration for his famous letter saying:

    Please accept my resignation. I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.

    And maybe this mindset actually fuels Burris's desire to take his seat in the senate club.


    Inevitability (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Upstart Crow on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 06:20:50 PM EST
    This is an inevitability, for all the legal kanoodling.

    Common sense says that until Blago is taken out of office, he is an acting governor. He's making all sorts of other decisions as an acting governor. No one is talking about revoking his pardons because he is "tainted."

    If the Illinois Dems wanted to take this decision out of his hands, they had an opportunity to do so. They were counting on Blago to be submissive in disgrace. He wasn't.

    He outsmarted them on this one. Big deal. Time to cut losses and move on to bigger issues. There are plenty.

    He's not an acting governor (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 06:41:46 PM EST
    He is governor.  And apparently will be for a while; the Illinois legislators are delaying again, did not meet today, may meet tomorrow . . . or not.

    And impeachment hearings have not been calendared until the last week of January, and the actual-and- not-acting lieutenant governor himself said that impeachment could take until Lincoln's Birthday.  

    What a way to mark that Ol' Abe's holiday in Illinois.  They need his ilk now, as no one was better at maneuvering in the Illinois legislature.  Heck, he probably could end this with one of his wonderful jokes or stories.  But the current group in Springfield lacks that gift, entirely.


    Well (none / 0) (#10)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:05:15 PM EST
    If a criminal complaint had been issued against Blagojevich for selling a pardon, I happen to believe there would at least be an investigation of his other pardons.

    Has there been. . . (none / 0) (#13)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:33:18 PM EST
    any suggestion whatsoever of corruption in the Burris appointment?  It seems to me that such a finding is the only possible reason for the Senate to consider excluding him.  But all the Senators -- even those opposing seating him -- seem to be falling over themselves to suggest he's not personally tainted and is completely fit to serve in the Senate.

    I think there is a prevailing conventional wisdom (none / 0) (#18)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:45:19 PM EST
    but I also think the allegations against Blagojevich certainly provide a basis to at least inquire into the circumstances of the appointment, if for no other reason than to reassure the public.  When I say "investigate and then seat him" - the only point in this debate where I disagree with BTD's position - I am also articulating the conventional wisdom which assumes that such an investigation would turn up nothing.  But of course we don't really know for sure.

    Fair enough, except, (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by dk on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:52:52 PM EST
    as Larry points out, the Senate democrats, and Obama, have released letters and statements preemptively declaring Burris himself to be clean.

    Prediction... (none / 0) (#57)
    by santarita on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 11:07:41 PM EST
    Burriss'attorney files a lawsuit and  asks for a tro/preliminary injunction or writ of mandamus requiring the Illinois Secretary of State to certify the appointment.  He gets it.  He presents the certification to Reid, Reid rejects it.  The attorney goes to court again asking for similar relief against the Senate.  Reid caves at that point.  Accepts Burris.

    Dems will sue the court system to make it look like their attempted tough stand on corruption was thwarted by the courts.

    It's theater and the various parties are posturing.


    I am not sure (none / 0) (#61)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 11:20:11 PM EST
    why Reid would cave as opposed to waiting to see what the court will do.  After all, if your game is to blame the courts, might as well let the courts act.  And maybe he wins and the Senate gets to assert its prerogative.

    My Prediction Was Wrong... (none / 0) (#78)
    by santarita on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 10:00:42 AM EST
    Apparently the Dems aren't even going to look for the cover of the courts.  

    So what was the the sound and fury about?


    The letter only said (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by democrat1 on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 06:30:31 PM EST
    that they would exercise their constitutional authority to determine whether to seat that nominee and it seems that now she determined to seat the nominee

    Political letter writing at its finest (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:56:00 PM EST
    They left themselves an out, if an extremely weaselly one.

    Good parsing; I hadn't spotted that out. (none / 0) (#5)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 06:31:56 PM EST
    Heh (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 06:34:41 PM EST
    I've been trying to figure out... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by mexboy on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:24:16 PM EST
    What do you mean when you write "Heh"

    This is not snark, it's just driving me nuts.


    "Begging the question" (none / 0) (#30)
    by Pepe on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 08:16:01 PM EST
    Did you even bother to read the letter before you tried to trounce on Feinstein?

    Don't worry about what she read. Worry about what you didn't read.

    Just "goading you". LOL.


    Heh (none / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 08:17:39 PM EST
    If her inconsistancy can be (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by NJDem on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 06:43:46 PM EST
    blamed on hurt feelings over the Panetta appointment, it seems Biden agrees with her...

    I hope that this transitional team (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:40:40 PM EST
    for Obama gets the message to use Biden better, as we were told he would bring experience with Congress into the administration, and we are seeing a lot of missteps in the last couple of days that suggest that they are not using him at all.

    At least it's only a couple of more weeks until the transition ends, and the experienced Cabinet and crew comes to D.C., and maybe they'll be better at this -- or at least better at using Biden than for followup calls to make apologies after the fact.


    Well it's about time! (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by talesoftwokitties on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 08:10:35 PM EST
    I've read hundreds of comments at various blogs and it's pretty much a Feinstein hate-fest, which is all well and good, but it misses the point.   Which is very simple:  Shouldn't the Obama team have communicated with the Senate Intelligence committee Chair before announcing the pick?  It seems to me to be a matter of courtesy and tradition.

    Maybe Feinstein will receive... (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by EL seattle on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:21:19 PM EST
    ... a special text message notification at 3 AM tomorrow morning.

    Good one! (none / 0) (#41)
    by talesoftwokitties on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:35:09 PM EST

    I'm so bored with this subject already. (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by mexboy on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:27:18 PM EST
    I think this was a stupid fight for congress to pick. Soon they will all come to the same conclusion Feinstein has.

    I don't think the GP cares much about this subject, and the reason being, that most of us think this is business as usual and congress is just posturing.

    Maybe I just have the post-holiday blahs, (5.00 / 5) (#40)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:31:23 PM EST
    or maybe it's the all-day freezing rain and ick, the prospect of an actual 5-day work week - take your pick - but the realization that nothing has really changed, that all the big egos are still elbowing each other for the spotlight, that it's nothing but gamesmanship and political bluff-calling, that all the really important stuff is going to drown in the minutiae of the daily drama, that the same hopes we had in 2006 will be crushed yet again by the likes of Pelosi and Reid, that Lieberman is overdue for some whining - it's just depressing the cr@p out of me.

    No one seems to be able to get their act together on the entire Blago-Burris-State of Illinois debacle, and the whole thing is starting to remind me of The Three Little Pigs, with Reid and other Dems taking turns playing the Wolf, huffing and puffing and not realizing that Blago and Burris are inside the house made of bricks, and all Wolfman Harry is going to get out of this is red-faced and out of breath.

    It's no wonder people have such a low opinion of the Congress; I can hardly wait to see what a mess they make of their attempt to "help" the economy.  And at this rate, maybe we don't want them trying to "fix" health care.

    Buck up Anne! (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:49:23 PM EST
    Some good things:

    Senator Franken

    Obama hasn't even taken office yet. Neither has SOS Clinton.  I think the current state of leaderlessness has put the focus on things best left in the background, like Harry Reid.

    Um..well, that's all I've got. I'm as worried as you are about the "stimulus" plan.


    What hath Fitz wrought? (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Jake Left on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:47:37 AM EST
    The republicans couldn't have paid for this to be played out any better for them. They didn't do that, did they?

    May as well give that one a rest (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by blogname on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:16:36 PM EST
    All of the Senate Democrats signed the letter in order to honor Obama. Now that he sees it as a political liability, they will honor him yet again and reverse course. In other words: Feinstein isn't the only one taking a different position.

    jeebus (none / 0) (#3)
    by Salo on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 06:27:27 PM EST
    This is annoying.

    One thing I'll say for Feinstein (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 06:34:17 PM EST
    she certainly makes Burris look right at home in this Chamber of Buffoons.

    Best laugh I've had all day (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:56:39 PM EST
    One of my favorite ex-bosses (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 08:01:16 PM EST
    (in the engineering field) has an expression for people who talk all the way around a problem, bringing up this or that potential show-stopper, without ever being happy with any solutions proposed. He would say they were "admiring the problem". I think DiFi has a lot of that in her.

    maybe (none / 0) (#36)
    by Nasarius on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:02:54 PM EST
    As a software developer who's participated in open source projects, I certainly know what you're talking about. I've seen simple issues and major needed features which have taken 5+ years to resolve, exacerbated by people who think there isn't a problem or that the solution is imperfect.

    But DiFi...I think she, like Lieberman, is mostly a contrarian who likes the attention. Plus, with possible filibusters looming, conservative Dems and moderate Repubs will have considerable power. This is her signaling that she intends to be one of the major players.


    I hope both she and Boxer do become (none / 0) (#45)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:53:00 PM EST
    more prominent now that we will have a president who needs and likes California. I don't agree with her on everything, but I would sure like to see more of her and less of John Cornyn.

    Had DiFi (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:51:11 AM EST
    started her political career somewhere other than  San Francisco, she would be a Republican. Perhaps a moderate Republican, but a Republican none the less.

    Reid disses DiFi (none / 0) (#14)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:36:38 PM EST
    In an interview with Politico Tuesday afternoon, Reid said Feinstein was right that Obama should have consulted senators before picking Leon Panetta to lead the CIA. But, he added, "I think you need better reasons for coming out against somebody than somebody didn't call you."

    On Burris, Reid said Feinstein was simply wrong.

    Talking to reporters earlier on Tuesday, Feinstein had said that failing to seat Burris would call into question the validity of "gubernatorial appointments all over the country."

    "That's not valid, her statement," a smiling Reid told Politico. "I told her that. OK?"

    Either she wants to be the Lieberman of the 111th or it's this:

    Feinstein, who turns 76 in June, is rumored as a candidate for California governor in 2010, and Democrats say privately that she may be breaking with her party to better position herself for that race.

    Ah. She did say today that (none / 0) (#16)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:42:53 PM EST
    she was speaking up for Burris because she was hearing from her African American constituents.  I had thought that she was stepping down from the Senate and wouldn't need to worry about re-election, but if she is running for gov, she may need that contingent.  (But at 76?  I can't quite see youth-crazed California going for that. . . .)

    OT, but this is one of those times i really have (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:53:09 PM EST
    to marvel at the mentality of politicians. If I were 76 and could afford to be retiring comfortably in California, nothing in the world could make me want to be governor.

    Makes it hard for me to understand any of the logic they use for anything.


    Ruffian it is very easy to understand.... (none / 0) (#77)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 07:52:50 AM EST
    It is about ambition, power and prestige. It is not limited to politicians.
    And at the risk of sounding classist, for the most part it is the poor and the middle-class who look forward to retiring comfortably and enjoying life then because they have been working, sacrificing, scrimping and(hopefully!)saving most of their lives.
    On the other hand the rich/priveleged have all the comforts and luxuries of life all along and so the concept of "I can't wait to retire and enjoy life" is not the same.
    I am obviously generalizing quite a bit but have found it to be true for the people I have come in contact with.

    Meh. (none / 0) (#19)
    by dk on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:47:05 PM EST
    She consistently polled as the most popular politician in the state of California, so it doesn't seem logical to me that she would feel the need to pull a stunt like this to gain popularity out there.

    DiFi has always seemed to me to be a person who simply gets annoyed by stuff now and then, and then feels no qualms about acting out on that annoyance.  Given the farce that this whole thing has become (IMO, all the fault of the Ill. legislature who failed to pass the special election bill when they had the chance), I find it hard to blame her on this one.


    To paraphrase Mexboy (none / 0) (#21)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:51:43 PM EST
    above, could you parse "Meh"?

    I've been trying to figure out...
    by mexboy on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:24:16 PM EST

    What do you mean when you write "Heh"

    This is not snark, it's just driving me nuts.

    But seriously, thanks for the insight.  I didn't know that she was the most popular pol there -- as she certainly is not that with a relative there.


    Basically, I meant "meh" (none / 0) (#26)
    by dk on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:59:33 PM EST
    as general disagreement on your theory that she is doing this to gain support for a potential gubernatorial run.

    Many on the left in California do hate her, but somehow she has managed to garner enough support from all political factions out there that she has very high popularity ratings.  Whether she really intends to run for governor, and whether she would win, are certainly open questions, but she definitely holds the place as respected elder statesman out there, for better or worse.


    The field is wide open for governor if Anhold (none / 0) (#33)
    by mexboy on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 08:26:56 PM EST
    decides not to run again.

    The only other person I can think of would be Antonio Villaraigosa, but I doubt he's ready to leave Los Angeles.

    I'm not a big fan of Feinstein, but would like a Democratic governor out here.


    Something I dont understand (none / 0) (#67)
    by Amiss on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:30:41 AM EST
    perhaps someone more learned can explain to me. Illinois is holding a special election for Rahm Emmanuel's seat, why can they not do both at the same time? I read and hear all the griping about the cost of one for Obama's seat.

    Rahm's seat (none / 0) (#71)
    by Steve M on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:38:04 AM EST
    is only in a single district.  A statewide election is much more expensive.

    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Amiss on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 01:56:28 PM EST
    didnt think about that, it was late and I was tired and I am old :P

    Two things...76-77 is a (none / 0) (#17)
    by oldpro on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:43:47 PM EST
    teeny bit old to be making a first run for governor...and breaking with the Democratic Party doesn't sound like that great an idea to run statewide in California, The Ahnold aside.

    Also take the source into account (none / 0) (#20)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:50:43 PM EST
    Politico, which pushes Democrats in disarray, and its some "Democrats say"...

    But it's got to be about more than just her pique over Panetta.


    Not her first run. She (none / 0) (#66)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:27:45 AM EST
    ran against Gray Davis earlier.

    1990. She beat Gray Davis in the (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:33:24 AM EST
    Dem. primary but lost the election to Pete Wilson.

    Whether (none / 0) (#28)
    by DaveOinSF on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 08:02:40 PM EST
    The letter says that should Blago appoint someone, the Senate would have to determine "whether" such a person should be seated.

    The Senate Democrats have chosen NOT to determine whether Burris should be seated, only decided to exercise their power not to seat him.  Absent a hearing which investigates whether Burris should be seated or not, Feinstein only has two choices, seat him or not.

    And as chair of the Rules Committee (none / 0) (#32)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 08:19:09 PM EST
    at least until the switchovers come . . . she is signalling, I think, that she wants no part of chairing such a hearing.

    So when do the chairs switch committees?  How long would Reid have to stall on this to await a new chair who might (or might not) be more amenable?


    Also sounds like Reid is holding firm (none / 0) (#34)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 08:43:10 PM EST
    And do you think the Republicans are going to want to seat him? I think that might be the most interesting question of this whole enterprise.

    I predict... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Upstart Crow on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 08:52:23 PM EST
    ...that sooner or later the Senate will seat Burris. They will recognize that the nitpicking  legalities are lost on the general public, and that the obvious truth is that Blago IS the sitting governor of Illinois, and Burris seems a reasonably okay choice. They will realize, sooner or later, that they are keeping Blago in the headlines by refusing to seat. It will finally dawn on them that the African American community feels very very strongly about this.

    I predict the other Senators will forget their huffiness within a couple months. More probably weeks.

    I predict Burris -- who really really REALLY wants the job -- will be a cooperative, hard-working Democrat in the Senate, widely liked by everyone.

    I predict the same end result (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:09:28 PM EST
    but by a different path...

    Blago gets impeached, Quinn takes over as gov - and appoints Burris.


    I think they would be very unwise... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Upstart Crow on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:42:14 PM EST
    to let this drift on for another week. But who knows? Wisdom hasn't been a prominent characteristic of dealings so far.

    Very unwise of Burris to drag it out, yes. (none / 0) (#47)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:59:16 PM EST
    He should have withdrawn from the appointment rather than force the confrontation. What he did was madness.

    He won't. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Upstart Crow on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:03:06 PM EST
    So whatcha going to do?

    Wait for Blago to get impeached, (none / 0) (#49)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:08:54 PM EST
    and another Senator appointed.
    Burris has permanently tarnished his reputation with his stunt.

    Sure. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Upstart Crow on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:12:54 PM EST
    Let the Dems shoot themselves in the foot.

    This is playing out very nastily in the public arena. You can make it bigger and last longer by fighting it. That way Blago gets a double score. He wanted to throw a stink-bomb, and you are helping it along.

    I don't think there's any "high road" in this. I think what's going to come out during Blago's impeachment, trial, whatever, is that most of the people protesting the loudest have gone to bed with him at some time or other.

    No time to play virgins now.


    really? Reid in bed with Blago?! (none / 0) (#52)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:30:43 PM EST
    There are accusations today (none / 0) (#54)
    by Upstart Crow on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:48:45 PM EST
    that Reid tried to influence Blago's choice. We'll find out what that was about in the coming months.

    I predict you are wrong on all counts. (none / 0) (#39)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:26:57 PM EST
    In particular, I think Burris will be a pariah, if he is seated.

    Ohhhhhh, I think not. (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Upstart Crow on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:40:50 PM EST
    They'll need him. And part of being a successful senator is dropping all that kind of pettiness when you need to.

    I have a feeling Burris has a gift for making himself aimiable and cooperative. He'll need it.


    Do you think he has demonstrated (none / 0) (#46)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 09:57:41 PM EST
    this gift in the last few days?
    Why the rush to get seated, when he knew the Senate would refuse? That kind of bullying will be hard to forget.

    Nope. (none / 0) (#50)
    by Upstart Crow on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:10:09 PM EST
    I'm going from the (admittedly little) I've heard about his Illinois background. Everyone seems to like him; he doesn't seem to have any enemies.

    The only negative that has seemed to stick to him is the silly egotism of his pre-death pharoanic memorial.

    What I'm hearing on TL is understandable resentment and anger that Blago pulled a fast one.  

    But pull a fast one he did, and I think everyone will have to get over it and move on.

    The Blago drama will be playing out over years -- but it doesn't have to be front-loaded. I expect a lot of names are going to go down with him.

    The Dems, by their actions, are keeping it in the public eye, keeping it alive, right now. In fact, with the Senate appointment, a local Chicago mess has gone national. I think this is the stink-bomb Blago planned -- he wins by losing.

    Don't shoot the messenger. I just think it's a done deal. Feinstein seems to be recognizing that. We'll see what Julian Bond has to say in the morning.


    Neither BarBox nor DiFi (none / 0) (#76)
    by weltec2 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 04:01:25 AM EST
    has ever answered one of my letters. Perhaps it's because I live in Japan -- though I am from CA. I really don't know. But it has left me feeling a bit sour toward both of them.