Thursday, January 1, 2009

The cravenness of Blagojevich and Rush

Let it never be said that I'm disinclined to call foul when it's a Democrat that's pulling something awful.

It makes sense to me that Rod Blagojevich would make a Senate appointment despite his indictment. If you are trying to project an air of non-guilt, but don't have a lot of non-guilty resources, you move forward as if you aren't guilty. I don't know exactly what Rep. Bobby Rush's angle is here, besides making a power play over the Senate and Obama. He is, after all, the only person to have defeated Obama in an election (for US House in 2000 -- he trounced the president-elect largely by playing the "he's not black enough" card). And although I find Rush's race-baiting arguments for the acceptance of Roland Burris to be disgusting on their face (1. don't "hang or lynch the appointee" because of Blago's actions; 2. there aren't any black people in the Senate, therefore nobody will want to go on record against a black man and show themselves to be like George Wallace or Bull Connor), it's the hypocricy of this man making these arguments that really pisses me off.

FIRST, here's what Rep. Rush was saying 23 days ago:
I believe that the acts that are alleged to have been committed by the Governor are so heinous that he has forfeited his right to appoint someone to fill the seat of President-Elect Barack Obama. My bottom line is that the Governor should not be the one to make the appointment to this important office.
What changed his mind?

SECOND, four years ago, Rush apparently wasn't terribly bothered by the idea of there not being any African-Americans in the Senate. He opposed both Barack Obama and Joyce Washington, the only other black candidate, in the Democratic primary for Senate in 2004. Apparently he thought millionaire Blair Hull was the right man for the job, and race wasn't an important qualification. What changed his mind?

This is absolutely scummy behavior, and he deserves to be called out on both of these instances of hypocrisy. I hope someone in the mainstream media grows a pair and does so, although I'm not encouraged so far. More importantly, though, I hope that the extent to which Rush has overplayed his hand here comes around and bites him in the ass. I do think that encouraging qualified minority candidates for high office is important, and I think that this bullshit only diminishes other, more constructive efforts.

Incidentally, if you're looking for entertaining and interesting political blogs, I recommend among others those of Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic and Robert A. George, who writes for outlets including the NY Post. Both are young or youngish and African-American. Coates is liberal, George a conservative. I enjoy their writing.

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