Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Joe Lieberman and Rick Warren In, Roland Burris Out: No "Place at the Table" for Senior, Loyal Democrat

The title really conveys how I feel right now. Women and GLBT people are told that we must learn how to stop being "disagreeable" and accept pedophilia/incest/polygamy = same-sex marriage man. The "liberal" wing gets to stomach Lieberman. But a lifetime Democrat, who has never made a speech endorsing "90%" of Bush and who has never equated the pro-choice movement with Nazi genocide is shut out of the Senate by Democrats willing to discard liberal principles, the Constitution, Illinois law, and common sense. What must happen before progressives really get upset? Is it just me or is this pattern completely outrageous? And is the silence by Democrats even worse? Perhaps, Democrats will allow Burris to take his seat at the table if he agrees to: make a speech for the next GOP presidential candidate; equate abortion with the Holocaust, and compare same-sex marriage with incest polygamy and child rape.


Malnurtured Snay said...

I feel that Burris isn't being denied because of who is he, but rather, because of who appointed him.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Well, I used to feel that way until I started thinking that there are two sides to a "denial." You are denied because of who you are or because of who you are not....or some have access because of who they are or are not. On some level I think this is not about Blago, but about Blago refusing to pick whom the Senate leadership wanted. They are using the investigation as a convenient excuse. But I have noticed that moderates or conservatives who provoke controversy get in. Obama intervenes and tells people to stop being so disagreeable. He could have done that with Burris, without legitimating Blagojevich. Instead, he tries to legitimate Burris (ironically by blocking him) while condemning Blagojevich.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Hutchinson, as a lifelong conservative I have to say that I often read your blog because of some of the great insight by you and some of your followers. I admire your tenacity for the defense of the defenseless. With regards to the actions taken against Mr. Burris today, I have to say that I must dissagree with your assessment of the matter. Although Mr. Burris seems to be completely qualified for the Senate, this issue is not about Mr. Burris. This issue is also not about Gov. Blogo. This is about the perception of impropriety sorrounding the very Senate seat that Gov. Blog tried to sell. Even if he is not guilty of trying to sell it, the perception is present. If Gov. Blogo had been accused of sitting on a public toilet at an airport while tapping his feet under the stall, this would not be an issue. If Gov. Blago would have been accused of paying a high end escort service for comfort, this would not be an issue. Any other accusations would not have tarnished his appointment of someone to the Senate seat. Unfortunately, he is accused of trying to sell that very seat of to which he appointed Mr. Burris. Mr. Burris could be (and probably is)squeeky clean. There will always be a dark cloud hanging over him. The people of Illinois and the U.S. deserve better than that. I would have expected no less from the Senate regardless of party affiliation. Thanks for your blog and keep up the good work.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Anonymous, thanks for reading and the compliments. Disagreement is fine -- I mean, the title is DISSENTING Justice.

I believe that it is impossible to say this is not about Burris but then deny him a Senate seat. No one has said that Burris has ever engaged in wrongdoing. Apparently, Blagojevich first offered the position to others who turned it down -- and the politicians in Illinois describe them as being honorable for doing so. According to the logic of people who want to see suspicion with respect to Burris, the governor negotiated honorably with these others, but once they refused him, he turned around and sold the seat to Burris out of desperation to fill it. That just does not make sense.

If people were actually interested in parsing the details of the offer Burris received, they would have conducted an investigation, rather than denying him the appointment. If they really believed that Blagojevich was "paralyzing" the state and lacked crediblity, then Democrats would have held a special election, rather than declining to do so because they feared a Republican would win.

Many conservatives support Burris because they know what Reid's arguments could mean in terms of federalism and partisan politics. The constitution delegates authority on this issue to the states -- not the feds. And if the Senate can just exclude someone even though that person is innocent, then it opens the door to politically motivated exclusions.

PS: Did you notice that Patrick Buchanan, Steve Chapman, and other conservatives support the view I advocate? See, e.g., Patrick Buchanan Shows Greater Commitment to Liberal Values Than Senate Democrats, Defends Roland Burris
and http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-oped0104chapmanjan04,0,6983915.column

Malnurtured Snay said...

"And if the Senate can just exclude someone even though that person is innocent, then it opens the door to politically motivated exclusions."

Well, but the reason that he was denied admitance was because the Secretary of State of Illinois didn't sign Burris' certificate. It's not a matter - yet - of senators refusing to allow someone into the chamber because they don't like him.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Snay - what happened to your cynicism? They were not going to seat him anyway. The Secretary of State situation was a convenient excuse. Also - the Secretary of State is breaking the law: Linda Tripp, Kato Kaelin, and Jesse White: Illinois Secretary of State Should Savor Next Four Minutes

If Reid really wanted to seat Burris, members of the Senate would have secured the secretary's signature. All they had to do was get contacts in Illinois to tell him to do it. This is political football at its highest level.

During the Clinton impeachment, Democrats made the exact opposite arguments that they are making now: Impeachment hurt the president -- not Clinton's failure to resign. Republicans said that Clinton (like Blagojevich) lacked the crediblity to govern and that he should resign in the interest of the country. When he didn't, they followed through with their threats and instigated impeachment proceedings.

Now, Democrats are making the same arguments that the Republicans made before. Well, except for me. I am basically arguing the same position I argued during the Clinton era.

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