Damn. I personally feel bad for Roland Burris, the Illinois politician selected by Blagojevich to fill Obama’s Senate seat and denied entrance into the Capitol today. While I understand the concern that anyone the governor chose for the spot would be tainted due to the allegations against Blagojevich, I have yet to see anything come out that says that Burris is either unqualified or had anything to do with the governor’s problem.
But what really interests me is how race is starting to play into this circus act. Should Obama’s seat be filled by another African-American? (Has anyone thought perhaps about a black WOMAN to fill the seat?) Is it racist, as Burris’s supporters have alleged, to not fill the seat with a qualified Black politician?
On the other hand, can Burris be believed when he says:
I cannot control my supporters. I have never in my life, in all my years of being elected to office, thought anything about race.
??? What??? Yeah, right. I personally don’t think it’s racist to not support him receiving the seat, since the allegations against Blag were mounted prior to his pick, and the fact that the pick would be tainted was announced prior to the pick as well. Furthermore, if the state doesn’t want you there, then you shouldn’t be there to represent the state. But I also don’t buy Burris’s pronouncement of his colorblindness.
But this is also true:
And if the appointment of Mr. Burris is tainted by Mr. Blagojevich’s situation, as some have argued, it must be noted that the governor has only been accused of crimes, but neither indicted nor convicted.
While it is only alleged – albiet with what looks like damning evidence – that the governor attempted to sell the Senate seat, until it is proven, upon conviction, I just don’t see how Burriss can be legally denied the seat. It sucks, and it looks mad shady, but doesn’t the law say innocent until proven guilty? And why should this man have to pay for the sins of another? Lawyers out there – if you know better than me, let us know!