Under Pressure, Dems
To Seat The Lord's Senator™ Have No Clue What's Going On
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jan 7, 2009 4:12PM
Painting by our own talented Lauri Apple
Well, here we were, putting together an extensive run-down on what's next in the Saga of The Lord's Senate Appointee™
and, lo and behold, Senate Democrats now say that they'll seat Roland Burris and it looks like a deal has not yet been reached. In the end, even after yesterday's choreographed rejection, the alleged seating would come as no surprise as opposition to Burris began weakening, specifically from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) who was worried about the precedent that would be set for future governor appointees, saying, "If you don't seat Mr. Burris, it has ramifications for gubernatorial appointments all over America...He is very well-respected. I am hopeful that this will be settled." Burris is meeting today with the Senate's top two Dems, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and the senior senator of Illinois, Dick Durbin. Besides the precedent issue, the Senate knew it was in for a lengthy court battle as Burris and his attorney yesterday vowed to dig in his heels.
At a press conference that concluded a few minutes ago, President-Elect Barack Obama even seemed to weaken a bit on his stance, calling The Lord's Senator™ a "fine man" and promising to work with him (Chris Matthews called Obama "mellow"). Seating or no, criticism of Burris continues to flow. Today the Sun-Times has a piece on former assistant attorney general Mary Brigid Kenney, who resigned over then-attorney general Burris's zealous prosecution of Rolando Cruz, who was exonerated for the crime when another man confessed. NBC/Beachwood's Steve Rhodes takes a gander at a few other shady stories from Burris's past.
Update: We're awaiting a Press Conference by Sen. Harry Reid that will address the issue of what the blue hell is going on.
Update II: Sen. Reid set three conditions for Burris's seating that will occur over the next couple of days:
- The Illinois Supreme Court will have a hearing to decide whether or not Sec. of State. Jesse White's signature is necessary to seat Burris, i.e., does White have the right to reject Burris. They could force White to sign the appointment.
- Burris will testify before the state's impeachment committee about his "arrangement" with Gov. Blagojevich, i.e., whether there was a deal between the two in exchange for the seat.
- The entire U.S. Senate will vote on Burris's seating.