Occam's Razor says this is about law, not politics; that is, Harry Reid received legal advice that there was likely no way for the Senate to refuse the duly elected governor's duly appointed choice. The only alternative would be to stall the appointment in court, which just postpones the inevitable. So all of this business about "caving" or "walking back" is just Reid facing the reality that Burris is going to get his seat.
I would suppose so. Reid seems to be one of the more anti-corruption figures in politics, and his initial reaction to the Fitzgerald complaint, and his subsequent attempts to carry it out, seem to speak of a desire to distance himself and his caucus as much as possible from what was happening in Illinois. That he might not be able to is something he might not have understood until recently, and will now look silly for having to walk back what was (I think an appropriate) emotional reaction.
If this is really about not wanting to piss off certain sections of the black community, I have considerately less respect for the move. Bobby Rush is a despicable piece of shit and anyone who follows him is an idiot.
I still don't think Reid comes out of this very well. The application of Powell v. McCormack presents a significant obstacle to not seating Burriss. Reid should have known this and used it to his advantage instead of letting Blago drive the bus. Dragging the replacement out just keeps reminding everyone what a piece of shit Blago is and forces the Illinois legislature to schedule a special election. Corvus disagreed with me on this elsewhere, but I think nothing good could come of an election. This avoids a special election and I'm all for it.
Reid looks like a fool here not because of the (likely) final outcome, but because of the process. Anybody with half a brain would have gotten that legal advice before spouting off that now way no how would Burris be seated. Reid should have had a couple of contingency plans in place before he'd ever heard Burris' name; it's not like they didn't have plenty of lead time to prepare a response to the possibility that Blago would appoint somebody.
Shorter version: before you draw a line in the sand, check to see if the tide is coming in.
Nicholas: it's still an embarassing walkback if you had no other option. That's called "someone calling your bluff".
I agree with corvus re: his over-reaction. Fearitself should remember that Reid made most of these commitment BEFORE Burris was named. It seemed a lot more reasonable when we were only dealing with the corrupt caricature of Blagojevich.
Maybe. I can't help but recall that the apparent plain meaning of the law never seems to present much of a barrier to Republicans.
I do think one of the side benefits of what Reid did is that it put some distance between the Democratic Party and Blagojevich, in the eyes of observers. Reid being forced to accept Burris against his will doesn't take that away.
In the end, I'd rather look foolish but clean than seem tainted by corruption.
What Neil said. In fact, that's the main thing. Reid's first order of business in this whole affair was making sure that the Democratic brand didn't get tainted with the whiff of corruption. Right now, no one is talking about the Senate coddling corruption. Which, when you think about it, really is an achievement. Look how quick the media and the right were to start whispering about Obama being tainted with corruptions based on conversations no one had heard. No one is doing that with the Senate. In fact, all it seems is that Reid gave some really bad advice.
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