By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Soon to be ex-senator Burris (II)

Check out this statement from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office, as reported by Talking Points Memo: “Senator Reid supports Senator Burris’ decision to cooperate with all appropriate officials who may review this matter, including state agencies and the Senate Ethics Committee.” Whoa.

Here’s why Roland Burris is a goner. Shortly after Rod Blagojevich appointed him, Reid adamantly insisted that Burris would never be seated. On Jan. 4, for instance, Reid appeared on “Meet the Press” and essentially said the Senate would not accept anyone appointed by Blagojevich, whom he called “obviously a corrupt individual.”

Reid backed down because he had to, and because Burris appeared to be ethical. It wasn’t pretty. And now Burris has made Reid look like a fool for a second time.

If Burris won’t resign, I say the Senate will expel him, with Reid leading the charge. Good riddance.

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Soon to be ex-senator Burris (III)


  1. NewsHound

    Yes, indeed: Good riddance! Reid was right to accept him in a warm, friendly manner, and should move to expel him as quickly as possible. Burris is the betrayer.

  2. Prospecticus

    So the junior senator from Il says that with all the excitement, he had a senior moment and forgot about the meeting with brother Rob, because nothing happened? You call that perjury? Burris is a tough cookie. I don’t think he’ll go quietly even if it would avoid an indictment.

  3. Sara

    Reid caved in last time while standing on solid ground, and he’ll do it again. I want to be optimistic about this, but I cannot imagine that he’ll expel the man, especially after a limp little statement like that.

  4. Aaron Read

    I’m no constitutional scholar, but I believe this isn’t really Reid’s decision. The entire structure of the US Senate is based on the concept that all 100 members are equal…the ability of any one Senator to accomplish anything is quite limited.Reid can, of course, attempt to cajole other Senators into joining any given cause Reid wants to champion…but he’s got precious little ability to actually strong-arm someone as frequently happens in the House, where the Speaker can really smack you down if you’re a junior member and don’t sit in “important seats” on “important committees”.

  5. O-FISH-L

    Dan, it’s laughable in a discussion of the cesspool that is Chicago politics, for you to suggest that the appointment of Burris succeeded because he “appeared to be ethical.” Hogwash! It was skin color, pure and simple, that assured Burris would be nominated and sworn-in. For the exact same reason, he will remain untouchable in the Senate at least for the remainder of his current term.Boxed-in, moments from impeachment, and almost certain to have any Senate appointee swatted down, Governor Blagojevich raised the ante and appointed a semi-qualified black man to fill Obama’s seat in the midst of euphoria over the first black president. At the time, I believe I labeled Blagojevich’s move “brilliant” and said here that the only appointee more assured of approval would have been both homosexual and black. I wish I could predict the Megamillions numbers so well. For a Democrat party draped in the theme of racial equality to have such a disgraceful record of blacks in the Senate, (Burris’ joke of an appointment finally ties them with the GOP) there isn’t a chance that he will be removed from office. After all, how do you remove this clown when you have an admitted killer and an admitted Ku Klux Klansman in seniority?

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Fish: You know, I find I’m really not reading your comments that closely these days. Time to elevate your game, don’t you think?

  7. Tunder

    Good work, as usual, Fish. Spew some more Republican hate and vitriol. Like Sarah Palin, the gift that keeps on giving to the Democatric party.Will you please post when the very likely scenario happens that Burris is forced out? Would love to hear your twisted reasoning and conspiracy theory on that one.

  8. Bill Baar

    Burris is tough and he’s paid his income taxes. Can Charlie Rangal or Sec Treas Geitner say the same?Unless Obama comes out against Burris expect him to stay.It’s better off for Illinois Dems to have a weak Burris in office then an empty seat and the pressure for a special election.

  9. Brad

    Eh, I don’t pay much attention to Fish, either Dan…but he’s got a point about Burris’s race being a major reason why he was picked.After all, if it WASN’T an issue, then why was it so often mentioned that Burris would be the only black US Senator if he were seated? Granted, Fish then rants off on a tangent, but the core point remains: if Burris were white, he never would’ve been seated no matter what stunt he pulled. I don’t know exactly what Blago hoped to achieve by appointing Burris, but it was most definitely a calculated move to put the one guy in there that wouldn’t immediately have the door slammed in his face.

  10. lkcape

    Perhaps Sen. Reid should resign.He is becoming an embarassment.

  11. Dan Kennedy

    Brad: Of course Burris was picked in part because he’s black. It’s Fish’s habit of making us stagger through his stations of the cross in every single post … black … homosexual … admitted killer … admitted Ku Klux Klansman (rated 82 percent by the NAACP, by the way). ZZZZzzzz.

  12. NewsHound

    “Perhaps Sen. Reid should resign.” That’ll be the day. We need him there right now to houseclean.The X governor no doubt appointed RB I think because he knew they would have to gulp and accept. I also thought he would use the appointment as ammunition that the seat was not for sale, in particular when RB said under oath that he had had no contact, directly or INDIRECTLY. I don’t blame Sen. Reid for his first position that anything from Gov. B was soiled, and then willing to take a second look at Burris and find him an honorable candidate. Now, the proof is in the pudding.Fish’s theory’s and Dan’s clarifications are most entertaining, and enlightening.

  13. lkcape

    “We need him there right now to houseclean”This is the guy that gave rave reviews to Daschle and Geithner. Clean house? Come on.

  14. NewsHound

    Ikcape – you have a point. Reid may not be that good at cleaning house but we have to hope he is pushy enough now to get Roland out of there. Who else has enough push and pull to get the job done?

  15. T

    Burris was obviously chosen because of his race by the crazy like a fox Blagojevich. He was seated by the Senate because there was no legal reason to deny him. I really don’t think race had anything to do with it, Reid and company were really stuck. Burris does not have a big base of support in the black community, either in Illinois or nationally. Now that he may have given false testimony to the Illinois legislature, there may be a reason to expel him.

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