Friday, January 02, 2009

Should Roland Burris Be Seated?

Of the two states with Senators to be appointed, I wonder which will be best served when all is decided.

As for qualifications, Burris from Illinois and Kennedy from New York, both pass muster. Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for senators: 1) each senator must be at least 30 years old, 2) must have been a citizen of the United States for at least the past nine years, and 3) must be (at the time of the election) an inhabitant of the state they seek to represent.

Now that cooler heads are beginning to prevail, it would appear the Senate may have no choice but to seat Burris. It makes the righteous indignation of Harry Reid over his appointment by a tainted governor look a bit foolish. We know what can happen when a government official shoots from the lip. "Bring 'em on!"

The appointment process has gotten somewhat muddied. Caroline Kennedy is getting her baptism by fire as to what elective politics will be like should she be appointed to the New York seat and eventually run for a full term. Governor Paterson could end it now by naming her - or someone else, but I think he's enjoying the theater. If it will help or hurt him remains to be seen when his re-election comes due.

As for Mr. Burris, his appointment is totally legal. He claims he will not run again. This is without doubt an ego trip for him, the defining moment of what has been a mediocre career. Attaining a position to which he would never be elected. From what I've read about him, he appears to be clean if less than effective. Will the fact the governor appears to be otherwise be the determining factor?

If the Democrats want the issue to go away, seat the guy. He won't be the best but he will be a Democrat. Burris aside, the Blagojevich mess is likely to be still going on when the two year term is up! So could the question as to whether or not Burris should be seated and if not why not.

With all the issues facing the new administration, the Senate should be at full strength. It doesn't need this as a side show. As for the supposition that the man is a mediocre egotist, who will notice? He'll find himself in good company!


Linda said...

Wonderful post! A real help in making up my mind on this one. In this country we obcess over the smallest things and completely ignore the big ones.

TropiGal said...

I agree that Mr. Burris must be seated. The appointment is, in itself, legal. There is no hint of scandal about the appointment or Mr. Burris. It would be like forbidding a child to attend school, because on of his older relatives had been accused of a crime -- a crime that had not yet been proved.

I am on the fence about Caroline Kennedy. An aunt argue that she surely will know her way around politics due to her family history. True thought this may be, I would prefer the appointment of someone who is entitled to the appointment by hard work, not birth right.

Burr Deming said...

As Attorney General, Roland Burris tried hard to have two men executed he knew to be innocent. As I see it, allowing himself to be used by a corrupt Governor is just another chance for Burris to sell his soul for higher office.

John Dwyer said...

I certainly disagree. Sometime, somewhere, somebody must introduce a dollop of integrity back into the legislature. This well has been so poisoned by the Ill governor that it really takes a character to even consider an appointment from him.

Dogwalkmusings said...

Burr, you answered the question of "if not why not".

John, I think you missed the sarcasm. I know. it doesn't translate well in the written word.