International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: Reality Check
Burris Goes to Washington
the case of Roland Burris the next time some prickless dink prattles
on about Founding Fathers and the almighty Constitution, or God
given freedoms and the law-abiding exquisiteness of The System.
Tell them none of that matters unless it is performed in action,
through the letter and spirit of law, and not through some ideological,
half-assed political ceremony of the absurd. For what the 111th
Congress of these United States, and most egregiously the Democratic
Party, is currently doing to the process of government as dictated
by our democratic framework is patently criminal.
appointment by embattled and now impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich
may turn one's stomach, perhaps like a little man-on-man love or burning
cloth symbols or expressing one's liberties wherever they may lie on
the socially acceptable scale, but it is not a basis of democratic law.
It is anything but. Just as the idea that certain members of a political
party or their fancy new president or their tired drone congressional
leaders can sidestep constitutional law on the grounds that it was hatched
in the cloud of "criminal complaint" flies in the face of
the same Democratic Party which argues about Guantanamo Bay detainees.
If they are entitled to their day in court and due process under the
guise of "innocent until proven guilty" -- and not in the
press or the goofy court of public opinion -- then so is Blagojevich.
Until that day Blagojevich is the governor of Illinois,
and as such, empowered by that office to choose the successor of a vacated
senate seat as stated in the 17th Amendment of our constitution. He
has done so. Whether this jibes with anyone's political, personal or
moral objectives is not the point, nor should it be. It is the power
and privilege of the office Blagojevich was elected to, by the people
and for the people, and he has made his choice.
The legislative branch of the federal government manipulating
the actions of a state governor, whether under investigation, arrested,
vilified or not, is a dangerous game, especially now at the dawning
of a new administration with a massive economic stimulus package to
be debated and passed. Illinois is entitled by constitutional law two
representatives in the highest branch of congress, and that branch has
no right to deny it.
The only binding recourse for this congress to cite is
Article One, Section Five of the Constitution: "Each House has
the power to judge the elections and qualifications of its own members."
The body has refused to do so. Why? Because it is a bogus argument.
The qualifications (age, residency, citizenship) are all in order and
Burris was not elected, but appointed, which sends the matter to the
Illinois state legislature, which refused to act, and thus handed the
whole shebang back into the governor's chair, where Rod Blagojevich
This is the end of the actual sane and legal part of the
It only becomes a different story because what is being
heaped upon Blagojevich's choice is an unlawful attempt at casting penance
upon another embarrassing Chicago-Politics episode, and in any reasonable
conclusion, hostile and bordering on racketeering. According to constitutional
and Illinois State Law, which are the only realities that should or
do matter here, it is not up to Harry Reid or the president elect to
decide who or what emerges as a replacement for the state's senator.
Certainly the media, the people or the sitting members of congress can
have a say and protest and make cases against the appointment and by
due process make strides to block or debate or filibuster it, but rejecting
it outright by concocting bullshit scenarios about the state attorney
general from Illinois refusing him a state seal or this imbecilic falderal
about a "tainted selection" is seedy, petty, and most importantly...say
it with me brother and sisters...Unconstitutional!
Of course this is nothing new for the Democratic Party
and its rogue's gallery of thuggish miscreants, who time and again for
over a decade have stonewalled such great Americans as Ralph Nader and
Bill Bradley and other "undesirables" from playing in their
precious power games. And it is certainly nothing new for the wildly
inept and criminally insane behavior of prominent members of this body
for decades, most recently trolling airport stalls or flirting with
young pages, collecting truckloads of Alaskan gifts or whatever bilious
chicanery Tom Delay displayed daily as legislative deportment. Is it
a sad state of affairs that a man who left a woman to die in an automobile
forty years ago is allowed to be a celebrated senior senator from Massachusetts
as poor, innocent Roland Burris twists in the wind?
Sure, but for reasons of money, stature, name and power, Ted Kennedy
neatly sidestepped that little screw-up to be one of the most influential
liberal lions of the modern Democratic Party, the same party which today
pushes a legally appointed official to the curb under the guise of proper
This brings us, as always, to the putrid fan dance of
hypocrisy seen nightly on most of your C-Span stations: What the fuck
is the difference between a man openly selling a seat in congress for
cold, hard cash and another one getting it through cash laundered in
bribes, television ads, backroom donations from special interest groups
or organizations, or the wholly unfair panoply of redistricting, family
ties, favors owed, or any of the dozens of idiosyncratic reasons a person
ends up in the position for such a prominent seat of power in the first
Oh, and this sidebar argument that there has to be an
African American representative in the senate or there should be one
to replace Barack Obama is stupid and a classic American insult to blacks
everywhere. I thought I heard some jackass on MSNBC blather on about
having a proportional amount of blacks and women and Hispanic representatives
to that of the census. Again, as moronically naïve and dim-witted
as that position is, it is for the people or law or constitutional debate
to decide, not a few high-minded chieftains of government imposing punishment
against the purported mockery of their station.
So while the Obama Administration's first 100 days near,
and a broken economy awaits this magic stimulus package, the United
States Senate is three seats down; one from political smugness, the
other in a contested Minnesota election that stinks to high heaven,
and the last from the Empire State where the clubhouse leader appears
to be an airhead. But it all pales in comparison to this latest outrage,
no matter what backroom dealings put a band-aid on it as this goes to
I know one thing, if I were sitting in the electric chair
in Chicago today and the governor stayed my execution, I'd be none too
pleased to have the guy at the switch answer, "I'm not sure this
Blagojevich character is a straight shooter."
James Campion Jan 10th 2009
The Year of the Guilty
James Campion + Readers Letters
Two-thousand nine will be the year of The Guilty
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