Roger’s Rules

One cheer for Rod Blagojevich

Will anyone head down to the quayside to wave goodbye to Rod Blagojevich? I would, were I closer at hand. I miss him already. Blago instilled a rare spirit of unanimity in the Illinois State Senate, which voted 59-0 yesterday to oust him from the Governorship of the Land of Lincoln. And just to be sure they hadn’t merely scotched the snake, that great body of public-spirited men and women–all of whom, I am sure, are above reproach in the discharge of their duties to the taxpayer–also voted unanimously to bar the dreaded man from ever holding public office in Illinois again. Take that!

I won’t say the Illinois Senate killed the goose that laid the golden egg, but it certainly has deprived the public of a rich source of entertainment. Indeed, as the soap opera that was Rod Blagojevich was unfolding in the media, I mentioned to several friends that I had a plan to solve, or at least soften, Illinois’s fiscal embarrassment. Rod Blagojevich is a great showman: why not contrive some sort of cover charge to watch his act? After all, we pay for movies, why not the comic opera which is Illinois State Politics, starring Rod Blagojevich? I wish now I had had the forethought to send the idea to some duly enfranchised Illinois lawmaker before it was too late. Next time I will.

But here’s a question. What criminal act did Rod Blagojevich commit? I am perfectly willing to entertain the possibility that he committed many: but what were they? He was alleged to have offered to sell Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. But did he? In the accounts I’ve read, he said lots of tabasco things about what a valuable commodity it was. But I don’t recall any deals. I am not asserting that there weren’t, only asking if there is evidence that there were. Rod speaks like something out of a bad mobster movie. But is foul-mouthed braggadocio a crime?

One news report carries the detail that before the Senate assumed the role of jury and voted to kick the sonofabitch out of office, they took a moment to denounce him publicly as “devious,” “cynical,” “crass,” “corrupt,” “inept,” “a liar,” “a hypocrite” and “irresponsible.” Maybe so. Let’s set “corrupt” to one side. Is being “devious” or “cynical” or “crass” an impeachable offense? Is being “inept”? I hope at any rate that no Illinois State Senator is going to stand up and tell us with a straight face that he thinks being a hypocrite is an impeachable offense! If so, who (as the Danish Prince asked) shall scape whipping?

Rob Blagojevich may have done all sorts of things. But the only thing that I know for certain that he is guilty of is being a huge embarrassment to the Democratic party. It wasn’t until yesterday that I learned that was an unforgivable offense, punishable by impeachment, political banishment, and who knows what else. Interesting, isn’t it?