Friday, January 30, 2009

Risky Business

I see Gov. Rod Blagojevich got bounced last night by the Illinois Senate, with a Kyoto protocol rejection-like margin of 59 - 0. It was unanimous! Forget Obama, Blagojevich is truly a man capable of bringing us all together.

Frankly, I am amazed to see not a single blindly partisan true believer stuck by their dear Governor, a man embraced by just about every craven Democratic politician from Illinois over the past few election cycles. I guess loyalty ends at the point the publicly disclosed irrefutable wiretaps of selling political favors begins.

I'm also amazed Blagojevich's closing argument from yesterday didn't sway a single vote. The Washington Post, among others, printed the transcript, and it is an amazing piece of rhetoric. Audacious, shameless, deceptive, off topic, long winded, and embarrassingly self serving? Yes.
But also, absolutely inspired and strangely effective, in an evil genius sort of way.

As an argument from a defense attorney in a lousy Hollywood court room drama (like the OJ Simpson trial), it would have gained an acquittal. As a campaign speech, it might have won an election. But, the audience here had an interest above what their emotions were telling them. Since they thought they might personally pay a price for giving in to their hearts, they slam dunked the man on the facts. Too bad for Rod.

Again, the transcript in full is worth a read. If for no other reason, to observe the perfect Democrat political animal operating under laboratory conditions. Selected highlights:

Take those four tapes as they are and you will, I believe, in fairness, recognize and acknowledge, those are conversations relating to the things all of us in politics do in order to run campaigns and try to win elections.

I remember when I was a legislator. I remember when I was a freshman in Congress and I got a chance to be on a conference committee, when you get to sit with the leaders of the different committees in the House and in the Senate, and what a thrill it was for me to be able to, as a freshman congressman, be in a room with legendary U.S. senators like John Glenn and Ted Kennedy and John McCain and John Warner, the senator from Virginia who, incidentally, had once been married to Elizabeth Taylor.

If you're impeaching me on providing safe and affordable prescription drugs by going to Canada and getting the same medicines made by the exact same companies, then the governor of Wisconsin ought to be impeached, the governor of Kansas ought to be impeached, the governor of Vermont ought to be impeached.

My background's humble, like most of yours. My dad was an immigrant who came here from a communist country, a Republican, co-warrior. Spent four years in a Nazi prisoner of war camp. And then instead of going back to his home after the war, he waited for three years in a refugee camp so that one day maybe he might have a chance to go to the United States.

And then I would say to all of you, think about the things we've been able to do together. Health care for all of our kids, first in the nation. Preschool for three and four year-olds, best in the nation. Record amount of money in education. All of our senior citizens riding public transportation for free. Holding the line on taxes. Think about all the good things we've been able to do for people. Give me a chance to stay here so we can roll up our sleeves and continue to do good things for people. Thank you very much.

This particular Blagojevich comment reminded me of another Illinois legend:

I didn't go to Harvard. Applied on a Monday, got my letter of rejection back on a Tuesday. I went to more modest type schools.

That would be Joel Goodson, of the North Shore:

I get the feeling Blagojevich is kicking himself for not thinking of Joel's method for getting into the Ivy League first.

BTW, Blagojevich wasn't forced to go as modest at the University of Illinois. Instead of Harvard, he got stuck with low rent degrees from Northwestern University and Pepperdine Law School.

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