A blog by the magazine's editors and contributors



The Trib reports:

As legislators weigh impeaching Gov. Rod Blagojevich and federal prosecutors prepare to indict him on corruption charges, his acting chief of staff and a deputy governor will be keynote speakers Wednesday at an "Ethics in the Workplace" seminar for some 200 state employees.

About the Author

Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



Commenting Guidelines

  • All

A case study is at hand for speaker and audience. Will they use it?

I guess they can skip the part about Why This Seminar Is Necessary.

Awkward? Orwellian!Btw, has there ever been a more ridiculous public figure than Roland Burris, the senator that nobody wants, chosen by the process that nobody likes?

I'd say the governor is slightly more ridiculous. Mr. Burris has an air of stupendous dignity that offsets his predicament--and his foolishness in accepting the offer.

I have to agree with Peggy -- Burris is a strong candidate (cf. his pre-engraved cemetary monument and his self-titled children), but it's hard to beat Blagojevich for the Most Ridiculous title. That press conference where he quoted Kipling in defense -- nay, in praise -- of his own integrity? Incredible.

To be filed under - you can't make this stuff up.

I truly believe that Blagojevich has an undiagnosed and/or untreated mental illness. His behavior has been erratic and inexplicable almost since he assumed office. His grasp of reality often seems tenuous at best.

Before we go to the medical model, and diagnose a debilitating malady aren't there alternative possibilities: for example, he's a jerk; or he is not very bright; or he's in a state of mortal sin, or.... well, fill in.

I don't see what is ridiculous about an African-American, legally appointed to the Senate by the sitting Governor of Illinois who has been convicted of no crime I am aware of being physically threatened and barred from his legal entry into the Senate building on trumped-up charges of improper documentation by the all-white Senate Democrats. I guess African-Americans need not apply to the Democratic caucus unless they come bearing three-quarters of a billion dollars as the President Elect did. What a sad day for America.

Is Mr. Burris perhaps guilty of hubris?

MAT, you're aware that the president-elect was elected to the U.S. Senate, aren't you? And that, during that Senate race, Bobby Rush opposed him in favor of a wealthy white man?,CST-EDT-edit06a.article

MAT: the notion that opposition to Burris's appointment is racially motivated is plainly ridiculous, from where I sit.

"Before we go to the medical model, and diagnose a debilitating malady arent there alternative possibilities: for example, hes a jerk; or he is not very bright; or hes in a state of mortal sin, or. well, fill in."Sure, he's got a share of the usual maladies that afflict politicians in Illinois. But in his case there is something else there. In instance after instance it seems he lives on another planet. Almost to a person, members of the legislature don't know what to make of him and have found they can't work with him. He's thoroughly alienated both parties and even members of his own family (i.e. his father-in-law the Chicago alderman). Illinois state government has never been a watchword for efficiency or effectiveness, but even by Illinois standards, the government has never sunk this low. In many ways, it's simply stopped functioning.He boxed as a youth. Maybe he got hit in the head too many times.

I view Illinois politics in the spirit of high farce (maybe too many Royko columns as a Young Person), and Blago certainly doesn't disappoint. That Kipling reading nearly did me in. I hope he reads does it more, maybe makes it a regular feature of his news conferences. I could suggest the last four lines from "The White Man's Burden":Comes now, to search your manhoodThrough all the thankless yearsCold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,The judgment of your peers!Anyway, I forgot about that Obama-Bobby Rush thing. When Rush was on TV supporting Burris, he looked, to put it kindly, somewhat feeble. Is he more with it than he appears?

MAT,I would be in agreement with you completely if you had left out the racial stuff. There is simply no justification for "playing the race card" on this one.Blagojevich is under a major political cloud, but he seems to me clearly to have the authority to appoint Burris, and to the best of my knowledge, there is no legal reason for the Senate not to accept him. Also outrageous was the Illinois Attorney General's attempt to get the state supreme court to remove Blagojevich on the grounds that he was "disabled." If this is how our lawmakers regard the law, then heaven help us.On 60 Minutes this week, I saw a report about prosecutors charging drunk drivers who cause fatal auto accidents with murder. It was appalling. I am all for extraordinarily harsh treatment of drunk drivers, whether they cause fatal accidents or not, but I object to getting "creative" with the law. (By the way, if they want to make causing a fatal accident while drunk equivalent to murder, it doesn't make any sense unless they make drunk driving into something like attempted murder.) Another case that comes to mind is the despicable woman who pretended online to be a teenage boy, charming and then dumping one of her daughter's former friends, resulting in the duped girl committing suicide. I wish there had been some applicable law that would have allowed them to throw the book at her, but it is disturbing to see the authorities in effect say, "What that person did was reprehensible. Let's figure out some charge to bring against her."

Re: Blago, Illinois pols, and ethics - I do have to say this, though - it seems whenever I travel and buy the local paper, whatever state in which I happen to be sleeping that night is mucking about in its own scandals and ethics infractions. I guess it's endemic to politics. Was it ever thus, everywhere? Or is it true that people are fundamentally disconnected from those who run our governments?

It could be really awkward if the Senate refuses to seat Roland Burris and doesn't refuse to seat Al Franken.

Both of these events (Franken won't be seated) confirm my view that Harry Reid should go as majority leader. Really!

Add new comment

You may login with your assigned e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.

Or log in with...

Add new comment