Thursday, January 29, 2009


Or Blagoutjevich? Whatever play on words you want to use, he's out by a unanimous Senate vote to impeach, and Pat Quinn has been sworn in as Illinois governor. I didn't have a lot to do at work today so I kept up with a live blog of today's impeachment "trial" on the Trib. You can go back and read it for an interesting semi-off the cuff account of events as they happened rather than an analytical, traditional story about what happened today. I love live blogs - they give you minute by minute accounts of events so you can draw your own conclusions about them in the event that you are unable to watch something because you're stuck behind a desk doing mindless busy work all day... err... steadfastedly working to defend our freedom... whichever...

The reason I put the word trial in quotes up there is that the term is incredibly misleading in this context. The world thinks that the Illinois Senate was trying to find former Gov. Blago guilty of some kind of illegal actions. Even Blago himself spent the week telling everyone from the ladies of The View to Rachel Maddow to Larry King that the "trial" was unfair because he couldn't bring witnesses. Well Rod, here's the thing: This was not a "trial." You did not face a court, a jury of your peers, or a judge. That group of people you did face did not have the job of finding you guilty or not. What happened today was basically an interview for a firing. In what other job would your boss be so kind as to let you plead your case for 90 minutes (of which he only used 47) before he or she fired you? And before anyone tells me that this man was elected by the people, not the Senators, and therefore the Senators are not his "boss" per se, well, they are, in that they are the representatives of the people and the only voice the people have in this matter. Anyways, these Senators were incredibly generous to allow him to beg for his job. Again, imagine if you pulled some of the crap he pulled... would you get 90 minutes to beg for your job? Chances are you would be shown the door. And shown the door Blago was this afternoon. He has not been found guilty of any criminal wrongdoing. That's for the real court to decide. All that happened was that he lost a job that he should have been fired from long ago.

Below, Rachel's discussion two nights ago of her interview with Blago.

And yes, I have taken note of the multiple requests for me to blog about the new stimulus package. I'm still collecting my thoughts, unfortunately. There so much about the events of the last couple of days connected to the package that makes me angry (for example, the MULTIPLE concessions President Obama made to House Republicans who then did absolutely nothing in return in the way of a single stinkin' vote for the package... good things were taken out of that bill, for what? Thanks for nothing, GOP), but I also have grown increasingly disdainful of rash acts that do not produce results. Examples: War in Iraq, 2003. USA PATRIOT Act. Stimulus package January 2008. Stimulus package October 2008. All excellent examples of Congress rushing to do something...anything in response to a crisis, and getting it horribly, devastatingly wrong, with disastrous (even deadly) consequences. And so this one makes me nervous, too. All that said, I am still conflicted and unsure about a coherent analysis of the subject. Know that I am mulling it over, though, and am curious to hear what you all think about it too.

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