Na na na na. Na na na na. Hey hey hey, goodbye. If you don’t get it, you haven’t been paying attention this week.
Na na na na
Na na na na
Hey hey hey, goodbye.
If you don’t get it, you haven’t been paying attention this week.
Rod Blagojevich maintained his, uh, curious behavior right up to the end. Guess it’s hard to change when you spend six years finding ways to alienate just about everyone in Illinois politics and a significant part of the public as well.
He refused to participate in any way in the impeachment trial, offering no defense whatsoever to the charges made against him. Instead of attending the trial, he went on national TV shows to whine about how he was misunderstood and being mistreated and not being given a fair shake. Unfortunately, the national TV audience doesn’t vote on his removal from office, which left people wondering why he was bothering.
After bad-mouthing the impeachment proceedings, Blagojevich suddenly decided he needed to make a statement to the Senate. He wouldn’t testify (which would have exposed him to questioning from lawyers), but he wanted to make a statement to the people who would decide his fate and who he’d been ridiculing for the past couple of days. It wasn’t very well thought out.
All the senators got was a live version of his TV appearances. The country didn’t rise up in Blagojevich’s defense, and neither did the Senate.
--A bunch of the impeachment evidence against Blagojevich was contained in conversations that were tapped or bugged by federal investigators. These are the ones where Blagojevich is heard talking about shaking down businesses and people for campaign contributions.
FBI agent Daniel Cain prepared a 76-page affidavit detailing some of these incidents. The affidavit includes partial transcripts of some of these recorded calls. Only a tiny portion of the recorded calls have been made public. A lot more material is on file, but still secret. That’s got a few lawmakers wondering what else the FBI might have in its possession.
Cain was called to testify about the accuracy of his affidavit. While on the stand, he was asked if any state senators were caught on wiretaps talking to Blagojevich about “stuff.” You know, innocent stuff that people with, say, badges could misinterpret. Cain said he could not talk about that.
“Thank God,” Sen. James Meeks, D-Chicago, loudly proclaimed when he heard the answer.
It was one of the few moments of levity during the impeachment trial.
--The New York Times accompanied Blagojevich when he made his final round trip from Chicago to Springfield and back last week on a state airplane. The reason for the trip was so Blagojevich could make a speech to the Senate outlining the reasons he should not be impeached.
The newspaper quoted Blagojevich saying something on the trip back to Chicago that just shows this guy doesn’t get it, never has, never will.
“We should have been more selfish, not selfless,” Blagojevich said. “It sounds probably perverse for me to say that based on what some people are saying about me. But it’s true. My family, we didn’t take advantage of all these things that people do.”
That’s Blagojevich’s problem in a nutshell. He thinks too much of others and not enough of himself.
--Fighting for some type of relevance in the whole impeachment imbroglio, the Illinois Republican Party offered up its thoughts about Patrick Quinn becoming governor.
In what passes for cleverness in the GOP, chairman Andy McKenna issued a release saying Quinn’s first act as governor should be to apologize to the people of Illinois because he stood by and said nothing while Blagojevich was doing the deeds that got him impeached.
McKenna also noted that Quinn once called Blagojevich a man of “honesty and integrity.” Quinn did, and he’s gotten heat from the news media to explain how he went from that assessment to believing Blagojevich had to go.
As long as we’re discussing apologies, how about if the Republicans apologize for giving the state George Ryan, who as much as anyone helped guarantee somebody like Blagojevich could get elected? Or the party can issue an apology in advance for 2010, when it again will probably be locked out of statewide offices. Quick, name an electable Republican.
The Democrats took care of their problem. Someday, maybe the Republicans will take care of theirs.
Doug Finke can be reached at (217) 788-1527 or email@example.com.