Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tangled up in Blago

I never heard of this guy Democrat Gov. of Illinois Rod Blagojevich before, but the audacity of this guy under investigation for two years by feds was mind blowing. Either he figured he was protected with Obama in the White House or this was business as usual so why stop now. His attitude at the lone news conference seemed more like some poser version of "just try and catch me now" His bringing up Richard Nixon is telling also.

Unfortunately, for Obama, we will have Blago to kick around for a while. Now, it seems there's a conflict between the nascent impeachment movement in the Illinois legislature and the federal investigation. By offering immunity for testimony, the legislature might muck up the investigation allowing Blago to skate. Sure, Obama might want that so that he and his other pals of Blago like Rahm Emmanuel and Tony Rezko weren't tied to a criminal. However, a messy farce of justice in Obama's hometown doesn't help the LW media push the "smart" government angle Obama has slogged via the campaign. It also becomes a ready made Republican campaign ad in 2012.

Next week supposedly more info on Rahm Emmanuel and his conversations with Blago pops. Rahm has ducked around a corner for the time being, but we can assume they'll have some fancy footwork already choreographed for that one. Assuming Blago trips up the deputy dog legislature and stays on during a trial, he still has power to appoint and could use it embarrassing fashion. If he nominates somebody, anybody, they will have to be investigated too. If he does a wacko appointment like Republican Alan Keyes, the Democrats will be freakin' tryin' to keep Keyes out of the seat, thereby taking the heat off Blago. The What If . . . possibilities are almost endless.

Of course, the really big date is when Obama takes office. Technically, he could fire the Feds running the investigation and then Blago only has to fend off the droopalong legislature, though one would assume the impeachment might pick up speed since there's no Fed investigation to interfere. This option might be considered problematical, since Nixon tried firing his own people investigating him and the judiciary shoved it right up his keister with a candle on it. The conflict of interest is about as large as Lake Michigan.

Speaking of which, short of Blago being fitted with cement overshoes (hey, this is Chicago and Lake Michigan is oh so close. No walks by the lake, Blago, please for your own sake) there doesn't seem a presto chango solution for this one for Obama. The legislature could set up a special election and that campaign might take the spotlight off Obama a bit. However, Obama has had his cake and eaten it to ever since he's been a pol, so you figure he'll try to vanquish Blago, keep Rahm out of the Federal crosshairs somehow, and stick a Democrat in the seat minus an election. Riding a unicycle while balancing a stack of plates on your head during an earthquake would seem easier, but hey, this is Mr Fabulous. Wonder if they teach that at Harvard Law. We're about to find out.

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