Vail Daily’s view: A pretty flimsy race card
Vail, CO, Colorado
Rod Blagojevich, the scandal-ridden Illinois governor, has picked a replacement for Barack Obama, whose Senate seat he faces federal charges for allegedly trying to sell.
On Tuesday, he somewhat brazenly appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, who happens to be, like the president-elect, black. This, despite U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s promise, made when Blagojevich was arrested earlier this month, that the Senate wouldn’t seat anyone he appointed because of the cloud of corruption that could forever hang over the new senator.
But no sooner had Blagojevich made the appointment and the Senate reiterated its disapproval than an Illinois congressman, Bobby Rush (also black), was already playing the race card, insisting Burris should join the Senate because he would be its only black member.
Rush, according to The Associated Press, went so far as to warn Senate Democrats — who so recently helped elect America’s first black president — not to “hang and lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer.”
We agree it’s unfortunate that the Senate of this diverse nation has no black members. But one reason it has no black members is because it’s only black member was recently elected president. Obama’s elevation, and wide support, seems to weaken severely any claims that resistance toward’s Blagojevich’s appointment is fueled by racism.
Also, Rod Blagojevich’s tainted appointment should be not be used to fix the Senate’s diversity problem.
And Rush should be expressing his anger at the governor’s incredible arrogance in making the appointment. Rush should even be angrier that — in a tactic akin to when terrorists store weapons in a school to prevent their destruction — the clearly power-mad Blagojevich, in a last grasp for influence, is hoping Rush’s race card will shield his pick.