January 2, 2009

"Burris will not be allowed on the Senate floor, according to this aide and a Senate Democratic leadership aide."

"The aide familiar with Senate Democratic leaders' plans said if Burris tries to enter the Senate chamber, the Senate doorkeeper will stop Burris. If Burris were to persist, either trying to force his way onto the Senate floor or refusing to leave and causing a scene, U.S. Capitol Police would stop him, said the aide. 'They (police) probably won't arrest him" but they would call the sergeant-at-arms,' the aide said."

So at at time when there isn't a single black person in the U.S. Senate, a black man arrives at the doorway and means to go forward to take what he believes is his rightful seat...



Great imagery, Democrats!

75 comments:

rhhardin said...

It's a news event. The media need the audience.

There aren't many plots, so they use what they can.

Some interpretation is necessary ahead of time to establish the frame in the minds of fit audience, is all.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So at at time when there isn't a single black person in the U.S. Senate, a black man arrives at the doorway and means to go forward to take what he believes is his rightful seat...

So? Oh that's right. The Senate is now an affirmative action organization. I hope we can appoint, not elect since that seems to be out of fashion, the appropriate number of Hispanics, Asians, Women, Disabled and any other affirmative action group that we can think of shoehorning into the action.

Actually, I'm laughing my ass off at the Democrats right now. They can't seem to shoot themselves in the foot fast enough.

tim maguire said...

If this were any group other than the Democratic party, I'd object to the use of the race card. Burris' race is obviously irrelevant to this dispute. But since it is the Democratic party...

traditionalguy said...

Maybe McCain can push an amnesty compromise for Mr Burris. At least Burris is a legal Senator, although he opens up a big image problem for the Senators. I think there is an unwritten rule in Congress to hide all corruption behind noble causes. Otherwise voters may one day realise that they simply steal things.

Pogo said...

Maybe the sergeant-at-arms can direct Senator Burris here.

bearbee said...

demwits

Lem said...

The plot thickens :)

Ann Althouse said...

"So? Oh that's right. The Senate is now an affirmative action organization."

What? They are excluding the one black person! Letting him in wouldn't be "affirmative action." It would be plain old equal treatment.

TosaGuy said...

Mitch McConnell most certainly will find a way to poke Harry Reid's eye on this one.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

I see a photo of a Democratic Party member enforcing segregation- history repeats itself!

That said, the Dems would be blocking whoever Blago appointed, black or white, so Burris is receiving "equal treatment".

Zeb Quinn said...

What? They are excluding the one black person! Letting him in wouldn't be "affirmative action." It would be plain old equal treatment.

If he is denied the seat is it because he is black?

AJ Lynch said...

The public opinion pendulum suddenly has Blago's Burris, Princess Caroline, Al Franken, Salazar's brother and Biden's son hanging on to the Dem side.

Should anyone be shocked if the pendulum swings furiously back to the Republicans?

Kirk Parker said...

"What? They are excluding the one black person! "

Hey, Obama won--that means all this race stuff is squarely behind us, doesn't it?

Pogo said...

The Burris brouhaha merits an 8.5 on the schadenfreude scale.

It lacks sufficient brou to merit more haha.


P.S. hey Vic!

Lem said...

Hey, Obama won--that means all this race stuff is squarely behind us, doesn't it?

Thats right, denying Burris access to the senate would NOT be on account of his race...

Granting him the seat is as Blago has done is on account of his race... but denying him access to it is not..

You have to separate the Senator from the Blagator ;)

Paul Zrimsek said...

I think we've just run out of people who are not required to prove to Ann that they're not racist.

Big Mike said...

The Democrats take the Black vote for granted. Nothing that has happened in any election since 1960 would let them think otherwise. So they can -- and will -- do as they d&!*ed well please, knowing that there will be no price to be paid later.

If Black voters want to be taken seriously and courted like any other voting block, then they'll have to vote Republican in significant numbers in a few elections. Several years ago I was trained by the RNC in running campaigns for local elections, and the thing they emphasized to me was that you have your candidate put his or her effort into swing precincts where it will pay off. You don't send your candidate to precincts where you already expect to get 70-90% of the vote (you work GOTV there!) and you don't send your candidate into precincts where past elections have shown that even very attractive Republican candidates get only 5-15% of the vote. If Black voters want the attention of both Democrat and Republican parties then they'll have to start voting for the person and not the party label.

John R. said...

There's a certain historical authenticity to this. I'm always glad when organizations stick to their roots. Well, almost always.

garage mahal said...

If Black voters want to be taken seriously and courted like any other voting block, then they'll have to vote Republican in significant numbers in a few elections.

LOLOLOL.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What? They are excluding the one black person! Letting him in wouldn't be "affirmative action." It would be plain old equal treatment.

He was appointed by Hot Rod Blag precisely becasue he is black. He said so baldly and plainly. And we were lectured by a former Black Panther about racism. Mr Burris may be well qualified, but how will we ever know since his appointment is all about race and in keeping some sort of formula percentage of ethnicity in what is now (didn't used to be) and elected position.

You even seemed to indicate that Caroline K Schlossberg "should" be appointed or that another woman should be appointed to Clinton's now vacant seat, just because Clinton happens to be female. Therefore, we must have our replacement be a female to keep some sort of balance, I guess.

I have no issue with the appointment of a Democrat to fill a vacant Democrat seat. That makes sense, because the people voted for that outgoing person and chose them based on qualifications (we hope) and on party affiliation. We should fill vacant seats the same way. Qualifications not race or sex.

To make the filling of offices of government a quota system or one where we must replace a black with a black or a woman with a woman or an amputee with an amputee is going down a very dangerous road.

Joe said...

So, the same party that was whining about how Bush was tearing up the constitution based on the flimsiest of logic is now applying their non-aptitude to eviscerate the constitution. The tortured justifications from liberal scholars makes them look like complete idiots.

Obama has the opportunity of a life time here; personally accompany Burris to the senate and introduce him as his replacement. He should go one step further; ask the Senate to impeach Harry Reid for violating his oath of office.

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

"To make the filling of offices of government a quota system or one where we must replace a black with a black or a woman with a woman or an amputee with an amputee is going down a very dangerous road."

Oh, we're already quite a few miles down that road by now. No rest stop or motel or McDonald's in sight.

EDH said...

Well, when I first heard Blago had appointed Chuck Barris to the US Senate, I knew it would raise the issue of how the black man is treated in this country.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm deleting the off-topic material that Pogo's post refers to. If someone wants to address material in another comments thread, go put it in that thread. No hijacking this thread. And generally, put comments where they are relevant. I will see them in my email. Or email me if you have a problem with something.

mydismalswamp said...

Well, what goes around comes around...
Anyway, it's time to be taking notes. Cercumstances are seldom remembered as well as events are. Iraq is case enough in point of that fact.

save_the_rustbelt said...

The Democrats all seem stunned that Blago turn out to be a crook.

They knew he was a crook when they nominated and elected him (assuming they can read the newspaper).

Maybe Harry Reid can order some fire hoses and dogs, just for special effects.

Ann Althouse said...

"He was appointed by Hot Rod Blag precisely becasue he is black. He said so baldly and plainly."

So? The Senate is full of people who were chosen because of what they are. They're not excluded!

Lem said...

Let's remember, prosecutors are asking for an extension to file the endictment...

The first act is just getting started.

comatus said...

Under the new one party system, we're going to need a George Wallace corollary to Godwin's Law.

kimsch said...

If we go with "clone" effect in political seats, then the junior senate seat from Illinois ought to be filled with a black female since that same seat was once held by Carol Moseley Braun. She was replaced by a white man who was replaced by a black man... or maybe in order to keep the "pattern" going, the seat should be filled by a white woman...

Zimri said...

Let's drop all this patronising rhetoric about Burris's virtues. Burris may have many virtues; honour is not one of them.

An honourable man would refuse a gift from a corrupt one.

madman said...

Yeah, right.

Blago played a brilliant race card in a party that believes in race baiting. Does a recent president-elect remind you of anything on how this party is beholden to race baiters? Mark my words, Burris will be the next senator of IL. Reid and Obama will do 180 and save their face. How can they deny a "black man" from becoming a senator? That would be un-american.

Der Hahn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockmook said...

So, Ann, what is the appropriate number of blacks in the Senate?

And, besides skin pigmentation, what differentiates a black from a white?

Burris may be excluded because of Blago, the Dems have no gripe against his race (in this context).

The only way this becomes a racial issue is if idiots make it a racial issue (hint hint).

Der Hahn said...

These clowns are gonna control all three rings of the circus come Jan 21.

Lord help us all.

Tom Spaulding said...

I, for one, wonder what the black students on the UW campus feel about that.

peter hoh said...

It's a high-stakes game of political chicken. Blago made a brilliant move that will cause the Democrats trouble if they play along.

Burris would be wise to turn down the appointment, but I don't think he will. (By the way, he won't be able to add this to his list of firsts.)

The politically expedient thing for Reid, et al, would be to back down.

They can acknowledge that the governor has the power to appoint, and that while he is charged with corruption, there is no legal reason why those charges invalidate his power to appoint a replacement senator.

I don't see what Senate Democrats have to lose by seating Burris. They don't gain much, but they avoid looking stupid, and that's worth something.

Looks to me like there are 4 ways forward. The best the Senate Democrats can hope for is a neutral outcome. Am I missing something?

Burris withdraws -- he loses a Senate seat, the party wins.

The Senate succeeds in blocking Burris -- Burris loses, party gains nothing, looks bad in the process.

The Senate blocks Burris, but courts intervene in his favor -- Burris wins, party loses big.

The Senate accepts Burris -- Burris wins, party unaffected. Maybe looks a little silly for changing course, but what else is new.

somefeller said...

Zimri has it right. Burris is a tool for playing along with this.

That having been said, Blago has played this well. There may be no Constitutional or institutional way to keep Burris out of the Senate that isn't a public relations nightmare, and I suspect Obama and others would want the Senate to be able to spend its time on more pressing issues, like passing legislation.

somefeller said...

And Peter Hoh's analysis is right-on, also.

dualdiagnosis said...

Why do the police have to follow Reid's orders?

I'd like to see Lisa Murkowski and Olympia Snowe pushing the police out of the way for Burris, that would be awesome.

Tom Spaulding said...

Apparently I have been post-racial for some time. Probably because there were no Black people in Mauston, Wisconsin, when I lived there in the 60's and '70's.

And I asked Santa for the Black G.I Joe and got it...he looked the coolest and had the best gear, in my 10-year old's opinion. Didn't care then, don't care now. Racism is a pigment of your imagination, to paraphrase Ringo Starr.

Richard Fagin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

So? The Senate is full of people who were chosen because of what they are. They're not excluded!

They were chosen by an election of the voters according to our laws and not appointed or raised upon high by insiders taking care of other insiders.

Whether the people have chosen wisely or whether the election is legitimate or turns out to be suspect, like the Franken/Colman fiasco another issue. But they were elected, not given the seat like some party favor or based on a quota system.

It's a high-stakes game of political chicken. Blago made a brilliant move that will cause the Democrats trouble if they play along.

Correct. It is Blago poking his fingers in the eyes of Obama and everyone else and not just throwing the race card. He's fanning the whole deck.

Richard Fagin said...

Prof. Althouse, you should re-crop that picture to put Nicholas Katzenbach in it once again. Then your students can see who he was when you make 'em read Katzenbach v. McClung and Katzenbach v. Morgan.

How many of your readers know who the person at the podium is and where and under what circumstances the picture was taken? How many know that notwithstanding his 1950s and 1960s racism, the person at the podium was later fully forgiven by his black constituents, mostly because he was a Democrat?

The picture you chose is hardly appropriate for the Burris controversy. To suggest that the controversy over Burris has any relationship to race other than complete conincidence trivializes what is represented by the picture.

Michael said...

The key phrase being: "...what he believes is his rightful seat..."

It isn't and you know it.

Michael said...

Der Hahn said..."These clowns are gonna control all three rings of the circus come Jan 21. Lord help us all."

And God knows you wouldn't want to screw up what Bush & Co. have provided.

Duh Der.

AlphaLiberal said...

Great imagery, Democrats!
Agreed!

They took at aim at their foot and squeezed the trigger....

Lots of posing for holy pictures going on around this one. How about we recognize that Blago, slimy as he is, has the legal authority to appoint someone. And then we follow the law.

And, the Illinois legislature is taking sweet time about removing him or changing the law.

Senators really should not decide who their peers are. That's not the way it works.

AlphaLiberal said...

Note to wingnuttia: The prevalent snark on this in libo blogosphere is that these brave Senators didn't use their police powers to enforce any of the subpoenae ignored by Bush cronies.

Yup.

Pogo said...

Tom Spaulding, you got a black GI Joe?!
Cool! <<jealous>>

I only had the regular white guy, not even with fuzzy hair and beard. His hands fell off after awhile.

dualdiagnosis said...

Great comment from that wonderfully intelligent site, DU-

"On one hand, we have Dems threatening not to seat an African American duly appointed to serve in the US Senate by a sitting governor; an African American who has worked his way up from local office through statewide office before this appointment.

On the other hand, we have Dems cheering the naming of a wealthy white woman who has never held public office, interviews badly, but has an important surname and the "right" pedigree.

No further comment needed."

Original George said...

Wallace 1968 Presidential campaign TV ad.

And his far-out 1963 inaugural address:

"Let us send this message back to Washington by our representatives who are with us today . . that from this day we are standing up, and the heel of tyranny does not fit the neck of an upright man . . . that we intend to take the offensive and carry our fight for freedom across the nation, wielding the balance of power we know we possess in the Southland . . . . that WE, not the insipid bloc of voters of some sections . . will determine in the next election who shall sit in the White House of these United States . . . That from this day, from this hour . . . from this minute . . . we give the word of a race of honor that we will tolerate their boot in our face no longer . . . . and let those certain judges put that in their opium pipes of power and smoke it for what it is worth.

The liberals' theory that poverty, discrimination and lack of opportunity is the cause of communism is a false theory . . . if it were true the South would have been the biggest single communist bloc in the western hemisphere long ago . . . for after the great War Between the States, our people faced a desolate land of burned universities, destroyed crops and homes, with manpower depleted and crippled, and even the mule, which was required to work the land, was so scarce that whole communities shared one animal to make the spring plowing. There were no government handouts, no Marshall Plan aid, no coddling to make sure that our people would not suffer; instead the South was set upon by the vulturous carpetbagger and federal troops, all loyal Southerners were denied the vote at the point of bayonet, so that the infamous, illegal 14th Amendment might be passed. There was no money, no food and no hope of either. But our grandfathers bent their knee only in church and bowed their head only to God."

Cat was trippin'.

Tom Spaulding said...

Yeah, he had fuzzy black velvet hair, pretty cool. I can't imagine what tasks your Joe was doing to lose both his hands...KP? At that time I also wished I was Curly Neal and had my mom make me an ersatz Harlem Globetrotter uniform. Weird.

Michael said...

If Obama didn't want this kind of scandal marring his election, maybe he should have supported Paul Vallas instead of... Rod Blagojevich.

Chickens come home to roost, Barack old man.

AJ Lynch said...

Tom asked Pogo:

"I can't imagine what tasks your Joe was doing to lose both his hands...KP?"

I never heard it called KP Pogo! LOL.

Duscany said...

Ann, do you really believe the Senate is keeping out Burris just because he is black? Do you suppose the Senate wouldn't exclude any white appointment that Blagojevich made? Blagojevich knew when he appointed Burris that it would be harder for the Senate to reject a black man. That's why he did it. It's a kind of racial blackmail and the senate is doing right not to fall for it.

One point on which we do agree: it would certainly be embarrassing for a photo of the Sergeant at Arms barring Burris to be flashed around the world. What Harry Reid should do is graciously invite Burris up to his office, offer him coffee and pastries, ask about his wife and children, and then tell him there is no way in hell he's going to let him have that Senate seat.

jayne_cobb said...

I'm sorry, but everyone knows that Snake-Eyes was the ultimate Joe (Sergeant Slaughter was a distant second).

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, do you really believe the Senate is keeping out Burris just because he is black?"

Of course not, nor do I say that. I'm just pointing out that the imagery happens to suck.

Simon said...

So - the Democrats chose the painful humiliation through short, sharp, unanimous litigation, huh?

I look forward to Burris v. U.S. Senate with great anticipation.

Pogo said...

I also had a knock-off GI Joe. Cheap POS broke in the first battle. The only thing the fakes were good for was being wounded, or actually tying a bunch of firecrackers to him and call him a kraut.

Not that I'd know.

Les Nessman said...

"On the other hand, we have Dems cheering the naming of a wealthy white woman who has never held public office, interviews badly, but has an important surname and the "right" pedigree."

Why are they still going on about Hillary getting the Senate seat?

Simon said...

mockmook said...
"So, Ann, what is the appropriate number of blacks in the Senate?"

I suppose that if one believed a legislature "should be an exact portrait, in miniature, of the people at large," as John Adams put it, the answer is approximately twelve. I think that Adams' theory was wrong (or at least, is wrongly-invoked when done in the theory of so-called racial proportionality), unworkable in a single member constituency system, and while dubious enough as applied to the House of Representatives is irrelevant to the Senate, designed to represent the interests of the states.

Michael_H said...

Anything other than the sound of crickets chirping coming from the Congressional Black Caucus? Rev. Al Sharpton? Rev. Jesse Jackson?

Harry Reid = Bull Connor.

Cedarford said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Ann, do you really believe the Senate is keeping out Burris just because he is black?"

Of course not, nor do I say that. I'm just pointing out that the imagery happens to suck.


The imagery certainly sucks, but Harry Reid stupidly let himself be cornered by a media lynch mob into stating that NO Blago appointee would be acceptable and would be blocked.. All while Fitzpatrick leisurely plays "criminal justice!" at a glacial pace and ignores as high ranking judges and prosecutors are wont to do, that the world does not revolve around them.

The problem is that you have a legal governor doing all sorts of legal acts and appointments until or even IF he is impeached, because the real world moves on and doesn't wait for "supreme lawyers", nor listen to them when they say that everything must stop, even the people having a rep in the US Senate...while Fitzy takes his sweet time. And if Blago is "legal" to do his other acts, like Buddy Ryan was when he was under indictment and facing a trial everyone knew he would lose and pardoning death row killers right and left....he is legal for making a Senate appointment. Especially of a well-qualified guy with no hint the appointment was criminally tainted...

That leaves it for Illinois legislators to impeach, which they are loathe to do without months of evidentary proceedings. The accused Governor has not had opportunity to scrutinize for an impeachment defense (nor them, despite Fitzpatricks offer to "cherry pick" amongst his 2 years of wiretaps and tapes) - OR - for Reid to pull his stunt. But the stunt will be hard to justify if a well-qualified caretaker appointee appointed under the legal powers of a sitting Governor shows up at the Senate.

This is reminding me of the Duke Lacrosse Rape case and Plame - the media lynch mob dragging others along to their ruin or embarassment.

rcocean said...

Senators are there to represent their states, not their sex or race or religion.

siyeh pass said...

The imagery will be important. Big. Fail.

LargeBill said...

Some folks are confusing the issues at play here. Those of us on the right who are mocking Harry Reid on the imaginary race aspect of this situation don't actually believe Reid is opposing Burris over race. We do think it is funny that the leaders of the political party that has foster race based politics over the last half century has got themselves caught up in this mess.

To fan the fires of Dem racism one could make the point that the only reason some senate Dems supported Obama in his run for the presidency was to get him out of the senate. Far fetched, you say? Give me another reason why Robert KKK Byrd supported Obama.

Being serious for a moment, the bottom line to this whole situation is Blago is still the governor and as such this appointment is an appropriate use of his gubernatorial powers. The Illinois legislature waited too long to take action. Too bad. Burris may be a punch line, but name me a senator who isn't.

Freeman Hunt said...

How about we recognize that Blago, slimy as he is, has the legal authority to appoint someone. And then we follow the law.

And, the Illinois legislature is taking sweet time about removing him or changing the law.

Senators really should not decide who their peers are. That's not the way it works.


Today I mark my calendar: "AlphaLib and I agreed on a whole bunch of things."

If Blago shouldn't have been appointing people, the Illinois legislature should have impeached Blago. They didn't. Too bad for our posturing Senators. Burris is in. No way will they really try to physically bar the man from entering the Senate.

Ann Althouse said...

Look, I deleted a post and I explained why. Find the explanation, don't say you don't see an explanation. I will continue to delete for the reason stated above.

vbspurs said...

Look, I deleted a post and I explained why. Find the explanation, don't say you don't see an explanation. I will continue to delete for the reason stated above.

The thing is, I didn't see the explanation (and mind, I even used the search button -- not very well, as it turns out).

But the tone you are using to me is completely uncalled for.

What's wrong?

Cheers,
Victoria

Alan said...

To paraphrase George Wallace: "No Burris today, no Burris tomorrow, no Burris ever!"

Man, that's a PhotoShop waiting to be made...

Lance Burri said...

"Burris will not be allowed on the Senate floor, according to this aide and a Senate Democratic leadership aide."

Well, if you'd met any of my uncles, you wouldn't allow us on the Senate floor, either.

To paraphrase George Wallace: "No Burris today, no Burris tomorrow, no Burris ever!"

Geez, Alan, that's just mean!

From Inwood said...

Plaxico Burress To Be Denied Senate Seat! What, Rod Burris? Nevermind.

Actually, I think this legal argument will prevail:

The Senate may legally refuse to seat any prospective Senator if a majority of Senators deem the process of his or her election or selection to be too smelly ... unless the prospective Senator is black, in which case excluding him or her might open the Senate to charges of racism.

See: http://www.discriminations.us/2009/01/a_burris_under_the_saddle.html

From Inwood said...

OK. Let's get serious:

Harry Reid’s in charge & we know he'll handle everything with great dignity & deep thought. You know (OOPS, sounding Like Caroline K What's Her Name), Harry Reid, who thinks that American tourists foul the noble Senate halls during their summer visits.

MadisonMan said...

Mr Burris may be well qualified

Of course he's well-qualified. Doesn't his tombstone say so?

I don't see how the Senate will refuse him a seat, but Democrats have failed to appreciate the imagery of things before, so anything is possible. But it will mean nothing as it will be largely forgotten within 6 months of it happening.