Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Impeachment Is Now

Friday, January 09, 2009

Impeachment Is Now

The buzz seemed to be that they'd get to this later in the day, but the Illinois House wasted little time this morning in impeaching Governor Rod Blagojevich. The vote was 114-1, with 3 abstentions. Not surprisingly, Blago has few friends in Springfield. For his part, the governor talked tough and claimed he was looking forward to the impeachment trial in the Senate.

As I recall, part of the calculus for voting for Blago last time around was that, sure, we all knew he was iffy, but when he got drummed out, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn would step in, and he'd be pretty good. Now that it's playing out in precisely that manner, there's not that much surprise--we should be able to go back to business as usual with a new governor by mid-February or so.

Interestingly, although Illinois has had its share (or more?) of governors who have gone to jail, this is the first time the House has actually impeached one. I guess that it just goes to show that illegality isn't necessarily an impediment to getting the job done.

Even though I've been writing about it, I can't say I'm that enthused one way or another, at this point, though. My main interest was in avoiding Blago's CYA Senate pick, but Roland Burris seems like a pretty done deal. There could still be some action there--Harry Reid says that Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White must sign the appropriate certification for Burris's appointment, and White is refusing to sign any appointment from Blagojevich, so there's something of a stand-off. White claims that his signature is not necessary and that Reid is just trying to shift responsibility to someone else. If Reid is so dead set on caving, he shouldn't insist others cave along with him (although it's often been said that spinelessness loves company, or something like that). If White has the power to stand in the way of Burris's appointment (he doesn't claim that he does, and I tend to doubt it, too), then count me standing beside him.

As for the impeachment itself, it'll go through its regularly scheduled paces. Blago seems pretty useless, so I won't be sorry to see him go, but I also won't lose much sleep one way or the other.


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