On cue, as though in answer to a Blogcritics article suggesting that the reality show format might actually be the best way to choose our leaders, besieged Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is set to name the individual to assume President-elect Obama's vacated seat, as reported by CNN.com. This will occur in spite of efforts by his state's legislature to impeach him, and urging from those within his own party to step down and refuse to make this crucial appointment.
To add to the circus-like atmosphere, Blagojevich is rumored to be naming former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, a 71-year old African-American man who will be the ripe-old age of 77 when his unelected term concludes.
There are options available to the Senate if they wish to challenge the appointment, but it seems unlikely that such a thing would happen. Burris is probably the kind of person President-elect Obama would have wanted to take his seat even if he or his staff had "no inappropriate with the Governor or anyone from his office," as was indicated in the Craig Report. (Because incoming White House Counsel Greg Craig's conclusions were reached, in large part, by interviewing the individuals on Obama's team that have been implicated in the scandal we can, of course, regard its findings as indisputable.)
I feel the air being let out of this balloon. Blagojevich is certainly being offered up for bloody sacrifice while more sympathetic actors in the Greek drama unfolding - Axelrod and Emanuel topping my list - will almost certainly emerge unscathed. If Burris proves to be a likable person, Blagojevich may also have triangulated the Senate into allowing his choice to be seated.
This is going to present dicey politics for the Democrats. Affirm the decisions of a vilified man or make an innocent man - Burris - a victim of the Beltway machine. Popcorn, anyone?