First of all, Dianne Feinstein can fuck right off, as usual and forever.
There is no legal imperative to seat Burris. There are a bunch of things you have to do in this country to actually get into the Senate, and some of them involve paperwork. Until Burris darkens the Secretary of the Senate's door with Jesse White's signature in hand, he has not done the things required to represent Illinois in the Senate. There is no issue of legality, DIANNE. Sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, stop acting like such a dipshit.
Okay so now that I've gotten in my usual swipe at Dianne Feinstein, can we talk for a second about Roland Burris? Honestly, I haven't heard a hell of a lot from actual Illinois residents - it's mostly been horseshit from Reid & Co. - but I hope to God that every last one of them is fucking aghast at the idea of this guy could be their Senator. His behavior since his appointment tells the entire country exactly what they need to know about his ability to effectively represent Illinois in the Senate. There are two options here - either he is actually stupid enough to believe that the simple fact of Blagojevich's appointment is a taint he can cleanse himself of, or he's clueless enough to not get it. Either one makes him unfit for the work Senators do. As much as we might like to make fun of the dippier comments and decisions that percolate in the US Senate, the body is an intensely competitive and complex one, and it's not a job for ninnies or morons. Burris is one or the other, and frankly, that is a shame.
Moreover, there is a way by which he could have played this better (again, his inability to do so demonstrates his lack of fitness for the office). Had he waited out the Blagojevich mayhem, or had he gone to make nice with the Senate leadership behind closed doors, he probably still could have been appointed, if that was his goal. Look, people...it's not like Illinois is held up in this country as the last bastion of righteousness and purity. It's famous for its corruption, and Blagojevich is just the first schmuck to take the Illinois Travelling Corruption Circus and Dementia Sideshow this close to the national spotlight, which is why it blew up on him. Illinoisian corruption is well noted, and as a result, Blagojevich is going to be dispatched efficiently, and then Illinois will go back to being quietly nuts and the rest of the country will feel better about all being well in the universe. Had Burris just put his squirrely looking little head down (seriously, how weird is that footage of him? It looks like he's afraid Harry Reid is going to hit him with sticks. WTF?) and ridden out the Blagojevich situation, he would have been able to wind up in the same position, but with actual legitimacy and a shot at explaining what he plans to bring to the table, instead of the mess he's in now. Dumb, Burris. Dumb.
Finally...is Blagojevich the biggest idiot in middle America, or some kind of magical politics genius? I seriously cannot decide. I have flipflopped on this about four hundred and twenty seven times in the past 24 hours. It's fucking gross that he's playing the race card, but it's kind of amazing, isn't it? Everyone is so afraid to fuck up the whole love-in on race that's been jumpstarted by this election that the race card is scarier for politicians than it maybe ever has been. (Let's be clear, too - if Reid did in fact call up and say "no black guys" then he's an asshole, too, but frankly, I think he 's a jackass anyway so it wouldn't change much for me.) So he's managed to salvage the teeniest swatch of insulation for his choice. He's also somehow managed to hold the entire US press corps off by simply pretending everything is okay. Have you been watching this coverage? He's going to church, going to work, doing normal crap...dude, he tried to sell a seat in the SENATE. There are only ONE HUNDRED of those bastards in the COUNTRY. I mean...did he think no one would notice? Did he not care? Does he really have an ego so spectacular that he thought it wouldn't matter? It's magnificent, really, and this is why I'm having trouble deciding if he's an idiot or not.
Can we just have a little talk about -isms, too? I have talked about what feminism is at its most fundamental level, and a lot of the same applies to most movements for equality. To put it in a less pretty way than you typically hear...equality is about everyone having the same chance to fuck up. Feminism means that Dianne Feinstein can be in Congress, even though I routinely refer to her as a mindless twat. Feminism means that people can have really asinine female bosses and really asinine male bosses. It means that everyone can try and fail OR try and succeed. Same thing with racial equality...it means black people can run for the same offices as white people, and they can win or lose. I means black people can apply for the same jobs and the same bank loans and the same whatever, and be judged on their humanity instead of their race. What racial equality does NOT mean is that if a black person applies for a job, they get it by default.
And don't come at me with this "well if the candidates are the same" junk...no two humans are the same, so there's going to be a clincher. This is the trouble with the way our society tries to define and legislate everything these days. Sometimes, guys, it just comes down to personality. If I have the same Assumption College bachelor's degree as someone who is a crappy writer who can't interview well and never showers, then we are not the same. There comes a point when you just need to go on who the person is. If Harry Reid called Blagojevich up and told him "no darkies in the Senate clubhouse" because he didn't want black people in the Senate, then he's an outrageous form of reprehensible asshole. But if he called Blagojevich and told him he wanted one of how ever many white guys selected who he thought were more competent than Burris (and given Burris' showing thus far, this isn't hard to imagine), then he's just someone looking at competence instead of skin tone. That all being said, right now I'm not even willing to think about the veracity of the call, because BOTH Reid and Blagojevich are acting so petulant and nuts that I don't really believe anything that comes out of either of their mouths.