The Republican National Committee is apparently prepared to pursue the possibility that the President-Elect, or at least somebody on his staff, at some point indicated a willingness to pay to play with the Illinois governor over filling Obama’s now-vacant Senate seat. The Constitution does not seem to provide for the impeachment of a federal official before he actually takes office, which is probably okay with the RNC, because their real goal is to make it impossible for Obama to govern after taking office, since they have failed to steal the election from him. Never mind that our governor was recorded by the feds calling Obama and his people [bleeps] for offering him “nothing but appreciation” for the Senate seat (“[bleep} them”), a testimonial of innocence that goes far beyond the mere raising of reasonable doubt. Never mind that, if God’s Own Party were serious about keeping the White House clean, they would have seen to it that the issue was raised by some legislator or other, rather than the leadership of the political party as such (which just makes the whole thing look, ummm, partisan.)
Our hope for effective governance after January 20 is twofold: that the people, including Republican and independent voters, will rise up in outrage at any attempt to hamstring government at a time when its operations are so necessary, and that the Supreme Court, having learned its lesson last time around, will decide that any legal questions about the President’s pre-election conduct have to be postponed, and the statute of limitations tolled, until after he leaves office.
Aside from that—am I embarrassed to live in Illinois? Well, not really. This is my third “home state” (I note with approval the fact that, during this last presidential campaign, everybody seemed to accept without boggling the fact that a person can have more than one home state these days), and the other two (Florida and Massachusetts) were no great shakes on political integrity either. (You may wish to google those state names along with the term “political corruption” and see what pops up.) I do however feel sorry for the lawyers who wrote this year’s version of the Chicago Bar Association’s annual Christmas Spirits musical comedy/political satire production, who probably had to stay up all night finding a rhyme for Blagojevich. (One of our office staff went to the show Friday night—I will have to ask her whether they succeeded.)