Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jan Schakowsky and Harry Reid: Shut the Fuck Up.

Instead of evoking still-fresh memories of Eliot Spitzer, perhaps we ought to, instead, be thinking of the Valerie Plame case. Because what does the arrest of Rod Blagojevich and Valerie Plame have in common? Patrick Fitzgerald.

Arrested by the FBI just hours ago, the Illinois governor has been accused by federal prosecutors of corruption and influence peddling connected to his naming the successor to President-Elect Barack Obama. However proper the relationship was or is between our next President and the Governor, this stain of scandal will follow the Obama administration at least well into its first year.

Forgotten by the Democratic party, especially leaders on Capitol Hill, is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. It's entirely proper for the Illinois state legislature to pass a bill calling for a special election because any successor to Mr. Obama is going to automatically lack any credibility whatsoever. But Democrats at the federal level aren't just stopping there. Because Harry Reid is already screaming that the allegations against the Governor, "are appalling and represent as serious a breach of the public trust as I have ever heard."

Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), ordinarily a level-headed liberal Democrat, went to even further extremes, uniting with the Illinois Republican Party in demanding that Blagojevich resign immediately before he's even arraigned. You would think that senior lawmakers, of all people, would be familiar with the term "innocent until proven guilty."

To both of them I say, Shut the fuck up and tend to the bigger house that's also in flames.

It's a worthy concept that's apparently been the impetus these past several years when these same Democrats have dragged their feet when high crimes and misdemeanors such as the Valerie Plame outing and lying us into war with Iraq were happening right under their noses. It's a lofty ideal that goes all the way back to the Magna Carta that had inspired the Democratic Party into tempered criticism if not outright silence regarding the all-but-obvious crimes against humanity committed by this outgoing administration.

If Blagojevich is guilty, then he deserves to share a cell with his predecessor George Ryan. But even if he is guilty, one has to wonder why Capitol Hill lawmakers are calling for the ouster of a state official (which could and probably will be perceived as a circling of the wagons around Obama) while the greatest war criminal since Adolph Hitler not only hatched his war crimes with their blessing but was even funded by them. There's a certain disturbing lack of symmetry between whatever crimes of which Blagojevich may or may not be guilty and the "political crime wave" carried out by Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, etc.

Bush lied and people died, over a period of years, in a multiplicity of ways, even outing a secret agent and compromising national security as a result, muddying the waters so successfully that even a top-notch federal prosecutor like Fitzgerald couldn't muster much more than obstruction of justice charges against anyone higher up than Scooter Libby.


At December 9, 2008 at 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I get an 'Amen'?

At December 9, 2008 at 7:04 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Some of us who have been born and raised in the great City Of Chicago tend to ask, when another of our pols has indicted, not did he or she do it( we tend to assume he/she did) but "Who did he/she piss off?". The Governor has pissed off a lot of people and some powerful corporations. I hope he's guilty because innocence isn't going to save him. On a positive note the recidivism rate of convicted Illinois politicians is essentialy nil.

At December 9, 2008 at 7:34 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Recidivism among politicians, especially Republicans, is pretty much 100%. I don't know why you feel that Illinois pols are immune from that dismal percentage.

At December 9, 2008 at 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Who did he/she piss off?"

Exactly what I was thinking. The feds have been following him for months, tapping his phones and bugging his office. What finally got them to make the arrest?

Bank of America! Yesterday, Blagojevich ordered IL to stop doing business with Bush's biggest backer. Less than 24 hours later, he's in prison!

This is what they did with Spitzer. Tailed him for months, gathering evidence, but they pulled the plug only when the Gov actually tried to stop corruption of the banking class.

The banker class called up the Fed and said 'take him for a ride'.

Spitzer and Blago are two peas in a pod. Democratic Governors whom the Feds have been investigating for months (because they are Dems) and they are only arrested when they make the slightest move to reign in the CEO class.

Governor Siegelman. That's all.

At December 9, 2008 at 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't live in the state, you aren't aware of the back room dealing that have gone on for years, both Dem & Repug.

YEA for Patrick Fitzgerald - equally opportunity, no matter what party affliation.

At December 10, 2008 at 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JP, as much as I admire your willingness to defend the great principle of "innocent until proven guilty," I would not vouch for Blagojevich so strongly myself. My first reaction was "Don Siegelman II" until I heard it was Fitzgerald who busted him. One has to choose who to respect, and I respect the Fitz.

Do you listen to Randi Rhodes in addition to having her on your blogroll? She had a lot of damning evidence on Blago, as did several callers to her show yesterday. While the quotes that have come out are not necessarily damning (although they are "fucking" in a lot of places) it seems a good case. Dems can be as dirty as Repigs, just not as often. But they're all pols.

Where I agree with you is about the quickness of Harry Reid et. al. to jump on the condemnation bandwagon. These gormless fecks can't call for overt criminals like President Cheney and Puppet Boy to resign, or censure Ted Stevens, David Vitter, etc. but they'll be all over one of their own.

And how creepy is it that the Feds have been wiretapping Blago for YEARS? Just like they were all over Spitzer. Is that what the new surveill-US-state is? Run for office, give up your 4th Amendment rights? OTOH, with so many pols moonlighting as crooks, is it a shameful necessity?

At December 10, 2008 at 7:55 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Last Anon: My point wasn't to defend Blago but to condemn Reid and Schakowski for jumping all over him. I admit it looks bad for Blago although you have to admit it is creepy that they were wiretapping him practically from the day he took over as Governor.

At December 10, 2008 at 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point taken, JP. While Schakowski has been aggressive at going after Repigs, Reid has been a real sack of spit when it comes to fighting back against anyone except his own party. What a pussy! And I say that as someone who LIKES pussy...

At December 10, 2008 at 2:54 PM, Blogger jim said...

Valerie Plame's outing likely cost some people their lives in the Middle East - & forced a lot of folks to flee just to keep their necks intact.

Blago's cupidity, not so much.

So, since Libby got a pardon (& Novakula never even got any criminal indictments), can Blago expect the same "courtesy"?

Not so likely.

At December 10, 2008 at 4:36 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Libby never got a pardon. Bush only commuted his sentence.


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