Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Here's why... (Illinois political version)

so many of us are appalled by our elected representatives. It's not so much the corruption; if you don't follow Illinois politics at all, you can't understand the extent to which everyone expected the arrest of the governor at some time. I'll grant that Blagojevich seems to have taken these offenses to a new level, as the criminal complaint outlines. But you don't get an approval rating of 13% from people who feel you've got a handle on things. There hasn't been any respect for this governor for a long time, and the only person, apparently, who didn't see an indictment or arrest in his future was the governor himself. (Here's a nice summary of some of the "greatest hits" from the tapes.) There are those who consider him a sociopath.

But everyone's writing about that today. No, I think it's the business as usual which, at some deep level, sickens those of us who are "led" by our representatives. One might see this situation in Illinois as a major crisis. Blagojevich can still legally name the senator if he wants to, and he could theoretically appoint himself. He won't resign as governor, I'm guessing, and impeachment takes a long while.

So you would imagine that our elected representatives in the Illinois House and Senate would be rushing to Springfield to change the law, to take away the power of the governor to appoint the new senator. And, I suppose, by their own lights, they are:
The Illinois state House is set to reconvene Monday to consider a bill that would fill President-elect Obama’s old Senate seat by special election, according to a spokesman for Illinois state House Speaker Michael Madigan (D).

The state House is likely to return Monday, with the bill taking two days to pass, Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said.
That's right, folks, the arrest occurs on Tuesday. By the end of the day, the governor is out on bond and back at his home with full access to pen and paper. And the best the House can do is to possibly "reconvene" six days later. (The Senate will probably come together as well, but no date has been set.)

At a time when events demand action, our legislators can't be bothered to curtail their Christmas holiday without several days to gear up. I suppose they adopted this leisurely approach back in the days when Martha would have to go out and hitch up the team so that George could clip-clop the many days' journey to the capital, but those times are gone.

Represent the people for a change, members, and get yourselves into that chamber and draft some legislation and vote on it. Act as if there are things that are more important than your Christmas shopping, for example, a crisis in your state. Stop posturing for the cameras and get back to work!

1 comment:

Greg said...

You'd think that the legislators could do their posturing in front of the cameras as they enact a law to relieve the Governor of appointing the Senator. Nah, that would be too easy.

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