I am surprised by the false indignation and phony outrage by our political leaders over Illinois Governor Blagojevich’s horsetrading for Obama’s open Senate seat.
Blagojevich was secretly taped wanting to be paid off for filling the open seat. Reports are he wanted $300,000.00USD from the Obama campaign to pick their pick. Blagojevich was denied.
Open rumors also suggested those supporting Jesse Jackson, Jr. for the appointment offered Blagojevich between $500,000.00 and $1 million.
What I find strange is that so many people are pretending to be surprised and outraged by this sort of dealing. Nobody gets something for nothing. I guess Blagojevich’s error was being too blunt about the situation and actually using the phrase “pay to play.”
A Senate seat is valued at $6.2 million — so even a $1 million dollar payoff is, frankly, a smart business decision. We all know politics is a corrupt business and the ground rules haven’t changed since the condition of the human species first set foot to dirt.
The error Blagojevich made was not being greedy or crass — his mistake was in getting caught on tape doing ordinary political business. He should have been smarter and quieter and a little less desperate.
It’s a shame that politics sells so easily while NPR languishes and has to make cuts for the want of $25 million.
It’s a little disturbing that Obama is shying away from confronting this issue by just saying things like —
“It is a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment.”
not only because it involves him directly in a way but because it is exactly the kind of thing that he spoke of when he spoke about changing the way things are done in Washington during his campaign.
This article illustrates how critical a challenge this is for Obama —
I read about the NPR cuts, Gordon. It was shattering.
Politics is a filthy business — and the long line of governors condemning Blagojevich is so sickening because you know they all have backroom deals that enriching their private pockets as we speak.
I think Obama’s Chief of Staff might be in the Blagojevich mix. Rahm is going to have a hard time explaining away any conversation he had with the indicted governor. I think Obama is trying to cover the necessary option of cutting off Rahm if it comes down to saving his presidency in its infancy.
Do we need Blagojevich to play along or we need to weed out all Blagojevichs from the system?
If you remove all the Blagojevichs from the system, we’d have no government. Some say we need to pay higher salaries to stop this sort of corruption of public officials, but we both know that will only raise the stakes. This isn’t about money. It’s about power.
I hope it does not tarnish Obama too much.
It is ridiculous, Nicola! Here’s Frank Rich’s take on the morass in today’s NYTimes:
Ombama seemed to sniff him out early and kept him at arm’s length — that’s a very good thing.
I hope he keeps that fine sense of smell – he is going to need it.
I know, Nicola! Obama is going to be in for a very tough two years and I’m not certain Rahm will make it to the White House.