Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Burris blocked by Senate.

Roland Burris was turned away at the door of the Senate today. This took place in the wake of his predecessor being elected the first Black President of the United States. The problem with Burris isn't Burris himself, the problem is Blagojevich or rather his being investigated for corruption.

A corrupt state governor isn't a new idea in American politics. Seats have been bought and sold since before this country broke away from England. Some times corruption remained hidden from the prying eyes of History, but it has been running, like the Gulf-stream, through the ocean of politics. John F. Kennedy, arguably the greatest 20th Century President, would not have been elected if it were not for the help of his father's friends from the Mafia.

But, like his assassination, this fact is now a part of American history which has many interesting chapters. The Burris situation, however, it is not one of the brighter chapters. He was turned away from the seat that was previously occupied by Barack Obama. He wasn't elected to replace Obama, he was simply appointed to hold the seat until the next election.

The question that lingers in the air is: was he appointed based on merit or based on money. This is something only he and Blagojevich can answer and neither of them is talking. But, despite Blagojevich's corruption investigation, Burris did not deserve to be turned away at the door like an unwanted guest. The Senate should have notified him that they have no intention of letting him into the building to take Obama's old seat.

After all, the only Black member of the Senate being blocked from entering the Senate looks really bad in the wake of Obama's election. It looks like we are taking two steps back after taking a step forward.