Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cleaning house

Roland Burris needs to resign.

What possible benefit is there to him staying on as a U.S. senator?

The downside is obvious-- an unelected appointee, placed in power by a tainted governor, who is now changing (or, at the very least "massaging") his story about his involvement with said governor. All to fill a seat vacated by a new president that is trying to put out about a hundred fires and keeps getting set back by the personnel problems (and yes, I know the setbacks are largely due to media spin on what have been mostly minor issues, but that really doesn't matter, since it's out there and people are noticing). My question remains-- what possible benefit is there to keeping him? Loyalty? Forget it. We had eight years of government operating like a fraternity on academic probation. There is little reason not to pressure him to resign-- seriously, I don't even care if he did or did not do anything inappropriate. The problems we face that demand the Obama administration's full attention and public support are much larger than Roland Burris. Being in the Senate isn't a right, especially since he wasn't elected anyway. There mere whiff of impropriety is enough for me-- that he's singing a different tune this week is enough.

The Republicans lost in 2006 in large part due to scandals-- Cunningham, Foley, Craig, Abramoff, Delay, etc. Lately, there have been far too many democratic scandals. If it keeps up, even Obama's squeaky-clean reputation is going to suffer. No single elected official's job is more important that the economic recovery, healthcare reform, or green energy. If kicking Burris to the curb saves one union job in Wisconsin, it's worth it. There can't be second chances because the stakes are too high. Burris fucked it up by not disclosing everything to begin with, and now is a distraction. If he really cares about the kinds of changes Obama campaigned on, he'll do a Daschle and bow out. Otherwise, he needs to be forced out by his own side, publicly, loudly, and with little mercy.