January 9, 2009

Blago impeached.

The vote in the Illinois house: 114-1.

ADDED: Meanwhile, Blagojevich went jogging, but he stopped to say: " Let me simply say I feel like the old Alan Sillitoe short story 'The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner.' ... And that's what this is by the way, a long-distance run."

Didn't Blago compare himself to a literary character on some earlier occasion? I wish I could remember. This tendency invoke fictional characters to describe how you feel — is it a bit nutty, is it wily? What does it signify?

AND: As has so often been the case over the years, my son Jac knows what I've forgotten. At his December 19th press conference, Blago quoted the Rudyard Kipling poem "If." ("If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs...")

AND: While I was looking for that old literary reference, Blago was dishing out some new. At a press conference today:
He ended by quoting from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "Ulysses": "We are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

32 comments:

Expat(ish) said...

Dennis Kuchinch made a guest idiot appearance to vote "nay?"

-XC

traditionalguy said...

I suspect it will be open season on the Dems who are vulnerable to political outing as corrupt by their fellow Dems. I remember all the stories about the criminal/pirate gangs who after the heist was completed next wanted to cut the number of shares to be distributed. He /she who is left standing the longest gets to be the Head Lion. I predict Diane Feinstein will surprise Boss Reid and join the Obama team.

AlphaLiberal said...

Yay!

(About damn time! Illinois slackers!)

Henry Buck said...

Was the Illinois House prescient enough to make sure the case was solid under Scottish law, in case Arlen Specter makes a guest appearance at the Senate trial.

Kirby Olson said...

He could have chose a better-known text but I think the idea was to present himself as literate.

I don't know if this is appropriate but his facial structure looks a little like a Neanderthal's. Is it possible that some Neanderthals do still exist among us, and that Blagojevich is actually one of them, and like the movie says, he just isn't getting any respect for conducting himself as one?

Was the literary reference an attempt to distance himself from his Neanderthal-esque blundering about, and to show that he's on the same page with the rest of America?

Simon said...

Kirby Olson said...
"Is it possible that some Neanderthals do still exist among us[?]"

Haven't you ever watched CSPAN?

JohnAnnArbor said...

Is it possible that some Neanderthals do still exist among us, and that Blagojevich is actually one of them, and like the movie says, he just isn't getting any respect for conducting himself as one?

Wonder if Blago uses GEICO?

Ron said...

I'd start to worry if Blago starts analogizing himself to Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction: "Oh, I'm sorry, did I break your concentration?"

MayBee said...

is it a bit nutty, is it wily? What does it signify?

He's trying to sound smart. What he really needs to do is start quoting Reinhold Niebuhr. That will get David Brooks in his camp, anyway.

Also, Gatoraid should pay him to carry a bottle on his jogs. Maybe they could get him to run past Bobby Rush giving a black power salute. That would be good marketing.

m00se said...

From everything I've seen, they don't have grounds to impeach him.

Ann, you might want to correct me, but doesn't he have to actually be convicted of a crime to be impeached?

AJ Lynch said...

I noticed one state senator voted "present". I wonder if he feels he is carrying on the Obama tradition?

Eric Trimmer said...

I haven't read that story, but according to Wikipedia the main character is a criminal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Loneliness_of_the_Long_Distance_Runner

The story was also the inspiration for an Iron Maiden song.

Ann Althouse said...

that wikipedia entry spoils the ending, if that matters to anyone.

John Burgess said...

Unless Illinois' impeachment laws are unique to themselves, removal from office is a two-part affair:

First, the House impeaches, then the Senate convicts.

Both Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached by the House; in neither case where they convicted by the Senate, thus retaining office.

ricpic said...

How many saw the movie but never read the short story? Most, including me.

mcg said...

John, that's the protocol in Illinois, too. From the Illinois Constitution:

ARTICLE IV. THE LEGISLATURE.
SECTION 14. IMPEACHMENT
The House of Representatives has the sole power to conduct legislative investigations to determine the existence of cause for impeachment and, by the vote of a majority of the members elected, to impeach Executive and Judicial officers. Impeachments shall be tried by the Senate. When sitting for that purpose, Senators shall be upon oath, or affirmation, to do justice according to law. If the Governor is tried, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators elected. Judgment shall not extend beyond removal from office and disqualification to hold any public office of this State. An impeached officer, whether convicted or acquitted, shall be liable to prosecution, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.

Leland said...

This tendency invoke fictional characters to describe how you feel — is it a bit nutty, is it wily? What does it signify?

It means he reads, thus someone like Katie Curic will be satisfied.

Cedarford said...

Hate to think the media and the impeachment was the result of a Duke lacrosse-like lynch mob orchestrated by a sleazy prosecutor being taken at his word that "he has the guilty fingered beyond all doubt" and that a horrific crim happened.
But it does happen, and not just with that North Carolina piece of excreta, Mike Nifong.

Fitzpatrick has already had one case where he lied in what he said in his leaks, knew from the start who the source was, but then sought to entrap others into "lies".

It would be interesting if Blagojevich did something all elected execs do and no crime was committed.
What then, does the legislature hold "unimpeachment proceedings" in 6 months? If Blago is not convicted?

campy said...

It means he reads, thus someone like Katie Curic will be satisfied.

The (D) after the name is all it takes to satisfy Katie.

Michael said...

The guy is nuts.

Republican said...

Evasive sleight-of-hand. Hocus pocus. Abracadabra. Presto chango!

It's a literary reference that sounds mystical and magical, meant to redirect the listener to another point of focus besides criminal activity.

"Look! Over there! I have nothing up my sleeves. Nope! No criminal activity here! Nothing to hide, nothing to see!"

What a fakir.

ak said...

I don't believe this story. There's absolutely no way Rod Blagojevich has ever read anything.

Richard Dolan said...

"This tendency [to] invoke fictional characters to describe how you feel — is it a bit nutty, is it wily? What does it signify?"

Well, even with Blago, there comes a point where a cigar is just a cigar. It may but doesn't have to signify anything more than he liked the book or the character and saw something of himself in it. I suppose the default position has to be that he drew the analogy because he saw a similarity.

Before you get all Freudy/Jungy/deconstructy/whatever, shouldn't there first be something more than just his use of a literary comparison to get the game going?

rhhardin said...

Loneliness isn't a problem for long distance runners in the first place.

Bad knees is the problem.

I suggest long distance bicycling instead.

Alex said...

I noticed nobody has ever proved that Blago omitted any crimes. Except for that helmet hair and Sopranos-type way of speaking. But surely, that's not a crime?

Republican said...

Who cares if he's guilty?

We are all about his literaryness!

Open sesame!

Alex said...

I'm just saying that this could blowback badly given most Americans sense of fairness about "innocent until proven guilty". Where is the evidence of a crime, other then bad hair?

Jason said...

"What does it signify?"

Narcissism.

Tibore said...

"Didn't Blago compare himself to a literary character on some earlier occasion?"

The only way he can salvage even a shred of dignity out of this is if he starts to channel Candide.

Beth said...

It's fun to cruise the political blogs and see how Blago brings left and right together. He's a uniter!

Christy said...

Blago conveniently left out the line just before his quoted bit.
It may be the gulfs will wash us down

Clyde said...

That press conference was surreal. Blago on the dais with a couple of American flags and a small gaggle of unfortunates, including a fellow in a wheelchair, telling his tale of standing like St. Blago against the besieging Saracen horde, doing great works for the little people despite the opposition of the Illinois legislature. Fox News' Shepard Smith was beside himself, talking over Blago's filibuster and demanding, "What about selling the Senate seat? What about shaking down a children's hospital? What about trying to get journalists fired?" And you know that to Shep and the media, the latter was probably the worst of the three.

Still, you have to admire Blago's chutzpah. He's certainly been entertaining, definitely the best side effect of the election of Barack Obama as President. And if he gets more kids to read classical literature, well that's just one more human service he's done along with helping poor women get mammograms and poor kids get organ transplants.

A question for the lawyers out there: If the Illinois Senate convicts Blago and removes him from office, does that mean that the Feds wouldn't be able to try him on the same charges due to double jeopardy? Is it possible that a clever lawyer could argue that and get him off scot-free on the federal charges?