Don't you just love Illinois politics? Just as I was enjoying keeping up with the television appearances of our ex-governor Rod "Superhairstar" Blagojevich, and his dropping of tidbits of information on current lawmakers, when another tiny bit of news made headlines over the weekend.
Anyone paying attention, and I called on all of Chicago to pay attention, had to see the news that our newly appointed junior senator Roland Burris had quietly filed an affidavit to clarify-embellish-explain-illuminate-spell out-shed light on-simplify, you pick the adjective, his testimony before the Illinois General Assembly impeachment panel.
Sen. Burris' response to those that question his expansion of his testimony were told that he didn't get a chance to fully elaborate during the time he was given with the impeachment panel, so like a good citizen he clarified those salient points later.
Now the cynic in me also noted that Burris also became more forthcoming after he found out that the government had taped phone conversations of some of those calls he had with the folks from Blagojevich's camp.
Its amazing how thoughtful and helpful people can become when they learned what they said was recorded by the feds. I am still waiting for the release of all those phone conversations. I have a feeling that they are going to shed more light than the average politician wants us to know about their behavior when out of the public eye.
When I learned of Burris' expanded testimony, I sent out an e-mail to the folks who had been filling my inbox with e-mails urging people to fight for Burris to get the seat. I asked them to comment on my blog on the Burris affidavit.
As I write this column, I've only gotten one response back. I checked my blog and the person responding there was a normal contributor. I find it very concerning that those who put their necks out to support Burris are either choosing to now be quiet or make up excuses for him. Why is that?
What I am curious to know is the level of integrity black people want out of politicians - white or black? Or is it permissible to have two sets of standards, one for those we don't like, where we hold their feet to the fire, and the other for ones we like, where we disregard their wrongdoings?
Should black politicians be given a pass on their less-than-stellar behaviors? If we give them a pass, then do they come to the table lying, knowing you won't get upset with the lies when they are found out?
If we are to look at the current low opinion people have of politics and politicians, what percentage of that view is directly attributable to the selfish willfulness of those in power or those whose every move promotes their legacy rather than what is correct and proper. Will Roland Burris' tombstone have etched "U.S. Senator" on it, but also have everyone who sees it remember it as being a tarnished appointment?
People desire may things in their lives. But the reality is that many of us don't always get what we want. But what price does one pay to get what he or she wants? Was Sen. Burris' willingness to be deceptive worth the end result of his getting the senate seat but now is hounded by the media?
Do you want to see your senator on TV running from the cameras because he doesn't like the questions being asked? Burris stated that he is a public servant. The name "public" in and of itself implies that it is for the people. The word servant means to serve. You can't do either hiding out.
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