More Illinois democracy - UPDATE

Everyone sane agrees that special elections to fill the U.S. senate seats of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would be the preferred small "d" democratic option.

This is true in New York, where (1) the unelected governor, who is the son of a former state officer holder, may imminently make a selection between (2) the inexperienced daughter of a president and niece of senators and (3) her ex cousin-in-law, the son of a former governor, to replace (4) the wife of a former president.

This is particularly true in Illinois, where the taint of scandal will attach to anyone selected by the incumbent governor or his successor.

But, we're talking about Illinois.

"[L]egislation to hold a special election to fill President-elect Obama's now-empty Senate seat (rather than have that person picked by the governor, who, prosecutors say, was seeking money or a job in exchange for his selection) was never brought to a vote in the Senate on Tuesday. The House also did not take up the proposal before it adjourned on Monday night. Though some Democrats had joined Republicans last week in calling for a special election to remove all taint from the Senate succession, Democratic lawmakers grew leery of the idea because it raised the possibility that a Republican could win the seat. . . . Democrats said they were still trying to sort out how best to select a new senator. They complained that a special election would be expensive. Many seemed hopeful that Pat Quinn, the lieutenant governor and a Democrat, would soon become governor -- through Mr. Blagojevich's impeachment, resignation, criminal conviction or removal by the State Supreme Court -- and could make the Senate appointment." llinois.html?_r=1

Isn't that what progressives used to accuse Bush, Cheney and Rove of doing (only respecting the electoral process when your candidate is guaranteed to win)?

UPDATE - One of the comments below justified my fears - - "We need to be focused on winning as a party, and doing what it takes to hold every last Senate seat." Isn't that verbatim the Bush/Cheney/Rove strategy?

Tags: Barack Obama, Caroline Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Pat Quinn, Rod Blagojevich (all tags)



Re: More Illinois democracy

They are debating a special procedure that currently does not exist; I fail to see the equivalence.  How can one disrespect the electoral process when there is no electoral process to begin with?

by rfahey22 2008-12-18 06:38AM | 0 recs
Hillary is being replaced as Bill's wife... Caroline Kennedy?  Wow, that's news!  I had no idea that Paterson could do this!  That's pretty cool shit!

Seriously, this whining about the lack of a special election for everything is much ado about nothing.

Paterson was the Lt. Gov., it's standard in every state that HAS a Lt. Gov. that the Lt. Gov. succeeds the Governor when the Governorship becomes vacant in the middle of a term.  That's what the Lt. Gov. is FOR in the FIRST PLACE.

And Governors appointing replacement Senators has been standard procedure in a lot of states going back in their entire histories, without all this complaining.

We've had these kinds of replacements of Republican Senators leaving in the middle of a term several times this decade, by chance every time in a state with a Republican Governor or where state law requires a same-party replacement.  It sucked for us, but it was fair game under the rules that replacements were namedm, like Roger Wicker, who were strong general election candidates, except in Wyoming where any Republican is a strong general election candidate against any Democrat not named Freudenthal.

Now we have a chance to appoint successors to Obama, Hillary, and Biden who can hold those seats for us, and by God I don't give a fucking damn about anything but having Democratic appointees who can win reelection in 2010.  And in Illinois no, Blago can't do it without screwing us in 2010, it would have to be Quinn, but then just impeach and remove Blago rather than hold a special since Blago needs to be removed on the merits anyway.

We need to be focused on winning as a party, and doing what it takes to hold every last Senate seat.

by DCCyclone 2008-12-18 07:14AM | 0 recs
I support elections

But I also find it objectionable to label anyone who disagrees insane before hearing their argument.  

Yes.  There are nut-jobs.  Personally, I find that many of your posts contain significant evidence of derangement, or at least delusion.  But I also allow for the possibility that someone who disagrees with me on a particular issue may be sane.  They may even base their opinion on sound analysis that prioritizes criteria differently from how I do.

The manichean orientation of a great deal of your thought and rhetoric undermines your arguments quite consistently.

by Strummerson 2008-12-18 07:19AM | 0 recs
Bodaciously awesome comment!


by bobswern 2008-12-18 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: More Illinois democracy

Perhaps the Republicans should not have salivated so openly about the possibility that changing the rules would enable them to pick up a Senate seat.

by Steve M 2008-12-18 07:22AM | 0 recs
While I can see

how you guys would want a special election, I can't agree that the Dems are obligated to give it to you.

This isn't about a moral principle, this is simply political manuevering.

by Neef 2008-12-18 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: More Illinois democracy - UPDATE

I am baffled by the logic that goes "Karl Rove wanted to win a majority, so if you want to win a majority, you're exactly like Karl Rove."  I mean, truly baffled.

by Steve M 2008-12-18 09:49AM | 0 recs
It's the doing whatever it takes part.

Ends justifying means?  Never.  Bad means corrupt by the time you get to the ends.

by kosnomore 2008-12-18 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: It's the doing whatever it takes part.

When we start having our political opponents thrown in jail on trumped-up charges, when we start outing CIA agents for political retaliation, when we start bugging our own offices and blaming the other party, I think I'll be a little more receptive to the "we're just like Karl Rove" argument.

In the present context, "doing whatever it takes" to hold the Illinois senate seat looks a lot like... having the replacement determined through the existing set of rules rather than making up a new rule.  That's not exactly the sort of tyranny that makes the heavens weep.

by Steve M 2008-12-18 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: More Illinois democracy - UPDATE

"UPDATE - One of the comments below justified my fears - - "We need to be focused on winning as a party, and doing what it takes to hold every last Senate seat." Isn't that verbatim the Bush/Cheney/Rove strategy? "


by Jess81 2008-12-18 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: More Illinois democracy - UPDATE


Isn't that verbatim what Hitler said when someone asked him if he wanted more coffee?

by Steve M 2008-12-18 11:35AM | 0 recs


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