This Chicago Tribune piece by John Kass is so good that it bears excerpting at length:
Only a week ago, Obama, Reid and other Democratic leaders were adamant that they’d block any Senate appointment made by tainted Illinois Gov. Rod “Dead Meat” Blagojevich, who has been charged with trying to sell Obama’s seat to the highest bidder.
Their statements back then were stern and inflexible, invoking the honor of the Senate and how they’d never let an allegedly corrupt governor put his greasy paws on their august dignity. Those statements weren’t bland. They were so tough they had hair on them. More hair than Blagojevich, even.
But today’s news is that Obama, often treated by the national media as the gentle Mr. Tumnus of American politics, got privately hardball with Reid over the Tombstone [Burris] issue.
According a story in the Tribune by Rick Pearson and Mike Dorning, Obama didn’t want the Chicago Way on parade in Washington, less than two weeks before his inauguration, when he formally becomes the agent of the change we can believe in.
Obama is perfectly within his rights to try to wriggle out of an embarrassing political situation, and what could be more embarrassing for him than to have Illinois political corruption constantly on the news in Washington?
People might start asking questions, wondering how Obama could come out of a city run by the wrought-iron fists of the Daley machine but smell like the neck of a baby after a bath.
In political terms, Reid rolled up his sleeves, put on his favorite “Kiss the Chef” apron, got his fingers dusty with flour and baked himself a big humble pie. He scarfed it down in front of reporters Wednesday, without a fork, all but licking his fingers, that pie was so sweet and tasty. Mmm-mmm.
“For me, who had never met the man, it was very enlightening,” oozed Reid, heaping praise on Burris after meeting him for the first time. “He is very engaging, an extremely nice man and he presents himself very well.”
Reid was joined by another oozer, perhaps the most accomplished public oozer in the Senate, Dick Durbin of Illinois.
“I’ve known Roland Burris for 36 years in Illinois politics. We have always been friends,” said Durbin, who a few days ago was calling the Burris appointment “an act of political defiance” that “will lead nowhere.”
Then they agreed that Tombstone would probably get to join their club, and they also agreed that race had nothing to do with it, even though they are Democrats and Blagojevich played the race card as adroitly as Al Sharpton eating soul food with Caroline Kennedy in Harlem.
Sure, they’re white guys and Burris is African-American, but race had nothing to do with it. It was just procedure and technicalities, they said.
“People ask a lot of times why we have to do various things procedurally here in the Senate,” Reid told reporters. “It’s because we’re the Senate: That’s how we operate.”
Correction. That’s how you used to operate. You’re from Nevada, but Obama comes from Chicago.
And there you have it.
As the old saying goes, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, and when to fold ’em.” Our own Hugh S. previously pointed out that Reid is an embarrassment as a political poker player. But maybe we’re being too hard on poor old Harry. After all, when the race card is played, all the other bets are off the table. Gov. Blagojevitch may be a little nuts, but he sure as hell knows how to play the game.
It is pure delight to watch rich white Democrats writhe after they have been beaten with the same heavy club of racism that they’ve been swinging at Conservatives for the past forty years. My only regret is that they, as Democrats, will be spared a second beating followed by a career-ending lynching at the hands of the Civil Rights establishment. That ultimate punishment is reserved only for Republicans.
(h/t Sister Toldjah)