Best of The Web: Dennis Byrne
Blagojevich and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who showed up at the announcement press conference, praised Burris’ “fine record of public service,” although my own view is that just getting through a political career here without the usual political taint qualifies as the finest of records. Burris accepted the accolades without seeming to understand the irony.
But Rush aptly demonstrated the cynicism of Blagojevich’s action by brandishing the blunt weapon of racism. Rush, an African American, warned that a senate that refused to seat Burris, an African American, would be engaging in a “hanging” and “lynching.” Even by Chicago political standards, the deployment of those inflammatory words was an extraordinarily slimy racist play.
James Taranto of the WSJ chimes in with his interpretation of Dennis’ column:
The Senate may eventually be forced to seat Burris, but if that happens it will be because the law is on his side, not because of racial intimidation.
To be sure, Harry Reid and his colleagues would be in a more difficult position without the support of a black president-elect. (Obama and Rush are longtime rivals, the latter having easily defeated the former’s primary challenge in 2000.) But our guess is that in the long run, Obama’s election will have permanently rendered this sort of racial politics far less effective. Now that a black man has been elected president, who can keep a straight face when a Bobby Rush asserts that blacks are being kept out of the Senate?