Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Illinois Democracy

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.”

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

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