Exclusive: Not Even Democrats Want to Touch Blagojevich with a 10-Foot Pole…Why?

by PAM MEISTER December 10, 2008


When political scandals hit the fan, here’s how they are usually dealt with: Republican offenders are almost immediately vilified by the press and then hounded by their own party to step down either from their leadership position or their elected office – or both. Democrat offenders are given the benefit of the doubt by the press (at least in the beginning), and their fellow party members circle the wagons to protect them from criticism on the right.
However, the ever-expanding scandal of Democrat Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris being arrested on federal corruption charges doesn’t fit the usual Democrat “never say surrender” playbook. What gives?
As you probably know, Blagojevich and Harris were arrested yesterday after a three-year investigation by the feds into his s seamy administration. Among the allegations are that Blagojevich and Harris tried to get editorial board members of the Chicago Tribune who were critical of the administration fired in exchange for state help in unloading Wrigley Stadium (owned by the Tribune); that they obtained and sought to obtain financial gain for themselves and family members in exchange for appointed positions and contracts; and the coup de grace: trying to “sell” the Senate seat that Barack Obama is about to vacate (the Illinois governor is responsible for appointing a replacement).
At the press conference, an FBI agent said, “If it isn’t the most corrupt state in the United States, it’s certainly one hell of a competitor. Even the most cynical agents in our office were shocked. ” Perhaps it was the alleged attempted shakedown of a children’s hospital for a $50,000 kickback in exchange for $8 million in state funding that did it.
So where are Blagojevich’s defenders? Why is Blagojevich not being given the usual benefit of the doubt by party cronies? Common decency doesn’t exactly come to mind.  Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is calling for a special election to fill Obama’s seat because “no appointment by this governor, under these circumstances, could produce a credible replacement.” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) is calling upon Blagojevich to resign. Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.) said that if the allegations are true they “would represent a shameful breach of the public trust and be cause for the governor’s immediate resignation.” Democrat state comptroller Dan Hyne claimed “our state cannot afford to remain engulfed in this unfolding scandal.”
As of this writing, there’s been no word from Obama. And this should not come as a surprise, seeing as The One not only advised Blagojevich during his initial gubernatorial run and maintained somewhat close ties afterward. But he is also connected to the Illinois governor via the disgraced Tony Rezko. Rezko was an early supporter of Obama and raised money for his campaigns (and also helped him buy his Georgian revival mansion). Rezko was also one of Blagojevich’s top fundraisers. Speaking out before the dust settles may only result in tarring him with the same shameful brush.
And, as The One gets ready to accept his destiny in the White House, any hint of scandal or impropriety might be disastrous to his image as a healer, a fixer of all things bad. Whether Obama knew of Blagojevich’s Senate seat peddling is already being questioned.
Rick Moran points out that Obama is likely too smart to have been caught up in Blagojevich’s Senate scheme. But in politics, appearances are almost everything, and we can’t have Obama’s 79% transition approval rating sour before he even takes office.
In reality, the Democrats are circling the wagons. But they’re circling them around Obama – leaving Blagojevich to face the Indians on his own.
Pam Meister is the editor for FamilySecurityMatters.org.

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