Monday, January 26, 2009

Rod Blagojevich: Crazy Like A Fox or Just Crazy?

When I turned on The View today, I was taken a little by surprise. Part of it was seeing Barbara Walters “sitting” at the table with Whoopi, Joy, and Sherri. But she wasn’t really sitting there, they had a large TV screen there in her place, with her appearing remotely. It reminded me of the animated Fox show from years back – “Futurama” – where they used to have those famous heads in the jars. It was, well, weird. But Barbara was there because she was going to do a remote interview of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on the show. You see, Blagojevich decided to go on The View rather than stay in his home state while his impeachment hearings were being conducted.

Blagojevich had also appeared that day on NBC’s Today Show in a taped interview, and also earlier in the day on ABC’s Good Morning America. Clearly he wants to take his case to the people, seeing that he thinks he is being shut out of his own impeachment proceedings. He insists that he did nothing wrong, and thinks he cannot get a fair hearing in Illinois because he is unable to call witnesses on his behalf, who he believes can clear him.

According to CNN, Blagojevich missed deadlines this month for answering the impeachment charge and for filing a motion to dismiss, a spokesman for Illinois Senate President John Cullerton has said.”

Clearly, Blagojevich thinks that he can do better for himself by bringing his case directly to the public. I have to admit that his claims made me go back to look at the impeachment process. So in that aspect, Blagojevich may have made his point that someone can be impeached without apparently having a formal hearing where the person can present a defense. But what he forgets is that impeachment doesn’t necessarily mean he will be removed from office. In essence, it’s similar to an indictment process for criminal trials; it’s just a step in the process. President Bill Clinton was impeached, yet he remained in office and carried out his duties, as no further action was taken to remove him from office.

But while Blagojevich may be raising awareness of what may seem unfair about the impeachment process, he loses points for evading the issue when asked for simple answers on what he really did say. He continues to say that when all the facts are presented by relaying the full content of his conversations, the context of his comments will help vindicate him. For me, seeing Blagojevich’s need to state his case to any major media outlet that will listen, I’d have to say he doth protest too much. I also believe that where there is smoke there is fire, and it will be very hard in my mind for Blagojevich to be able to put some of his recorded comments in context to the point that they would vindicate him.

Now he’s had his chance to state his case to the public, I think at this point he needs to zip it. If he feels his rights are being violated, he needs to get an attorney and file his complaint through legal channels. Maybe if he’d done that earlier, he wouldn’t have missed a chance to make his motion to dismiss.

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