These are grim economic times. With the federal government spending money like a charter member of shoppers anonymous it is a safe bet that times will be getting grimmer yet. In these days it is important that the people have something to smile about, rather as the Three Stooges brought laughter during the Great Depression.
Illinois appreciating this need has answered the nation’s call. First, we presented the nation with ex-Governor Blagojevich, a topic of prior posts here, here and here. Now just because Blago has been thrown out of office doesn’t mean Illinois has exhausted the comedic possibilities with this man. He is now a regular on the talk show circuit.
What red-blooded American doesn’t love seeing a politician make an absolute fool out of himself? His prosecution and trial ensure that the laughs will keep on coming for years to come, except perhaps for all those other Illinois politicians he will attempt to implicate either as an act of revenge or in order to gain leniency.
However, Illinois, understanding that one man, even a comic genius like our ex-Gov, can’t carry the burden of making a nation laugh all by himself, we have supplied the nation with another punchline: Senator Roland “Tombstone” Burris!
A politician vain enough to have his tombstone made during his life listing his accomplishments is obviously a comedic character worthy of an Aristophanes. However, his genius for the absurd was wasted in retirement until Destiny and Governor Blago came calling. His appointment to the Senate met with near universal condemnation by Democrat leaders in Illinois and nationally until two factors became evident: if a special electionwere held for the Senate seat a Republican might well win with Blagojevich the poster child for the way the Democrats are governing the state, and in order to pass the Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009, erroneously called the “Stimulus” bill, the Democrats needed every vote they could get in the Senate to invoke cloture and end debate. When the word came down from Obama to seat Burris, that is just what the Democrats in the Senate did.
Now the hilarity begins. John Kass of the Chicago Tribune brings us up to date in regard to the Lying Weasel, as he affectionately calls the Senator, here. Other charges have been brought against Tombstone including allegations that he attempted to have criminal charges brought against a former employee of Robert Stroud, who was suing Stroud, the owner of Jovon Broadcasting Inc. No doubt it was mere happenstance that Burris owed Stroud 1.2 million dollars in campaign contributions made to Burris in 2002.
Now papers throughout the state are calling on Burris to resign. Of course, the joke, one of many, is that unless he is removed by the Senate there is nothing that can be done to compel Burris to resign.
Once the Burris scandal is resolved I am sure that something else will occur in Illinois that will keep the Sucker State front and center as the laughingstock of the nation. Too many Illinois politicians are corrupt and venal, but they have always been good for comedy relief as they have demonstrated time and again over the years. Residents of the other 49 states, you can rely on Illinois to give you a daily giggle during your time of economic trial.