Betcha didn't know that the elected office of Senator of the United States of America was a color coded position? Apparently, Laura Washington of the Chicago Sun-Times thinks it is, anyway, because she is warning that Obama's "black Senate seat" will be lost because of this mess with Governor Rod Blagojevich getting arrested for trying to sell that "black seat" to the highest bidder.
In hers headlined "Black leaders see Senate seat being hijacked," Washington is ostensibly reporting on what black community leaders and politicos in Chicago are saying about who should be appointed to fill Obama's vacant seat. Still, Washington injected quite a lot of her own feelings into the tale of this gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth over the fate of that same seat to the effect that she endorses the idea that Obama's position in the Senate is officially a "black seat" and should stay that way.
Washington is worried most that if the seat is left to be filled by an actual vote of the people of Illinois, instead of an appointment by the governor, it will spell the end of the "black seat." At one point, Washington even claims that "white voters" are uninterested in why they might "deserve" a black senator and so cannot be counted on to vote black. That despite the fact that when Obama ran he was overwhelmingly elected by those same white voters -- not to mention that the other party also put up a black senate candidate to face him. Wouldn't it seem obvious that voting black is not much of a problem for white voters in Illinois?
Naturally, as far as Washington and her black leaders are concerned, it's all a conspiracy to defraud blacks of their "black seat" in the Senate.
While they aren't ready to coalesce around Jackson, they are gearing up for a fight. There's a massive conspiracy afoot, Gadlin says. "We see it for what it is. What we are really looking at is 'The Luck of the Irish' -- two Madigans, Fitzgerald, Durbin, Cullerton, Claypool, Daley, and all the rest. They're making a power play to regain the control of the politics, money and jobs in this state."
There is a conspiracy, of course. But it has nothing to do with the color black. It is/was focused entirely on another color: green... as in the color of money. No one is looking to take away anything from blacks here. This is just a normal case of greed, not racism. But leave it to Washington and her "black leaders" to turn run-of-the-mill Chicago corruption and greed into a giant racist conspiracy.
Regardless, Washington is all worried that the people might be asked to vote for a new Senator.
The obstacles to "keeping the seat" are manifold:
Illinois' Powers That Be are hurtling headlong into election mode. The Legislature will convene today to hammer out legislation to mandate an election, no doubt in record time. The appointment option is fading fast.
Darn the luck! Imagine. Expecting the voters to actually vote for their Senator! The nerve.
And, worse, we are stuck with all those racist, white Illinoisans -- you know, the many thousands that voted for Obama for Senator and then again for president -- that will surely succeed in keeping the next black Senator down.
White voters don't and won't accept the idea that America and Illinois need -- and deserve -- a black senator. (When the Senate was all white, they never complained).
What Washington wants is an appointment. She wants a perfect affirmative action appointment. She wants at all costs to keep the people of Illinois from having a vote in who represents them in Congress. Democracy is no good as far as she is concerned. She knows better, after all.
I have to say, though, that color coding Senate seats is an intriguing thought. I mean, we have Bernine Sanders of Vermont holding one of these seats and he is a commie. Is his the "red" seat? Our 31st Vice President, Charles Curtis, was also once a Senator from Kansas. He was half American Indian. Should his seat be considered the "yellow" seat? Is Colorado Senator Ken Salazar's seat the "brown" seat? What other colors for seats can we imagine?
But, after such an exercise in the Balkanization of our Senate, one wonders when we went from having elected officials by acclamation of the people to selected officials by accident of birth? I guess Laura Washington and the Chicago Sun-Times aren't much interested in that whole silly "voting" thing?
(Photo credit: pbs.org)