Fred Dooley at Real Debate, apparently with more time on his hands than I and other lefties have, is calling us out for not immediately calling out the Wizard of Springfield for his various nefarious plans to build himself a new house, pay for the kids' college and pad his retirement account on the backs of Illinois citizens looking for a decent Senate replacement for Barack Obama. Allow me to take time out of my busy day and evening to say, unequivocally, that I would like to wring the little man's neck, swing him around the top of the nearest Christmas tree by his hair and fling him, Hancock-like, into the deepest part of a frozen Lake Michigan.
I have several motivations for wanting Gov-for-now Blagojevich to swim with the metaphorical fishes. Very little of it has to do with "good government". Like Richard Nixon, Blagojevich is by all accounts and by evidence of his very words on the wiretaps ("I’m just not giving it up for fucking nothing," says Governor Genius) an insular and singular dick, the product of an unseemly combination of "arrogance and stupidity". As such, he is representative of nothing. You end up wondering less about the governor himself than whoever he is talking to on the phone. Are those people telling him how nuts he is? Are they laughing, hoping it's all an unfunny joke? (Prediction: The defense will be he was just kidding around. What else does he have?) In any event, the threat of any actual corruption occurring was slim-to-none: who would have agreed to give him anything for the appointment? No one, that's who.
But Blagojevich's real crime was what he has done to give the right-wing echo-chamber a way to beat Obama over the head. Ever since Obama won the election a month ago, the usual suspects on talk-radio, cable TV and blogs have struggled to find a way to find cracks in Obama's increasingly solid composition. They have been treading water, recycling McCain campaign talking-points about how the closet Marxist pals around with terrorists and Joe the Plumber was right and Sarah Palin is great and blah de blah blah. Their flop-sweat has been audible through their venom-dipped microphones, as Americans looking for something other than poison lies turned the dials to something more reality-based. The lack of wing-nut effectiveness was reflected in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll this week, that shows the President-Elect with a 67% positive rating.
But now Blogo-Mania has given the wretched slime-mongers of the right new ammunition to destroy hope and prevent change. Since Tuesday morning, every last one of them has been fully stocked with fresh talking-points from the RNC to smear Obama with an imaginary association with Blagojevich's fevered irrationality. Did you know the phrase "president-elect" appears 44 times in the criminal complaint? Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said there are no allegations "in the complaint" that Obama knew anything about it. "In the complaint"! That means there might be something somewhere else! Obama said he never talked about a replacement for him in the Senate with Blagojevich. Yeah, but who did on his behalf?
And so on. It doesn't take much for the right-wingers to get a hook to drive their agenda. They are hardly concerned about intellectual honesty. Blagojevich gave them the only thin window of opportunity they need, and for that alone he should be sentenced to 20 months as a coin-collector at an Illinois tollbooth.