Roland Burris is turning into Rod Blagojevich's gift that keeps on giving--whether or not we want it to. Virtually every leading Democrat in Illinois--and not a few from other states as well--has asked him politely to consider stepping down, but he steadfastly refuses to do so. Even when Dick Durbin, his fellow Illinois senator, urged him to quit, he announced his intention to stay put.
Fine. We'll just have to wait for the Senate to expel him, or for a competent authority to remove him. Or, in the worst-case scenario, we'll just have to wait out the end of his term, which has only a little more than a year and a half left in it. Burris did seem to hint, after his meeting with Durbin yesterday, that he was not considering running for re-election in 2010--which is just as well, given that everyone in Illinois (except, possibly, Roland Burris) knows that he'd get absolutely trounced in the Democratic primary and if, by some miracle, he managed to pull off a victory in the primary, he'd get his ass handed to him in the general.
At this point, I'm less annoyed with Burris (he's just doing what he's always done) than I am with some of his more clueless supporters. The local NPR station this morning ran a story, which I only heard in bits and pieces as I was shaving, about a group of black ministers who are insisting that Burris has done nothing wrong and that he shouldn't have to quit anything. And then there's Danny Davis, who seems to have become Burris's BFF after losing the Senate appointment to him, who seems to feel that the Senate seat formerly held by President Obama is now somehow the property of Illinois's African-Americans. And, since I seem to be on a Brit-quoting kick in this post, I'll borrow from a later British politician (Sir Winston Churchill) and say that's nonsense up with which I will not put.
There are no quotas for Senate seats--or for any other political appointments, for that matter. The idea is unconstitutional on its face, and it's simply ludicrous thereafter. If we're going to divvy up our representation according to the race of Illinoisans, then we need to have 1.422 white senators, 0.294 black senator, 0.292 Latino senator, 0.084 Asian senator, 0.04 Native American senator, 0.164 "other" senator, and 0.03 biracial senator. I won't even attempt to do the parallel calculations for our House delegation, since I'd have to do it by the racial makeup of the various legislative districts. Davis should content himself with getting another Democrat in Obama's old seat--and leave race out of it.
(*Oliver Cromwell, dismissing the Rump Parliament, 1653: "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!")