Observing the squirming accidental Sen. Roland Burris, D-Not Re-elected, has been doing the past few days since a federal judge OK'd the release of a wiretap conversation between the senator and then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich reminded The Hound of the machinations of ancient Rome as described in I, Claudius, the novel by English author Robert Graves. There's some nasty business here.
And, the senator sure is becoming a testy geezer pol as he attacks reporters at every turn. He so fears the Chicago wolfpack that he went out for a two-day swing of downstate Illinois. Included in that was a briefing in Champaign on Wednesday on the National Soybean Research Laboratory. What's he need a briefing for? It's soybeans. We're a farm state dependent a lot on soybeans. Soybeans? Um, good. He's down in Springfield, Danville and Kankakee today.
Watching I, Roland is like watching the bumbling Claudius. Smart, but coming across as a naive bumpkin from downstate Centralia. Reading the transcript of the taped call between Blago and the senator, one has to read between the lines because we're dealing with Illinois pols here.
And, for an attorney, the senator sure doesn't know the law. Like planning to have his attorney funnel a check to Blago. Using a second or third party to channel campaign funds is against state campaign laws. But The Hound has a hard feeling it's also against the law to auction off a Senate seat.
While the senator is spinning the line that the wiretap "exonerates" him, it certainly can cause more trouble. The question reporters should ask I, Roland is if Blago hadn't been busted by the FBI, would there have been a check delivered to his Hairness in consideration for the Senate seat of now-President Obama? And, if so, who would have delivered it , the senator or his attorney. From the wiretrap, it is obvious the senator knows right from wrong and how it would look if it ever got out he was raising money for Rod the Mod.
More important, the senator never mentioned this meaningful conversation to the legislative panel investigating L'Affaire Burris. Will this be more fodder for a charge of perjury being explored by the Sangamon County State's Attorney's office? As The Hound said, this is some nasty business.
Besides, on a day when the president nominates the first Hispanic female to the U.S. Supreme Court, most Chicago TV stations led off with the Burris caper, relegating future supreme Sonia Sotomayor to second banana. Perhaps the president is ready to let the senator twist slowly in the wind --- finally.