for the Illinois Senate Seat vacated by President-elect Obama
3. The Senate currently doesn't have any African Americans. That is unacceptable. There should be around 10 - 15. Everyone should be represented in terms of race and background. Both parties need to work to make sure the Hall of Power look like America in as many important respects as possible.
2. Roland Burris is qualified both in terms of the Constitution and the laws of Illinois. It is immaterial whether the Governor is suspected of crimes. As long as Blago is governor, he has the legal right to exercise power. He did.
1. Democrats need to move on from the Illinois scandals. If they seat Burris, the press will move on to the next story. Remember David Vitter? Remember Larry Craig? Remember about 50 other stories? They last until they don't. Seat the Senator and then have a normal special election in 2 years. If our party is worried about the potential taint of scandal from this whole episode, then actually "don't be corrupt". That would mean demanding all members hold themselves to a high standard of ethics. It would mean evicting criminals and those clearly not forthcoming about their activities from the caucus without public scrutiny. Both parties have taken the perspective that something is not a problem unless/until the press gets a hold of it. As a party, Democrats need to develop principles and live by them. This can be a lasting legacy of this era.