Today, December 15th, is the Bill of Rights Day in the United States, celebrating the ratification of the first ten amendments to the original Constitution. While drafted and debated with a certain amount of controversy- some of the Founders felt that there was no need to enumerate the obvious, and in so doing, constraints upon those rights could grow up around the edges of the Bill of Rights- the Ten were voted in on this day in 1791.
While the modern assault upon those ten and many another is ongoing, an unusually brazen one took place here in northeastern Illinois over this past weekend.
Launching off what must have appeared to her to be overwhelming public demand, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan held a heavily-covered press conference outlining a "request" she had officially made upon the Illinois Supreme Court to forcibly and immediately remove Governor Rod Blagojevich from office.
Long-time Chicago observers found themselves on guard at once, seeing that the Attorney General had by her side former Congressman and judge Abner Mikva. Those not so familiar with Mikva, or with a benevolent view of the old Machine judge, should pay more attention to his presence.
Of course, his main purpose at the press conference was to lend some august-seeming weight to Madigan's plans. He's a big-shot famous judge, right?
Well, yes, but he's also a pretty good representative of the worst of mid-level leftist judicial activists from the '60s period. Prior to that, as a Congressman from Chicago, he was so far, and so staunchly Left that we had to imagine even his Boss, Richard the First, had to shake his jowly head at Mikva's proclivities for the authoritarian State.
He was the perfect "bookshelf backdrop" for Madigan's assault on the Illinois Constitution, and the notion of representative government in general.
Madigan filed a request saying that the Governor should be removed at once, owing to his being "disabled". There is a provision in the Illinois Constitution that a chief executive can be removed for "other disabilities", and Madigan made her determination that in fact, the Supreme Court should take that action.
As a legal brief, Madigan's paper is laughable. It cites little in the way of factual support and really, no legal window dressing at all, beyond "I said so." It's so brazen that even the Mainstream Media hordes preparing to adore her as they did her Machine predecessor on the national scene had to pull up short.
The urge to protect the Cook County Democratic Machine and it's fledgling president runs strong among our esteemed pontificators, so strong that the complete vaporization of Blagojevich in order to protect the Obama cannot possibly happen soon enough.
So, in the grand tradition of the modern statist (think prosecutor McCoy on television's bone-chilling "Law and Order", many modern American's concept of the American legal system), Madigan took prompt and precipitous action.
The fact that this plan has so many flaws the Internet is groaning under the load of lawprof blogs and even other responsible commentator's howling about the extra-legality of it didn't slow the Attorney General in the slightest. Coolly facing the media hordes, she went on an on about how she's representing "the people" of Illinois and so she's the good guy here. One gets the idea that she's just as dumb, just as clueless, and just as arrogant as her target, Blagojevich.
Even in the background, the Machine pretty boys, hacks, and Wizards of Oz have been slewing around crazily trying to find solid ground to stamp their foot down on. Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, shortly to be Governor himself, once said that there should be a special election, at the soon-upcoming and convenient date of the spring primary elections here in Illinois.
He quickly departed that island for the next, as has so many of his cohorts, and then Madigan was trotted out with her Draconian plan.
Of course the Dems don't want an election- they're manuevering themselves into a position to lose the dang thing, despite the staggering incompetence of their Republian Party opposition.
Especially with a new storm cloud seeming to be brewing over the other Big Star from the Machine, Rahm Emanuel, laying things out in public are counter-productive for the Daleys and their operatives, from Obama through Madigan and down to the last ward committeeman on the city's northwest side.
Many other commentators have already visited how the AG plan is mostly intended to insulate the state's Democrats from the embarrassment of impeaching, convicting, and removing the governor they just rammed down our throats- twice. Furthermore, Madigan's father, the Speaker of the Illinois House, Michael Madigan, would have to be the one putting together the impeachment, shining way too many lights upon himself, his daughter, the Democratic Party, and the Machine that runs the whole thing.
A week ago, Your Correspondent was fairly sure Madigan planned to use the governorship to launch her presidential aspirations. That comes in part from our conviction that Americans much prefer to elect governors, actual chief executives, to the White House, and not gasbags from the US Senate. Perhaps this past election has undone that paradigm, what with a gaggle of gasbags clogging up the presidential field, with only two governors, Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Sarah Palin of Alaska, figuring in at all.
Therefore, it now seems possible that Attorney General Madigan feels her future is best served by vaulting into the Senate and leaving the governorship in the hands of Pat Quinn, where it's about to easily fall anyway. That way, she can avoid the trap of actually doing anything of consequence, as her predecessor Obama craftily did on his way to the Big House. Sorry, White House.
It's hard not to point out the franticness with which the Democrats at all levels are insisting that this senatorial appointment must happen at once! at once!; that Illinois' citizens are being denuded of their rightful representation by the vacancy of the junior Senate seat on Capitol Hill.
For goodness' sake, folks, Barack Obama never did a thing with the seat anyway, and racked up one of the worst attendance (and work-) records in modern Senate history. He wasn't there, so someone not being there now's no big deal.
Excepting, of course, that with the US Senate close to being filibuster-proof upon the balance having swung so close to a Dem supermajority, they fear losing total control of all branches of the Federal government and so, risking the total power to rule that their Obama needs.