SPRINGFIELD -- Rod R. Blagojevich at 4:51 p.m. Thursday became the first governor in Illinois' 190-year history to be driven from office by impeachment.
Senators voted 59-0 to dump Blagojevich, who was arrested Dec. 9 on federal corruption charges. And minutes later, they voted 59-0 to bar him from ever holding elected office in Illinois again. Later, outside his Northwest Side home, Blagojevich said, "I predicted it. The fix was in from the very beginning."
At 5:40 p.m., Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn placed his hand on a family Bible held by 25-year-old son Patrick, took the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke and broke into a broad grin as spectators in the House rose to their feet and cheered the arrival of a new era.
"I want to say to the people of Illinois, the ordeal is over," said Quinn, who became the state's 41st governor.Most observers, knowing that Blagojevich was caught on tape by federal investigators attempting to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama, would find little or nothing remarkable in his removal from office.
However observers familiar with the Democrat party in general and the Illinois Democrat party in particular are somewhat amazed by the events described above.
Under normal circumstances when a Democrat is caught red-handed in some form of official corruption other Democrats invoke what is to them the third most sacred principle of American law, the presumption of innocence (the first and second most sacred being abortion and gay marriage). However in this case the party did not pretend that the evidence conclusively proving guilt did not exist and acted swiftly to remove the corrupt politician from office and from among their midst.
We must ask ourselves why. Have the Democrats suddenly become so ashamed of being the party of sleaze and corruption that they have decided to clean up their act?
[Lemuel pauses to let the laughter die down]
Of course we know that isn't the case so what is it?
The answer is simple. Blagojevich was an embarrassment to the little messiah.
Blagojevich and Obama are alike creatures of the unbelievably corrupt sewer of the Cook County Democrat machine. They are constructed from the materials to be found in that sewer. They are not simply touched by or covered in the sewer they are the sewer.
Blagojevich and Obama's ties are close and they go back for years and Obama's new chief of staff, another Illinois sewer dweller, was on those tapes possibly getting very close to negotiating with Blagojevich over exactly what kind of quid pro quo Blago could expect to get somewhere down the road for installing the little messiah's hand picked successor in his Senate seat.
Clearly Blago had to be hustled out the exit as quickly as possible otherwise the little messiah's tinfoil halo might have gotten seriously tarnished.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming months. One would think that with nothing left to lose politically and facing a federal prison term that Blago would be trying to cut a deal with the US Attorney to rat out everyone he knows in exchange for immunity.
Other Illinois Democrats have to know that and the White House has to know that so why hasn't Blagojevich's body already been found in Fort Marcy Park? The only thing I can think of is that some kind of backroom deal has been struck in exchange for Blago's silence.
If I am correct we will see the criminal case against Blagojevich collapse in the months to come. He will either walk on a technicality or recieve a short term of probation after being allowed to plead guilty to one minor charge. After this he will be given a large advance on a book deal from a publisher with ties to high level Democrats.
Either that or he will manage to shoot himself eight times through the brain while cleaning the six-shot revolver that no one who knows him has ever seen before.