Apparently, National Journal has no fact checkers
Friday, Feb 6, 2009
* Jonathan Rauch has penned one of the most ill-informed, convoluted columns I’ve ever seen at National Journal.
Rauch’s premise is that Rod Blagojevich’s “railroading” will come back to haunt Illinois. He’s flat-out wrong on several points.
* First and foremost, he seems to completely misunderstand Rod Blagojevich. Rauch asks what the hurry was to oust Blagojevich from office. Since Blagojevich was under “minute” surveillance, he wrote, why worry that the governor would do anything else illegal?
That’s easy. Just look at the record. Blagojevich knew very well that he was under intense investigation when he allegedly did all those things contained in the federal criminal complaint. There was an active grand jury, his friends had been indicted, and he knew the FBI was crawling all over him and that US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald had placed a big target on his head.
But the criminal complaint was only one aspect of the impeachment article. The rest of the charges were based on Blagojevich’s repeated willful and malicious attempts at nullifying or sidestepping the General Assembly’s legitimate constitutional authority. And then he even refused to back away from his behavior during his closing argument to the Senate. He had to go.
Plus, government completely collapsed after Blagojevich’s arrest. He could no longer govern. He had to go. The sooner the better.
And, finally, as stated many times during the impeachment process, the object of the General Assembly’s move was to protect the citizenry from this guy. So, again, he had to go.
* Rauch obviously has no clue what went on in Springfield during the impeachment. He writes…
Um, no. Those recordings were only a small part of the total package. You’d think he would’ve checked that one.
* Rauch also writes…
Too cavalier? They stood by for six years while the guy broke one state law after another, then finally acted after he was arrested by the FBI and they were too cavalier? Quite a few people in this state believe they didn’t act quickly enough.
* Rauch’s conclusion…
The Illinois trial rules were almost identical to the US Senate’s impeachment rules for Bill Clinton’s trial. Clinton was not convicted.
Also, unlike Nixon, Clinton and Reagan during Iran/Contra, this was a Democrat-on-Democrat process. There will be no partisan blowback like there was in DC. Who’s gonna retaliate? Blagojevich’s friends and allies? He has no friends and allies.
But I will admit, as I have before, that the next time a governor spends six years ignoring state laws; watches as pretty much all of his top fundraisers and advisors are indicted, imprisoned or are under investigation and/ior seeking immunity; is arrested by the FBI at 6 o’clock in the morning along with his chief of staff because he was caught on surveillance tapes doing some seriously dirty deeds; and then instead of attending the House impeachment hearings and the Senate trial, goes on national TV to blame all of his problems on a mythical “political witch hunt,” then he or she will also be impeached and removed from office. I guarantee it. This is really the only precedent set here.
…Adding… From comments…