Is that the same thing as "recommend to any department outside the top twenty?"
Burris is mediocre? If so, he'll hardly be the first legislative lightweight in the upper chamber. And, unlike some of his prospective Senate colleagues, his record is refreshingly clear of financial and sexual scandal.
The voters of Illinois ought to be the ones to fill such a lengthy vacancy in Washington? That's a fine idea, Bunky, but it ain't the law. And we can't go back in time to change it.
All this was obvious from the moment rumors began flying last Tuesday morning that Blagojevich was preparing to stick a potato in the exhaust pipe of those demanding his resignation by appointing Burris.
Anyone able to see more than one move ahead on the chess board would have realized that an indignant and ultimately futile tizzy over the Burris appointment would divide Democrats along racial lines, distract from the serious business and the festivities in Washington, and boost Blagojevich's popularity among African-Americans. Look three or four moves ahead: Burris will be at least an OK U.S. senator, probably a decent one and maybe even a good one. He's annoying, but he's not a nitwit, a kook or a criminal. And he'll almost certainly be a reliable Democratic vote, but not one that stands to tip the balance either way.
Steve Chapman concurs, noting the necessary evil of following the rules.When faced with a result that accords with the law, senators have a duty to accept it. In this instance, it won't be pleasant. But if the rule of law only told us to do what is pleasant, we wouldn't need it.
Now comes Dawn Turner Trice, raising necessary objections to the destructive concept of authenticity.
I disagree with that "nobody would suggest" formulation, as she has precisely identified the White European Male archetype as cast by Hollywood, or as constructed by the least imaginative clowns in the identity-politics circus. Ms Trice, however, writes too well to have been led astray by those clowns. Notice the absence of "post-" or "neo-" or slashes or jargon in her writing.
What frustrates me is that the prevailing "type" for black men is so distressingly narrow that any black man who stands outside the "type" is considered the exception or inauthentic by some whites and some blacks.
One cannot deny that there are myriad problems facing some black men. But the black male type is far more diverse than what's captured in statistics and in the media. A substantial group of impressive black men have been rendered invisible by the knuckleheads.
Here's a question: What does it mean to be authentically white?
Consider our economic meltdown. A bunch of white men were at the helm of government and private companies, now brought to their knees by shoddy dealings. Nobody would suggest that the new archetype for the white male is somebody who shouldn't be in charge of our kids' piggy banks, let alone facets of a national economy.
But whenever there is a grim statistic about a black man, it's too often used to reaffirm all the negative stereotypes. Sadly, for some, that becomes what's authentic.