Drum roll, please!!
So this tiny, old black man strolls into the Senate Chambers to take what he thinks is rightfully his and this shriveled up old white man meets him at the door, guns drawn, to stop him. There they are in a face-off. Mano-a-mano!!!
The world stops. A crowd gathers outside. White folk on one side, Congressional Black Caucus on the other. The silence is deafening.
You can hear a pin drop.
The Democrats pray for rain. The Republicans came to see the Comedy of Errors show. And the disgraced governor from Illinois stands on the sidelines watching the mess he made play out on every TV in the world.
Don’t you just love it? Not since the shootout at the OK Corral has the drama been this intense. Hollywood and Michael Moore – eat your hearts out. You just can’t make this stuff up.
Oh wait, you say. Now they are going to negotiate? Just what is there to negotiate? The law is the law. Well that is, unless you’re in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s town, where he gets to make the law, because he is the law. And when the smoke clears, the people get screwed again. So what else is new? Roll credits, movie over. Hope you had time to eat your popcorn.
In case you have been living under a rock, the scene is being played out in the city known for its daily drama – Washington, D.C.
It seems that when Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich got caught trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat and Obama wouldn’t play his “pay-to-play” game, he decided to screw everyone and appoint former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, and make Illinois Congressman and ex-Black Panther Bobby (got no love for Obama) Rush and his money men happy while thumbing his nose at Obama, the Illinois Democratic Party and Harry Reid and the Congressional Democrats (well, all but the Congressional Black Caucus).
Now, Reid has threatened to stop anybody that Wacko Blago appoints. Well, that is, as long as they’re black. He would have been alright with the couple of white folk on the short list.
My, my, my!! Where were the NAACP, ACLU and all the race police on that one? Guess nobody cared that Reid played the race card. Had a Republican said that, CNN would want him hung up by his toenails.
Oh, yes, they are still hung up over the “Barack the Magic Negrogate.” They must shoot at least one Republican for that. They just can’t figure out which one. But I digress.
Anyway, the Congressional Black Caucus was ready to fight for Burris. Bobby Rush had already called the troops to order.
But now comes the “Northern Strategy.”
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White refuses to certify Burris’ appointment, thereby allowing the secretary of the Senate, Nancy Erickson, to reject his appointment.
Cut back to the first scene. Harry Reid stands in the Senate door, armed with these rejections, ready to fight to the death. Poor Burris never had a chance.
He was appointed by an “alleged” crooked governor and stopped by his own political party, which “allegedly” loves their black folk while playing regular old plantation politics.
Sometimes losing ain’t so bad. It gives you the opportunity to have the most loyal of the winning party see that their party wasn’t so loyal after all.
Glad I brought my popcorn. This movie is hilarious. Too bad it ends badly for all involved. Those who got played may never know they got played.
In 1887, English politician Lord John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
Another English politician, British Prime Minister William Pitt, the Elder, the Earl of Chatham, said in 1770, “Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.”
Guess they saw what the Democratic-controlled 111th Congress in 2009 would look like.
Barbara Howard is president of Barbara Howard & Associates and the Florida state chair for C.O.R.E. (the Congress of Racial Equality).