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Blagojevich and America's Royalists

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 3:18 PM

Having just started the blog, "Impeach Them All," I was excited at the news of the December 7 indictment of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on federal corruption charges. Not mentioned in the charges, which I find vague and technical, there were rumors that Blagojevich might be impeached, and that he tried to put up Obama's Senate seat for sale. As the case grinds on, it is possible that Blagojevich might indeed be impeached and that further charges might be filed including putting the Senate seat up for sale. However at this point in time, something happened which in my view makes Rod Blagojevich's wrongdoing, if it ever happened, seem trivial: In another part of the US, American Royalists want to anoint a candidate for a vacated senate seat. Although no crown will be involved in the ceremony, and no oil will be poured over the divine head, an anointment, a virtual coronation, will take place if the Royalists supporting it prevail.

If you have read the news lately, you can guess that I am referring to the preposterous idea that one Caroline Schlossberg will be designated as a New York State Senator to replace Senator Hillary Clinton who will assume the mantle of Secretary of State. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. Mrs. Schlossberg's maiden name is Kennedy, and Mrs. Schlossberg is the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, and therefore Pretender to the Throne.

I took a few minutes away from writing this to look up the 1777-78 Valley Forge encampment of Continental troops fighting the British, in order to refresh my memory about what Americans went through to stop kings and royal appointees from assuming public offices. "Undernourished and poorly clothed, living in crowded, damp quarters, the army was ravaged by sickness and disease. Typhus, typhoid, dysentery, and pneumonia were among the killers that felled as many as 2,000 men that winter." If you are bothering to read this, you probably know the story.

Next I looked up royalist in Wikipedia and found, "A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim." In the case of Mrs. Schlossberg, America's Royalists are supporting a dynastic claim.

As far as I know, Mrs. Schlossberg is eligible to announce a campaign for the Senate seat and run for the office like any other candidate. She might even be elected by a majority who are impressed by her maiden name, her pedigree, and the cult of personality surrounding her illustrious father. But to be given the Senate seat as a quasi-royal prerogative is outrageously un-American, anti-American, and an insult to every last man and woman who got frostbite at Valley Forge. (There were women there too; read about it.) Those of you who are currently immersed in the huge icy storms of the northern part of the US are having an opportunity to empathize with the folks at Valley Forge.

Let us compare the royalists' Schlossberg anointment (see Ruth Marcus' article in the Washington Post) with what would happen in a parallel universe, where Senate seats are auctioned off on eBay, with Rod Blagojevich in charge of the auction.

First, some of Ruth Marcus' statements: "my head says no, on balance. My heart says yes! Yes!… What really draws me to the notion of Caroline as senator, though, is the modern-fairy-tale quality of it all… I know it's an emotional -- dare I say "girly"? -- reaction. But what a fitting coda to this modern fairy tale to have the little princess grow up to be a senator."

But what if the seat were auctioned off to the highest bidder? The proceeds of the sale could be designated for a favorite charity, for example, for the Treasury of the State of New York, so that the Governor of that State, one David Patterson, would not have to impose a tax on iTunes downloads. Patterson, by the way, is one of the royalists considering appointment of Mrs. Schlossberg to the Senate Seat, unless he appoints himself. He apparently has the legal right to make either appointment.

Or perhaps the proceeds from auctioning off Senator Clinton's seat could be donated to the United Auto Workers' pension fund, offsetting the need for a bailout of the Big 3 automakers announced by President Bush.

If the foregoing fantasy auction took place, would it be any worse than the "girly" fairy tale fantasy advanced by Ruth Marcus?

Now to make things clear, I am not in favor of any kind of auction of any kind of Senate seat, by Rod Blagojevich, David Patterson, or anyone else; and if Gov. Blagojevich has violated any laws prohibiting such an auction, he should receive his proper penalty, a jail sentence if necessary. I am also opposed to any "fairy tale" appointments by Governor Patterson. Frankly, given the recent history of bailouts using money that doesn't exist yet, and of electing candidates to national office based on personality and on fantasies of hope and change, we have had enough fairy tales for one election season.

[Keywords: impeach-them-all.org blagojevich fairy mrs royalists schlossberg seat senate ]