Wallowing Again In Illinois

"Something is
rotten in the state,"


Well, it certainly is in the
state of Illinois

Yet, on hearing U.S. Attorney
Patrick Fitzgerald describe a plot by his governor to
sell his Senate seat—"conduct (that)
would make Lincoln roll over in his grave"
did reform President Barack Obama respond?

"I had
no contact with the governor or his office
, and so I
was not aware of what was happening. … And as I said,
it is a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that, I don`t think
it`s appropriate to comment."

"A sad day for
—that was it.

But FBI Special Agent in Charge
Robert Grant could not contain his revulsion:
"If (Illinois)
isn`t the most corrupt state in the United States, it`s
certainly one hell of a competitor. I think even the
most cynical agents in our office were shocked."

Yet Barack stayed cool. Not for 24
hours did he join the clamor for Gov. Rod Blagojevich to
stand down.

The stink of this is not going
away, and it may adhere to the new presidency that
seemed about to begin in a new era of good feeling.

For, consider. While Obama said he
had never spoken with the governor about the Senate
seat—understandable, given how toxic the scandal-plagued
Blagojevich was—he did not say his staff had not done

Which raises several questions:

Did Obama direct or ask any staffer
to speak to Blagojevich? Did

Rahm Emanuel
David Axelrod,
both of Chicago, never speak to the
governor about the Senate appointment? Did Barack`s
aides all treat Blagojevich as a political leper and not
communicate to him any interest in or concern about whom
he might appoint to succeed Obama?

This defies credulity.

On the other hand, if Obama`s
staffers did talk to Blagojevich or his staff, did the
governor or his men suggest a big-time pay-off might
purchase a Senate seat?

For Blagojevich is overheard on the
wiretaps complaining that all that Obama, whom he slurs
nastily, was offering was gratitude.

How did Blagojevich know that?

Who told him Barack would not pony
up and play ball? And if any Obama aide was solicited
for a bribe, did they relate that to Obama? Did they
report it to the FBI or the U.S. attorney`s office?

Forty-eight hours into Senategate
and already the cancer has metastasized.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
has been dragged in. He is
"Senate Candidate
on the wiretaps. From the FBI transcripts, it
appears a Jackson
with access to the governor, offered to
raise half a million for Blagojevich`s re-election, in
return for naming Jackson to the Senate. With perhaps a
million more to follow.

Jackson says he met for 90 minutes
with the governor Monday and made his case for the
Senate appointment—on his record alone. Jackson
emphasized that he was not solicited by the governor for
a bribe, nor was any emissary ever authorized to offer
the governor anything.

Jackson`s lawyer backs him up, but
says that some supporter, without Jackson`s knowledge,
might have freelanced on his own.

There are other puzzling questions.

Why, if Fitzgerald was listening to
the wiretaps and laying his trap for the governor and
corrupt politicians interested in buying a U.S. Senate
seat, did he abort the operation with his 6 a.m. arrests
of Blagojevich and his chief of staff? Why spring the
trap when the mouse is just outside, mulling over
whether to go for the cheese?

Why not let the plot unfold? Why
not let the corrupt bidder for a Senate seat make a
solid offer and bring in his or her down payment? Why
not wait for the felony to be committed instead of
acting while it was still being considered and

This one is not going away soon.

Forty-eight hours into the scandal,
we have a governor and chief of staff arrested in their
homes for attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat of the
44th president of the United States. And one of the most
famous names in politics, Jesse Jackson Jr., has hired a
lawyer and been placed under a cloud of suspicion that
some benefactor tried to buy him the Senate seat he

No one is yet convicted of
anything. But if this scandal touches any member of
Obama`s White House staff, who may have spoken with
Blagojevich and listened to his solicitation of a bribe
without reporting it, we are going to have a new special
prosecutor in Washington, D.C.

Indeed, the U.S. Senate should
probably make the confirmation of Eric Holder as
attorney general, the Clintonite who midwifed the
pardons of
Marc Rich
and the

Puerto Rican terrorists,
contingent on his naming an
independent counsel in the Senategate scandal.

As for the Bush-to-Barack
transition, which Americans have applauded as graceful
and uplifting, it is now mired in mud.

Yes, indeed, it is—a sad day for



Patrick J. Buchanan


no introduction
to VDARE.COM readers;
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State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, can be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
is Churchill,
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Empire and the West Lost the World,



Paul Craig Roberts.