If you are a fan of The Wire, you might remember the fifth season episode "Took," which prominently features the corruption trial of Maryland State Senator Clay Davis, during which Davis takes the stand in his own melodramatic defense. I actually watched that episode just last night. Today, I watched the newly impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich walk out on stage in front of the press, and, for all intents and purposes, mount the same damn defense. If you thought you saw a bulge in Blago's pockets, just know that he's given every dime and every ounce of his being to The People. And how dare anyone say otherwise! David Simon and Richard Price foresaw all of this.
I knew that this press conference was going to rival the one where Roland Burris accepted his mission from Rod, God, and the Holy Race Card when Blago's arrival was delayed so that some random clutch of poor and downtrodden-looking citizens could troop onstage and arrange themselves, like a sad, droopy Choir of the Misbegotten. Within moments of their assembly, Blagojevich burst into the room and starting speaking, VERY QUICKLY, quoting the Golden Rule and launching into an extended harangue over health care policy and quality of life issues. Blago fought the good fight, and now the State House wants to take all of those pretty effing valuable things away from the citizenry!
Shorter Blagojevich, to the citizens of Illinois:
Those people in the House, who impeached me today, WILL KILL YOU IF THEY GET A CHANCE. I, Rod Blagojevich, must stop them.
And then it was time for ROD BLAGOJEVICH'S DEF POETRY SLAM, featuring Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson:
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Of course, it seemed like he was trying to say this:
It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
"I think we have just seen what can be characterized as a bizarre press conference," said MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell. Indeed.