Blagojevich On The View: Insanity Continues
Today, rather than participate in his own impeachment, embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is mounting his full spectrum charm offensive on television. This morning, he was on Today, recorded and Good Morning America, live. Next up, The View, for The Persecution and Impeachment of Rod Blagojevich as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of The View Under the Direction of Barbara Walters, or, for short: Blago/Behar. Anyway, we've basically heard most of Blagojevich's talking points already, and now only hope that he adds something new to the proceedings, like more crazy Wild West analogies, tortured beyond what the Geneva Conventions allow. Or, failing that, maybe his wife, who will be accompanying him, will yell at the Cubs, or drop some F-bombs.
To review, here's Blagojevich's main "argument":
1. He is innocent.
2. Thanks to everyone in the media for focusing so tightly on the whole Senate seat matter, and not extorting the Chicago Tribune, or strong-arming the Children's Memorial Hospital.
3. He should get to call "witnesses" in his impeachment trial. Like Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett. Because this will prove that Emanuel and Jarrett once talked to him.
4. The fact that he cannot call witnesses is an abridgement of the entire Constitution and a desecration of Paul Revere's grave.
5. This could HAPPEN TO ANYONE!
6. The only reason any of this is happening is because he's been such a good friend to the Illinois people, and the State Senate hates them, and wants them to die.
7. Also, this is about a crazy conspiracy to enact a tax increase!
8. The only reason he wanted to maybe work a deal for Obama's Senate Seat was because it was part of his convoluted plan to pass a much needed public works project.
10. Seriously, cowboys.
Now, let's see if he brings any new flavor for the women of The View!
Well, here's your first disappointment! Blago begins by only talking to Barbara Walters, and not even TO Barbara Walters, but to a television screen beaming Walters from Los Angeles. No fair. Blago should have to take questions from everyone! It's the other Viewsters that might hit him with some unpredictable question and knock him out of his ten point plan. They'll apparently get their chance, later.
First, Babs on Blago! She wants to know what's up with his insane comparisons f himself to Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. "That was taken out of context," he says. EVERYTHING I EVER SAY IS OUT OF CONTEXT. What I'm saying right now, has no context. He says that the "context" was "similar historical figures" who had experienced similar trials. "Under no circumstances am I comparing myself to Dr. King, Nelson Mandela, or Mahatma Gandhi," he says, comparing himself to them. He goes on to say that those guys were an inspiration to him, the way they bilked children's hospitals.
What about all the things he said on the wiretaps? "These were private conversations...taken out of context." Walters is insistent: "Did you say these things?" Blago dodges, says he broke no laws, and he argues Point Three and Four, from the list above. Walters wheels back: "Did. You. Say. Those. Things? In context, out of context?" Blago says, in essence, once you hear all the tapes, those "words" take on entirely new meanings, innocent ones, and by the way: RAHM EMANUEL! And we're back to Blago and his sad lack of witnesses.
Walters avers that Blago does not deny saying those things. Blago says, "I cannot confirm or deny anything." And he makes his argument, that all he was trying to do was "leverage the seat" to create "jobs in Illinois," you know, for all of Illinois' needy Blagojeviches. Also: high taxes! He provides health care! Witnesses!
"I realize that...you're never going to answer that." She moves on to ask, "How did you allow yourself to get caught like that?" Blago says, "Well, you figure that your home is a sanctified place." That's the wrong answer, of course. The right answer is: "I wasn't caught doing anything." Right, Rod? He backs up onto that point, before Walters can skewer him with it.
"Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence?" Blago says. WITNESSES! Ugh. Barbara says, basically: SHUT IT DOWN. "I don't want to sit here and keep asking you the same questions. I hope that after the impeachment trial is over you can come back because we would like to give you the chance to clear things up."
Walters then sinks a shiv. Noting that Blagojevich's wife isn't going to be on the show, on the advice of her family. She's got a cutting comment from Blago's father-in-law, depicting him as one who "uses" people and then "discards" them. "Your wife's family doesn't seem to be crazy about you." The audience laughs as Blago shifts nervously.
"I think you're taking that out of context." OH FOR CRYING IN A BUCKET! Something about a landfill that Blago shut down, angering his father-in-law. Walters stands down. Blago goes right back to his "I needs my some witnesses" argument.
What about the whole argument that this is all a big political conspiracy? "For the sake of the state, for your own dignity, wouldn't it be better if you resigned?" Blago says, "No, that would be the worst thing I can do." And then: witnesses, witnesses, blah, blah.
"I gather that the reason you are coming on television is that you believe that the American people will rise up and defend you," Walters says.
And now, she finally turns loose her colleagues. Oh, they look so cozy. Sherri Shepherd asks if he considered Oprah for the Senate seat. He admits that she was discussed it. "But how do you make it seem like it's not a gimmick to get cheap publicity at her expense," Blago says, as a part of his recent gimmick to get cheap publicity, at Oprah's expense.
Behar accuses the Blago family of being pottymouths. Blago jokes to Whoopi that he's heard her sound "like me on those tapes." But wait! A few minutes ago, he intimated that he hadn't heard the tapes. Anyway, I'm sure Whoopi was just taken out of context. "Had I known somebody was listening, I wouldn't have used language like that." He blames himself for his wife picking up the profanity, but, look, wasn't she talking about the Cubs? Profanity is understandable in that context.
Whoopi wonders why Blago can't just get his witnesses' affidavits and go to court, because it would seem that the more he comes on teevee, making crazy analogies, talking about poetry, the more people don't take him seriously. Blago says: witnesses, Rule 8B, not fair not fair, continually and willfully misrepresenting a proceeding to determine employment with one meant to prove a crime.
Now, he's running wild, accusing the legislature of mounting this impeachment trial because he wanted to do nice things for Illinois. Sherri Shepherd, who I remind you hasn't always been sure that the world is round, incredulously asks, "So you're saying this is some kind of conspiracy against you?"
Whoopi attempts to get through all of Blago's tortured interpretations of the impeachment proceedings. She actually has a better grasp on it than he does. Joy Behar looks like his explanations is causing her brain to cramp. She attempts to get Blago to imitate Nixon saying "I am not a crook." He refuses, which is too bad, that might have gotten him on "Best Week Ever" or something.
Anyway, mindbending. This man is mindbending.