Roland Burris path to getting some new resume details to engrave on his graveside monolith got a little less obstructed today. President-elect Barack Obama suggested that Senate Democrats "reverse course and accept Gov. Rod Blagojevich's controversial appointment." And so, Burris had a sit down with Harry Reid, the Giving Tree, who clarified for everyone that the Senate is just "waiting for a court to rule whether the signature of the Illinois secretary of state is needed for Burris to take the seat."
Along the way, Reid offered this clarification, as well:
REID: Roland Burris...one of the first things he said to us..."Hey, this is nothing that's racial, I understand that." So a lot of people tried to make this a racial issue, but Roland Burris has not.
I suppose that the pre-eminent voice that made this matter a "racial issue" was Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush, who did so at the initial press conference announcing Burris' appointment, after Burris waved him to the stage. But if Reid would check out the news sometime, he'd know that the idea that Burris himself never made the matter a "racial issue" is just nonsense. Let's go to Roland Burris' appearance on the December 31, 2008 iteration of the Today Show.
I think the Congressman has assessed it. It is a fact: there are no African-Americans in the United States Senate. That's a fact. And what he was indicating is we should not turn this into a situation where a qualified, dedicated, public servant will be denied the opportunity to serve. It could, then, give the appearance...of a lot of individuals, not only African-Americans, saying, "A person of Roland Burris' qualifications is not seated because of the governor's problems wouldn't be seated? Is it racism that is taking place?" That's the question the somebody else may raise.
Yes. And the "somebody else" who was "raising" the "question" was Roland Burris, right then and right there.