Reid, Durbin: It's All White's Fault

If only White would sign Roland Burris' certification, Democratic Senate leaders Harry Reid and Dick Durbin just told reporters, they could get on with the business of seating the new junior senator from Illinois.

Oh sure, there's Burris' testimony before the state impeachment panel tomorrow afternoon, and a possible referral of his appointment to the U.S. Senate Rules Committee, and then a vote by the entire Senate.

But after all that process, it looks like a done deal.

Oh, and rest assured, Burris told both Reid and Durbin in their private meeting that he knows there is nothing racial about any of this.

So now it's Reid and Durbin who are relieved to have Burris' blessing.

And White probably has steam coming out of his ears after watching the Democrats' Dynamic Duo repeatedly lay Burris' delayed entrance into the Senate at his seat. After all, White's move was always just a delay tactic for his party; this morning he called the certification merely "ceremonial."

"We've always been friends," Durbin said of Burris. "I've always respected him."

Even now?

"This was all about face-saving," an MSNBC pundit just said.

But not about the public interest.

Because even if Blagojevich's appointment of Burris in and of itself was legitimate, it came about at the end of a process that had already been corrupted. Without the criminal complaint filed against Blagojevich, Burris wouldn't be anywhere near entering the United States Senate except as a tourist.

That's what's been lost now as Democrats move to fix a PR problem, but not the problem being dumped in the laps of Burris' Illinois constituents.

"The overwhelming majority of Democrats and Republicans serving the state of Illinois are honest and hardworking people," Durbin insisted, addressing the state's status as the nation's laughingstock.

An e-mail just arrived from a reader wondering "what it is about this Burris situation that turns everyone into liars." It might be an inability to face the truth.

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