2.04.2009

On the former Illinois governor

He was on Letterman last night, here's part one:



It's pretty good especially for the awkwardness of Dave hitting close to home to his face, combined with the requisite audience 'oh no you didn't'-s, on top of a politician's spin falling dead on an unfriendly audience (poli-talk typically works if there are at least a few supporters present).

Throughout the last few months, he's been trying to make his case by saying the same stuff over and over again. For instance there was that performance art/absurdist press conference after he had been impeached where he had a group of typical people on stage and his logic was as follows: I helped people get health care or medicine therefore I'm a completely good governor.

He even acknowledges that he's making the circuit proclaiming his innocence for his reputation, invoking his children. Dave points out how he could be poisoning the potential jury pool and mom always said a guilty mind has no accuser. Regardless, he's probably just milking as much publicity as possible, as anyone would, especially in his repeated posturing as a champion of the little people, perhaps in preparation of higher aspirations.

The other reason to which he grasps is that he's been deprived of due process in being impeached and removed from office. I'm not sure about that. Due process is "life, liberty, or property" meaning you can't be put in jail or have property taken without going through the proper procedure and recourse to a fair trial; being removed from office is none of these. Since there are no other consequences from impeachment other than losing office (and in Illinois not being able to be elected to any state office) it seems like it's more 'how to fire an official before reelection time'.

He claims he's being pursued by an evil legislature despite having been affirmed by the people in reelection, however, due to Illinois not having recall the people have to speak through the legislature to remove him. Both the federal and Illinois' Constitutions (section 14 here) only spell out the process of impeachment, not actually what is impeachable. In the wiki impeachment article Gerald Ford as House Speaker said that anything a majority of the present legislature wants to be impeachable, is.

If they wanted, they could have impeached him on charges of having bad hair and removed him without any other legal ramifications or violating his due process. They can always do that--it's a deterrent. Politics keeps it reserved for only the worst politicians who can't even find the support of their own party. I think it's fair; live by the sword, die by the sword.