I saw this Wolf Blitzer interview of Burris yesterday, and for me, it really boils down to the following:
Blitzer: Because yesterday Sen. Durbin, the senior senator from Illinois, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, they both said they were open to, quote, “negotiating” with you on this. So tell me what there is to negotiate?
Burris: Well, I am the legally-appointed senator. And what we’ve been trying to get everyone to recognize that the governor of Illinois has serious problems. God knows he has problems, but he is still the governor. He made a legal appointment. And that’s, you know, the end of it. Close the books. That is a legal appointment.
And based on that, I’m hoping that the Senate of the United States will honor that. I mean, it’s just that simple.
I am hard pressed to see anything wrong with his logic there, and agree with him. Governor Blagojevich may or may not be the biggest scumbag currently in politics, but he is still Governor, he still has the authority to make this appointment, Burris appears to be a clean guy, and as far as I am concerned, the matter is settled. The Senate should seat him.
All of this talk about “taint” and other silliness is just grandstanding and posturing, and even Harry Reid knows it, as he gave up the game on MTP on Sunday:
MR. GREGORY: But there sounds to me like there may be some room here to negotiate and actually seat Burris?
SEN. REID: Hey, listen, David, I’m an old trial lawyer. There’s always room to negotiate.
MR. GREGORY: All right, so you’re not saying no completely that he won’t serve?
SEN. REID: That’s right.
I am not sure what he plans to negotiate, as this seems to be a binary construct. Either Burris is seated or he is not, although Reid, with his inexplicable inability to pick fights actually worth fighting, will probably see to it that Burris is only seated after the Democrats inflict maximum political damage on themselves.