Honestly, Rod Blagojevich tired me out when he went through his second tortured cowboy analogy. Perhaps he has a point in here somewhere, but it’s buried under a slew of bad metaphors. At one point, he accuses the state legislature of pursuing impeachment as a conspiracy to … raise taxes?
Blagojevich challenged the Chicago Tribune to fight on his behalf, which is a little rich, since wiretaps have him threatening to kill a deal to sell Wrigley Field if they didn’t start writing editorials in his support. The Tribune, which has the transcript, points out that Blagojevich seems to have missed the point of impeachment:
Blagojevich, portraying himself as the victim, said the impeachment trial rules are “a gross violation of every constitutional principle that exists.”
“If they can do this to a governor, they can do this to any citizen in Illinois.”
The impeachment trial, however, is a political procedure, not a legal one.
Well, duh. The points he makes apply to any pending prosecution of Blagojevich by Patrick Fitzgerald. The state legislature has plenary authority to determine the grounds for impeachment and to determine whether Blagojevich meets them. There is no “presumption of innocence” in an impeachment trial, nor would calling John McCain and Kathleen Sebelius as witnesses about his prescription-drug reimportation effort mean anything to the legislature.
He’s not being removed for incompetence, he’s being removed because the feds have wiretaps of Blagojevich discussing the sale of Illinois’ open Senate seat. And that’s clearly a political problem for Illinois state government and a reasonable issue for impeachment.
You have to love Blagojevich’s new spin, though, about how this is a political hit job because he’s so tough on taxes. As some old cowboys would say, “That dog won’t hunt, pardner.” Time for Blagojevich to mosey off into the sunset.
Update: Rod Blagojevich, Tax Martyr? Er, hardly. The Tax Foundation opposed Blago on a $7 billion increase in business taxes in 2007:
Governor Blagojevich’s proposal to increase tax revenues by at least $7.1 billion through two new business taxes would give Illinois taxpayers one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. Indeed, if the Governor’s plan had already been fully implemented this year, Illinois taxpayers would be paying the 9th highest tax burden instead of the 22nd highest. …
Governor Blagojevich’s FY 2008 budget plan would raise this $7.1 billion in new revenue by enacting new business taxes on gross receipts and payroll. The gross receipts tax would raise the bulk of the revenue with a large, hidden tax on all businesses that would exceed any tax increase passed by any state this decade.
Why, that lily-livered, no-good, lyin’ varmint!