As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Sunday, December 8

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


The Mechanics
« Sen. Frank Watson Classes Up the Joint The Best Recession Money Can Buy »

Blagojevich Thu Jan 29 2009

Best. Impeachment. Ever.

Was it Illinois's worst day ever or its best?

Listening to the rhetoric from the state senate chamber in Springfield, you might think that we should consider ordering a few million caplets of Prozac from Canada.

Let's refrain, shall we?

I won't go so far as to say it's the state's finest day -- it most certainly wasn't -- but former Governor Blagojevich's unanimous conviction on impeachment charges today should be a proud moment for anyone who believes that the General Assembly has the sworn duty to remove a governor when he or she has lost the confidence of the people.

I never thought I'd find myself thinking this, but I agree with what Senator Meeks of Chicago said on the senate floor earlier today. "This is not a sad day for me," Meeks said. "This is a great day. We are not ruled by angels. We are not ruled by super-humans. We have, unfortunately, as our leaders of our state, city, country, people with flaws -- human beings, just like the rest of us who are prone to mistakes. We have leaders who make errors. However, when those errors drift into criminal activity or abuse of power -- when that happens and a leader oversteps his or her boundary, what a joy that we don't have to form a militia, that we don't have to form an army -- an upstate army and a downstate army -- and go down to the second floor, and get grenades and guns, and bomb the governor out of the second floor."

"What a joy we have a process," Senator Meeks said.

If you, like I, believe in the superiority of the rule of law over the rule of men then you should be pleased that the process that the law demands has worked.

After all, in the words of Senator Meeks: "We have this thing called impeachment and it's bleeping golden and we've used it the right way."

Tomorrow we will begin our first day in a while with a functional governor, for better or worse. Governor Quinn has always been good on procedure -- a technocrat, if you will -- and I have some confidence that he can do some good in terms of political reform.

Looking for a good start? Check out the Reform Agenda for Illinois, produced by my organization, the Illinois Policy Institute. We're calling for things like PAYGO, government transparency, supermajority (two-thirds) votes for tax increases, and a Sunshine Act that would produce an independent assessment of all state programs to present to the General Assembly for their up-or-down vote. Bundling wasteful programs together like this provides a political opportunity for legislators to cut things that they wouldn't normally consider.

Today was a good day. Whether tomorrow can be even better is up to you.

 
GB store
GB store

Feature

Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

Civics

Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

Special Series

Classroom Mechanics Oral History Project
GB store



About Mechanics

Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Mike Ewing, mike@gapersblock.com
Mechanics staff inbox: mechanics@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15