Blagojevich Nation: Should We Really Be So Shocked?

Presented with the opportunity to make an appointment coveted by numerous influential and well-connected politicians, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had, according to federal prosecutors, the following reaction: “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and I’m not giving it up for fucking nothing.”

Which is the exact same thought process – minus the profanity, at least in some instances – that goes through the mind of every politician in the United States who has a valuable appointment to hand out. But it’s Blagojevich who’s on his way to Club Fed, while a coast-to-coast chorus of elected officials expresses “shock” at his “unconscionable” betrayal of the public trust.

Blagojevich stands accused of putting Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat out to bid, seeking to cut some kind of deal that would enhance his own political standing, his own legal standing, or his own financial security – or some combination of all three. To be clear, he is certainly a very, very stupid man: Aware that he was already under federal investigation, he conducted these negotiations – or attempts at negotiations – on his own telephone and in explicit terms. He might as well have written a note to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald reading, “Please indict me.” He also stands accused of other crimes unrelated to Obama’s Senate seat.

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