I’ve gotta admit it: I love this story. I’m fascinated by political trainwrecks and imploding politicians. It appeals to my lesser demons and I’m embarrassed by it, but I can’t help it, so there it is.
With its combination of hubris, bad hair, megalomania, the unbelievable “I’m-the-victim” mentality, and the Robin Hood/means-justify-the-ends defense . . . well, it’s truth transcending fiction. Here’s Governor Blago yesterday, in his own defense before the Illinois State Senate:
“When you go out and try to find a way with legal advice to save 35,000 poor people and keep their health care, you’ve done it through legal means and you’ve done a moral thing. When you’re trying to help senior citizens afford their medicines, instead of just giving them a bunch of political baloney in speeches and say you care but then you don’t do anything about it but you found a way that you can actually do something and help them be able to have a better quality of life, not ration their medicine, maybe extend their lives, the means are legal because, if they’re not, then the governor of Wisconsin, the governor of Kansas and Ted Kennedy and Rahm Emanuel and John McCain and others ought to be co-conspirators with me. But how can you impeach me for legal means with moral ends? Those are a lot of the things that I’ve done as governor. . . .
“Me, in spite of what a lot of my critics have said, it wasn’t about promoting me for higher office. I didn’t go to all those Washington, D.C. functions. I didn’t try to sell myself to the national media. I didn’t go to governors conferences. I’ve been criticized for not doing that. I just stayed right here in Illinois to try to do the best I can to get real results for people and to push and prod, maybe too hard sometimes, but to get real results for people.”
You couldn’t make up gold like that and make it sound believable. And yet, there it is. Bravo, Blago. And goodbye.