Losing perspective

LOSING PERSPECTIVE…. After then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) announced his selection of Roland Burris to fill Illinois’ vacancy in the Senate, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) engaged in some very cheap and ugly tactics. Indeed, the Chicago congressman played the race card as aggressively and shamelessly as he could.

Early on, after Senate Democrats raised concerns about the tainted process, Bobby Rush told a national television audience that Senate Democrats’ reluctance to honor Blagojevich’s selection is comparable to “standing in the doorway of school children” in Little Rock in 1957. Rush went on to compare the Democratic leadership to George Wallace and Bull Connors. Soon after, Rush portrayed the Senate as “the last bastion of racial plantation politics in America.”

Now that Burris is again mired in scandal, a growing number of officials are calling for the appointed senator’s ouster. And once again, Rush is taking his concerns in a misguided direction.

“He hasn’t done anything that’s indictable,” said Rep. Bobby Rush, who added that many politicians calling for Burris to resign have “stalking horses” ready for test-runs for his seat.

Burris’ backers said other senators involved in far more unseemly conduct have not been asked to resign. Rush, who also is a minister, apparently referred to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) when he spoke of a politician who “drove off a bridge. People died.”

Yes, that’s going to win over some new-found support for Roland Burris. Because nothing rallies Democratic support behind a scandal-plagued Democrat better than attacking Ted Kennedy.

And for the record, prosecutors are looking into whether Burris committed perjury, which is “indictable.”