Just a quick question about this afternoon's inmates-running-the-asylum press conference, the highlight of which was Bobby Rush implictly threatening the Senate if it doesn't seat the man who'd be its only black member--as though race were the only reason Roland Burris wouldn't get seated. ("There are no African Americans in the Senate," said Rush, whose dramatic appearance was about as subtly choreographed as a professional wrestling match. "And I don’t think that anyone, any U.S. Senator who’s sitting in the Senate right now, wants to go on record to deny one African American from being seated in the U.S. Senate.")

Do Blago and Rush not realize that, even if Senate Democrats were intimidated by these ham-handed racial tactics, the president-elect is, you know, black, and can basically give them cover? And, go figure, he did just that within a couple hours.

Maybe Rush thinks he can reprise the "black enough" intimations he used against Obama in their 2000 congressional primary...

P.S. I just noticed on my second viewing that Blago comically misunderstands (or misappropriates) what Rush said about him and Burris. Rush says: "I would ask you to not hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointor. Separate, if you will, the appointee from the appointor." Once Rush finishes and the press conference ends, Blagojevich shakes his hand and says, "Excellent, Bobby. Thank you, thank you." Blago then turns to the cameras and says, pointing to himself, "Feel free to castigate the appointor, but don’t lynch the appointor. I am not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing." Hmmmm.  

--Noam Scheiber