We start 2009 continuing the ridiculous story of the governor's strenuous efforts to ensure a Republican majority in 2010. Today's Tribune outlines what might happen next week in Washington:
If Burris shows up Tuesday to claim the seat given to him by disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the outcomes range from a denial of entry to a limbo where he can hire staff but not vote.
Should Burris appear in Washington without that certification, armed police officers stand ready to bar him from the Senate floor, said a Democratic official briefed on Senate leaders' plans. Leadership also is considering the possibility of Blagojevich appearing in person to escort Burris. Ironically, the scandal-plagued governor would be allowed onto the Senate floor, because sitting governors are allowed floor privileges, while Burris would not without certification.
Can anyone extrapolate from the Three Stooges' press conference what we'd be in for should armed police bar a black Senator-designate from the all-white Senate, never mind the legitimacy of the action? Whoo boy.
Tribune columnist Steve Chapman is also worth a read today, especially for those unfamiliar with Burris and his, um, eccentricities:
Burris is the prototypical time-serving career politician who owes his success to being simultaneously ambitious and bland. He has never been one to challenge the status quo, but no one underestimates his self-esteem. The two Burris children, after all, are named Roland and Rolanda.
The result of his immodesty has been a persistent hunger for offices that most people thought beyond his abilities. He has lost races for mayor of Chicago, U.S. senator, and governor (three times).
Burris' chief claim to fame until this week was his 12-year term as state comptroller, a job whose significance can be measured by the fact that few Illinoisans could identify the current occupant (Dan Hynes). Even among accountants, Burris left few strong impressions, but he also never gave any prosecutor grounds to indict him, which is not something Illinois voters take for granted.
 With the governor as Shemp.