...and try to keep the appointment of Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat in perspective. Yes, Governor Rod Blagojevich is under a *dark* cloud of suspicion and may be as corrupt and self-serving an elected official as there is in this country, and Burris is a longtime ally and fundraiser for the Governor.
He's 71 and hasn't won an election since the early 90s. And even if people ignored those facts, he is so tainted by his association with Rod Blagojevich and the mess surrounding the filling of this seat, he doesn't have a snowball's chance in Phoenix (in July! :)) ) of winning election to a full term in 2 years.
In other words, he's a placeholder and nothing more.
And after the furor dies down, cooler heads will realize that anyone appointed to fill the seat right now would have credibility issues, both with their Illinois constituents and with their D.C. colleagues. Some of the other schemes to remove the appointment from the hands of the Governor (special election, appointment made by the IL lege, etc.) are fraught with their own issues that would tend to undermine the validity of the appointment (twisting the law tends to do that).
The appointment of a placeholder now actually clears the way for a legitimate race in 2010 (OK, "legitimate race" in Illinois politics equals "arm-twisting, rabbit-punching, eye-gouging back alley brawl" anywhere else, but I digress...).
Both the eventual winner and the citizens of Illinois will thank God for Burris' appointment.