What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 4, 2009

Jack Kelly Sunday

Perhaps the recent buyouts at the P-G have jostled Jack Kelly's composure (Ruth Ann Dailey's gone, doncha know - as is Bob Smizik and Sam Bennett). Perhaps he's realized the tide's turned against conservative wing-nuttery. Perhaps he's just out of Kool-Aid. But this week's column, while still partisan, is (dare I say it?) relatively speaking and compared in context to the rest of his oeuvre, down to earth and (and this I find hardest of all) rational.

Where is the smeary innuendo? Where are the quotes from World Net Daily and/or Newsmax? Where are the snide attacks on Democrats in general and President-Elect Obama in particular?

Who kidnapped Jack Kelly and forced him to think not-so-crazy?

A few fact-check sort of things. Jack writes:
Mr. Reid may be bluffing. Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution reserves to the Senate the sole right to determine the qualifications of its members. But that right has been clouded by a 1969 Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court ruled the House of Representatives could not deny a seat to flamboyant Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell since he was duly elected, met all of the Constitution's (meager) qualifications for the office and suffered from none of its disabilities. If Sen. Reid follows through on his threat, there almost certainly will be a court fight.
Here's Article I Section 5:
Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.

Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

And here's the Supreme Court case Jack mentions. And this is how I know someone's kidnapped our Jack. He goes through all the effort to mention Adam Clayton Powell's legal issues but utterly FAILS to mention who eventually succeeded him in the House of Representatives: Charles Rangel.

Jack Kelly MISSED that??

I'll have to ask it again: Who kidnapped Jack Kelly and who's sitting in his chair turning out

If you need to know what's going on with Rangel, check out this from The Nation's Eric Alterman.

Questions? Comments? Remarks? Drop me an email.

UPDATE from Heir to the Throne:
"Perhaps he's just out of Kool-Aid" You do know that Jim Jones was a progressive. The left should find a new metaphor for blind zealot followers that does not point to one of their own.
UPDATE from Ed Heath:
Heir to the Throne's comment that Jim Jones is a progressive is like saying Adolph Hitler is a conservative. It may have a shred of truth, but it is basically just offensive.

As for Jack Kelly, I agree, at first glance, that he seems more rational this week. But if you think about it, his contentions just don't match up with reality. The essence of Mr. Kelly's column, in my opinion, is that Rod Blagojevich somehow has a master plan, and that Democrats are falling into his trap: "But if Hot Rod is crazy, he's crazy like a fox, and if he's stupid, he's smarter than most of the other Democrats in Illinois.".

Kelly's support for this statement is that Blagojevich must have known the Feds were listening in when he all but screamed he wanted money for Obama's seat. His subsequent appointment of Roland Burris to the seat has placed the Democrats in an awkward position of denying an African American and political pioneer a seat in the Senate.

The second notion has some truth, Blagojevich has made an appointment that he will be able to point to during his trial and say that he was only kidding about wanting a reward for Obama's seat. It has the side benefit of making Democrats look petty when they say they won't seat Burris. But that doesn't make Kelly right that Blagojevich is smart. At best Blagojevich shows the same sort of cut throat political instincts and cunning that Sarah Palin has, but Blago shows no particular ability to plan, and little foresight. He is losing the governorship and going to jail. The only question is when.

The Democrats in Illinois are no prize, like the Democrats in Pittsburgh and Detroit. Maybe it is something with areas that had the old style political machines, strong labor connections and the sort of psuedo-populists that rise in the ranks. But if embarrassing the party you belong to were a sign of intelligence, then Blagojevich would not be the only fox. Kwame Kilpatrick would be a Rhodes Scholar, Luke Ravenstahl would be the Dean of the Honors College at Pitt, and George Bush would usurp Steven Hawking professorship.