It’s almost a funny story – the account by the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday that Robert Blagojevich is offering up himself as a possible witness to the House Ethics committee that is trying to determine how improper the behavior of Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., has been.
|JACKSON: A 'bulls-eye' on his back?|
The way some people want to believe it, Jackson wanted then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich to name him as the successor to Barack Obama when the latter in 2008 gave up his U.S. Senate seat from Illinois to become president.
THERE ARE THOSE who want to believe that Jackson’s conduct during this time period was just as criminal as that of Blagojevich – who since has been impeached, removed from office, twice tried in U.S. District Court and now awaits a likely lengthy prison term.
Now I state that those are the opinions of certain people – most of whom have their own ideological (if not racial) hang-ups about Jackson and/or his father.
For the fact is that Jackson has not been charged with anything. And federal prosecutors who handled the whole Blagojevich affair recently informed the House Ethics committee that it would no longer conflict with their own work if Congress were to act against Jackson.
Which is interpreted to mean that Jackson won’t ever face criminal charges for this matter.
NOW, IT’S JUST a matter of Congress deciding to have elaborate hearings that will give the impression of the lawmakers punishing one of their own for behaving in such a knuckleheaded manner.
Because it relates indirectly to the president and an impeached governor who gained national attention, those hearings will get national attention. It also will get coverage because it will be a chance to put a “Jesse Jackson” on display in a negative manner.
|BLAGOJEVICH: His brother's help?|
All those people who have griped for decades about the father will enjoy the misery the son suffers in coming months. Who knows, perhaps Jr. will stop telling the story about how thankful he is that his mother named him Jesse, Jr., instead of going along with his father’s suggestion.
“Selma Jackson” might not sound so bad to him any longer.
AND THAT IS where Robert Blagojevich comes in. The Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday used its website to report that the former governor’s brother wants to testify before Congress.
He wrote letters to all 10 members of the committee, letting them know he’ll come to Washington from his Nashville, Tenn., home to tell them all he knows about the situation.
Now as it turns out, Robert Blagojevich was never the political animal that brother Rod was. The fact that he took a spot on the Blagojevich for governor campaign was done more out of a sense of helping his brother achieve something he wanted.
He could sense that their mother would have been pleased to know her two sons were sticking together.
THAT FAMILY LOYALTY (which I can understand, because I’d like to think I would be equally supportive of my own brother, as he has been of me at times in the past) is what ultimately dragged Robert into the affair.
He wound up facing his own criminal charges, for which the same jury that couldn’t make up its mind about Rod also got stalemated on Rob.
Ultimately, Robert Blagojevich was cleared when federal prosecutors decided he wasn’t worth the time and hassle of a second trial – particularly because his involvement complicated the case they were making against his brother.
Who was the real target of all this legal initiative!
FOR THE RECORD, Rob claims it was the Jackson people who approached them to ask about Blagojevich naming Jesse, Jr., to replace Obama in the U.S. Senate, and it was they (he says) who offered up to $6 million in various fundraising efforts – in exchange for the appointment.
Robert Blagojevich claims he repeatedly turned the Jackson people down. Which would make it appear as though he’d be willing to claim before Congress that it was Jackson who initiated this effort for which his brother now faces the possibility of prison time.
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Will Rob claim otherwise? Will he just make statements that throw off enough suspicion against Jackson to make him look bad?
BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH the brothers are not as close personally as they used to be (a criminal trial in front of a U.S. District judge will do that to a relationship), there is still a strong sense of Rob desiring to channel the “Don Corleone” character from The Godfather.
Mario Puzo’s novel and its many cinematic interpretations may not have originated the phrase “revenge is a dish best served cold,” but it seems to be the one advising Robert Blagojevich these days.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I don’t want to hear from anyone about how “Revenge is a dish best served cold” is an old Klingon proverb.