New campaign slogan: "Blago: Awake and aware!"

A few weeks ago, I called Rod Blagojevich "dumb as a stump" over his Daily Show appearance gaffe. I was kidding then. Kinda. Sorta. But amazingly enough, the Illinois governor has outdone himself in cluelessness with the recent anti-discrimination panel imbroglio. It is simply astonishing that Blagojevich and his staff could be unaware that appointee Claudette Marie Muhammad was a member of the Nation of Islam and as such was unlikely to disavow anti-Semitic statements made by the leader of the NOI, Louis Farrakhan. Even that lapse in consideration, however, is preferable to the notion that the governor and his people were fully aware of the inherent problem and simply dismissed it.

So I guess Blagojevich and his staff get points for not being willfully dense.

Other commission members have abandoned the panel in droves while the Nation of Islam declares that they would have considered legal action had the governor withdrawn support for the problematic appointee. It's fair to say that this has been a textbook example of how not to establish an state panel intended to promote diversity and harmony.

What happens next is anyone's guess. Blagojevich has recently announced plans for a kind of meta-discussion - led by himself - on divisive issues:

Blagojevich, who for days has remained mum as members have stepped down, said
the flap over Muhammad's appointment highlights deeper divisions within the
Jewish, black and gay communities and said he personally would oversee a
"meaningful dialogue" with leaders to "bring all of these communities together."

Strangely, no one seems to have heard of this plan outside of what they've heard from media. Well. Perhaps invites are in the mail.

(Let us meditate upon the stations of the cross-post...)

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