President elect Barack Obama has thrown a couple of verbal pebbles at Rod Blagojevich since the Illinois Governor was exposed doing a little fund raising but generally American politicians have been relatively mild in their condemnation. Which does not surprise me at all really for in my experience there would be many of them who have engaged in similar behaviour even if their methods are generally slightly subtler and not subject to being phone tapped.
I base this terrible accusation on my experience lobbying on Washington's Capital Hill back in the early 1990s when doing a little stint for the Croatian American Association. The task was to convince the politicians that gallant Croatians were legitimately battling for their deserved independence from nasty communist Serbs and that the United States should remove an embargo on arms sales and support the fledgling democracy. After considerable effort a delegation of Congressmen was persuaded to visit Yugoslavia and make their own assessment which they duly did.
It was with some satisfaction that I listened to these commendable Congressmen brief the press and argue the Croatian cause but no sooner had they finished then off I was taken by their staff for coffee and a cake and a discussion of how the Congressmen were to be paid for their efforts. It was every bit as blatant as any of Governor Blagojevich's recent efforts and the sums this politician of Serbian dissent talks about are little different to those paid by the Croatian community back then to get support from Senator Bob Dole.
It is with this experience in mind that I wonder just how resolute Illinois politicians will prove to be in pursuing the suggestion that Governor Blagojevich should be impeached and thrown out before year's end. Far better for other politicians with a little fund raising experience of their own to leave the matter in the hands of a zealous Attorney General while talking about their reluctant acceptance of the principles of natural justice needing to be followed.
Having noted that the general view on the Intrade events market as to the likelihood of removal was different to mine I this morning snapped up some of the equivalent of 4/1 (see the accompanying graph about the Governor still being the Governor as the New Year dawns.