After he’s released from prison, is it too much to hope Blago will fade away quietly?
Go in peace, Rod. If only you would have the decency to go away, and go quietly. But of course, that would be asking too much.
It’s not the end of the world.
There was a time I might have flipped out over President Donald Trump’s decision to commute the prison sentence of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
But no more.
They’ve worn me down.
Go in peace, Rod.
If only you would have the decency to go away, and go quietly.
But of course, that would be asking too much.
What a bizarre world we have made for ourselves.
A reality television host becomes president of the United States and uses his authority to commute the sentence of one of his failed contestants—an individual who had gained celebrity by dint of his shameless, abusive behavior as governor of this state.
We could argue until the end of days about whether Blagojevich’s 14-year prison sentence was too long, and no doubt Illinois historians will do precisely that.
I’ve always thought 14 years was slightly longer than it needed to be. Slightly.
But there’s legitimate room for disagreement there. Many have argued with me through the years, taking the position that 14 years was way too much for what Blagojevich did.
It was certainly a long sentence by Illinois standards for a political corruption case, although that was kind of the point. It wasn’t long by the standard of other jurisdictions that are tougher on white collar political criminals.
Now Trump has cut Blagojevich loose just short of him serving eight years, saying the original sentence was “ridiculous.”
And if Trump and Blagojevich could just leave it at that, saying he’s been punished enough, I could live with that.
It’s certainly not as big a travesty of justice as Trump leaning on Attorney General William Barr to intervene to go easy on the president’s pal, Roger Stone.
But we know Trump and Blagojevich won’t leave it that.
They’ll soon be back about the business of rewriting history, trying to portray Blagojevich as an innocent victim of overzealous prosecutors, which is where this whole song and dance started about a year ago.
Remember: Trump claimed that the people who convicted Blagojevich were sleazebags.
What a crock, especially coming from Trump. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Blago’s conviction and said the sentence was supported by the evidence.
But Blagojevich saw his opening, and he ran with it, sucking up to Trump at every opportunity. And now it’s paid off, not as quickly as he had imagined, but still shaving about four years off his time behind prison walls.
Will Trump now use Blagojevich on the campaign trail as a spokesman for his criminal justice reform efforts?
Or is Blago’s new purpose to just serve as another irritant to the honest men and women who make up the rank-and-file of the Justice Department?
Whatever path he takes, Blagojevich will undoubtedly command our attention for the rest of his life.
We elected him, not once but twice, and now there’s no escaping him.
That’s our punishment.