Wouldn't want to be seen as soft on crime now, would we?
Question: If Senate Democrats somehow block the seating of Roland Burris, is it an example of racism? No. Before the announcement, it had been pretty clearly stated that the establishment would refuse to honor any appointment made by Gov. Rod Blagojevich. So it's pretty clear that any rejection of Burriss would merely represent the fulfillment of a promise (something rare enough in politics, admittedly, but no less logical for that). One can assume that black leaders, who are warning against a backlash if Burriss is not seated, would not be up in arms if Burriss were on black.
The problem, actually, stems from the hasty (if understandable) promise made NOT to seat anyone Blagojevich appoints, presumably out of fear that anyone selected would be somehow a crony of the governor. It seems clear that Burriss is not. Guilt-by-association is never a good policy, and it especially problematic if there does not even seem to be association. If the man is qualified, seat him. Deal with the image problems when the time comes. After all, anyone who is appointed has to run for re-election in a couple of years anyway. Let the voters decide and move on.