Sen. Roland Burris' "story gets worse with every retelling," said the Chicago Tribune in an editorial. Burris claimed he had no contact with cronies of Rod Blagojevich, Illinois' impeached governor, about his interest in the Senate seat being vacated by President Obama. Only it turns out that he did, and that, contrary to his sworn statements to a state impeachment panel, Burris also tried to raise campaign cash for Blagojevich. "Enough. Roland Burris must resign."
The Senate shouldn't wait for Burris to leave on his own, said Jennifer Rubin in Commentary. It should expel him. Burris testified under oath that there "was no quid pro quo" between him and the governor—"now, we know there was." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democrats will have some explaining to do if they don't show Burris the door.
The Senate Ethics Committee is looking into how Burris got Blagojevich's appointment to fill Obama's seat, said Frank James and Mike Dorning in the Chicago Tribune, but anyone expecting this to lead to Burris' expulsion should "probably dampen those expectations." The Senate doesn't have "a particularly strong record of disciplining its own," and senators accused of far worse than Burris have kept their seats without so much as a slap on the wrist.
So Burris is likely to stay put until 2011, said Terence Samuel in The Root. The irony is that his troubles "may be a gift to Senate Democrats," who never wanted him in Obama's seat in the first place. Now they can rest assured he won't be elected to a full term, and they won't "have to worry about how it looks politically if they don't get behind the one African-American in the Senate. He did it to himself."