Mark Kirk Sworn-in as US Senator, Moronic Headline Ensues

Posted: Nov 30, 2010 9:42 AM
Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois was (finally) sworn in as a United States Senator yesterday afternoon:

Congratulations to Senator Kirk, and to the people of Illinois for exhibiting enough wisdom to reject a failed mob banker, and placing Barack Obama's old seat into GOP hands in the process.  Kirk has penned an Op/Ed in the Chicago Tribune highlighting his top priority as a newly-minted Senator: Reining in federal spending.

The first Senate bill I will introduce will be the Spending Control Act. This bill builds on two recent successful examples of our democracy making the right decisions for our long-term future. First, in the 1980s, the bipartisan Grace Commission set the standard for serious oversight by identifying federal spending that would add little to our nation's growth, but much to its debt. Second, the three military base closing commissions showed that bipartisan dignitaries, once given the authority to submit a proposal to Congress for a straight up or down vote, actually cut spending where others failed.

The Spending Control Act will marry these two proposals — a new Grace Commission with a mandate to realign federal spending against its actual income, and "base closing" procedural powers to submit its proposals for simple "yes" or "no" votes in Congress. Given the successful record of all three base closing commissions to implement their reductions, despite a great hue and cry, prospects would be good under this proposal for our greatest of all democracies to depart its current course toward national bankruptcy and crushing future debt.

Kirk will occasionally enrage conservatives with his votes, but he will be a far more responsible senator than a liberal ideologue like Obama or a stooge like his immediate predecessor, rent-a-senator Roland Burris

Speaking of Burris, did I mention he's black?  Oh, I didn't?  Well allow me to share with you a column appearing on NBC Chicago's website.  The trouble, it seems, is that after Kirk's swearing-in, the Senate no longer boasts a single African-American member.  This thought was just too much to bear for columnist Edward McClelland, who served up this outrageously-titled piece:


When Mark Kirk is sworn in this afternoon, the U.S. Senate will once again have no African-Americans.

Since Reconstruction, there have only been four black senators. Three of them -- Carol Moseley Braun, Barack Obama and Roland Burris -- have held the seat that Kirk is about to occupy.

For reasons that go back more than a century, all the way to the First Great Migration from the South, Illinois has led the nation in black political empowerment. We’ve elected more black statewide officials than anyone else. We produced the first black president. And it was a matter of pride among many Illinoisans that we kept the Senate integrated. In 2004, we picked such a great black senator that he went on to integrate the presidency.

McClelland rambles all the way into his fourth paragraphs before clarifying that his column is not intended as a "slur" against Kirk, nor the voters of Illinois.  No, you see, it's all about lamenting the new racial composition of Congress' upper chamber.  Gee, Eddie, you sure had us fooled with your divisive, ultra-racial headline.   The word "segregation" tends to have, you know, connotations.  

Most Americans look forward to the day when this sort of column is rendered completely obsolete by Americans' genuine indifference toward all matters racial.  Come to think of it, I think someone once gave a speech to that effect.