From our "Media no-brainer Department" comes an editorial in the Chicago Sun Times calling on Governor Rod Blagojevich to do the right thing and step down now:
If Gov. Blagojevich does not resign immediately, impeach him.
This is the inescapable conclusion that comes after reading Tuesday’s 76-page criminal complaint against the governor alleging a runaway crime spree of political corruption.
Even if the governor were found not guilty of every accusation against him — and given the apparent weight of the evidence against him, we’re not taking any bets — the criminal charges would cripple his already limited ability to lead Illinois.
The criminal complaint paints a portrait of Blagojevich that is stunning in its venality and arrogance. It taints any future decision Blagojevich could make as governor, especially his selection of the next U.S. senator from Illinois.
The federal investigation of the governor’s administration dates to 2003, but the details in the criminal complaint are as fresh as this month.
After the laundry list of egregious acts, the Sun Times lets him have it.
So what kind of man — knowing all this — continues to shake down businesses and puts a Senate seat up for sale? What combination of hubris, stupidity and greed is at work here?
What kind of governor considers snatching back a state grant to Children’s Memorial Hospital because its CEO refused to cough up a campaign contribution?
If the business of political corruption is a race, these allegations suggest, Blagojevich has left former Gov. George Ryan in the dust.
The only scenario worse than Blagojevich’s refusing to resign would be his refusing to resign and then selecting our next senator. Fortunately, the state Senate and House look poised to meet, so lawmakers can change the law to select a new senator by special election.
None of this, of course, will be necessary if Blagojevich does in fact resign. He could do this for the sake of the state, not as an admission of guilt.
In his last official act, Gov. Blagojevich can show the people of Illinois that, for once, he has their interests at heart.
"For once?" That's apt considering that the next time Blagojevich acts in the people's interest will be the first time.