Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Jeffrey Toobin has an enjoyable article on Obama's Senate replacement in the latest New Yorker. Not only does it boast one of the wittier illustrations to run in the magazine of late (see above), its portrayal of Burris as "a figure of fun, because he was highly egocentric" -- so says former Chicago ward committeeman Alan Dobry -- offers the reader an opportunity for genuine schadenfreude. That Burris has already commissioned a mausoleum with "words of self-celebration carved into the wall," and that the achievements it records aren't overwhelmingly impressive, is entertaining enough; that he named his son Roland Jr. and his daughter -- wait for it -- Rolanda (not making this up) pretty much takes the cake. I've always loved The New Yorker's political profiles, and this one, in its sly way, posits an interesting idea:
In his very ordinariness, Burris may represent a triumph of sorts for the civil-rights movement, which was, at least in part, a struggle for black people to be seen as just like everybody else.

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