In Blagojevich’s public statement today he said, and I quote,
I will fight, I will fight, I will fight until I take my last breath. I have done nothing wrong.
What the Governor means is that as far as he’s concerned, and as far as it looks to this point, he hasn’t committed any criminal offense. But that’s not the same as having done “nothing wrong”. Not being a criminal is not the same as being an effective representative and leader for the people who elected you. There is, as there always is in politics, a moral element to the job. The electorate expects its representatives to use their conferred power in the best interests of the public, to uphold the character of duly elected representative, and to, at the very least, demonstrate an integrity and trustworthiness that is required of public life. This is true even in the shadowy land of Illinois politics.
The veritable mountain of evidence against Blagojevich is a testament to his utter and complete failure in this regard.
Blagojevich might be banking of Fitzgerald’s early pounce to clear his name of any criminal wrongdoings, but the moral stain that Blagojevich’s many well-documented actions have left will leave him a leader with no credibility. In the world of American politics, such a leader is, in fact, no leader at all.