…is that I can’t imagine him as someone who’d be played in the movies by Tom Cruise or anyone like Cruise.

Consider this picture of Blagojevich, which is the one the Reader‘s been featuring on its home page. Unlike the felonious governors of old he’s recently been linked with, Blago does not look like a serious man. He’s a sit-com governor. He’s Illinois’ Michael Scott and Steve Carell is the man for the role. If Patti Blagojevich is Lady Macbeth, she’s what you’d get if Shannon Doherty took the part.

I haven’t heard the tapes, which may be truly sinister. But I picture the FBI agents who wore the earphones rolling their eyes at this goofball trying so hard to sound like a Nixon. George Ryan got things done; he’s behind bars now but he left a serious legacy. Has Blagojevich ever accomplished a thing? He’s internationally famous now for allegedly scheming to sell a Senate seat and get an editorial writer fired, but of course neither happened.

By all means, impeach him, but it’s not like Blago’s being toppled. He’s being expunged. A state more than a little proud of its history of corruption is embarrassed by him.

So my problem is that I can’t understand why anyone ever voted for him, but beyond that I have no feelings for Blagojevich whatsoever. Another man from Chicago is about to enter the White House to give his name and soul to what will surely be one of the most critical, dramatic eras in American history. Blagojevich is comic relief before the play turns grim. Yes I know — some say all Chicago pols are ladled from the same kettle of fish. But the just disclosed Emanuel-Blago conversations over the Senate appointment feel to me like a contrivance, a way of tying together the solemn and the farcical plot lines.