Blagojevich looks around at the pools of gasoline, giggles, and ignites the magnesium flare.

And will he hit the bottom? Sure. Single-digit approval ratings and the instinctive public shunning by the national Democratic Party leadership is fairly diagnostic – hey, I’m not going to be on his jury; no harm in me saying what we all know already. Blago’s dirty, he’s finally gotten caught on something that we can hammer him for, and he’s going to get hammered.

But he isn’t going down alone.

The usual rule of thumb in these sorts of situations is for the sacrificial lamb to go nice and quietly, you see. Not that you can blame Blagojevich for not doing that, really: the Democrats have preemptively torpedoed him, what with the national Senate telling him that his nominations won’t be considered and the state Senate turning on the impeachment machine. Bad luck for Blago that the next President is from both his party and Chicago; worse luck that a heck of a lot of Democrats have been finding themselves the subject of corruption probes recently. So what does he have left right now, except to play the innocent down the line and keep a big stink going? Schadenfreude is a naturalized word in English these days, and its pleasures shouldn’t be underrated. The Illinois Combine isn’t showing loyalty to him, so he shows no loyalty to the Combine.

Unless, of course, Blagojevich is trying to run out the clock, or something. Maybe he hopes that after, say, January 20th a certain completely unreasonable US Attorney won’t have a job that troubles the Governor of Illinois anymore. Maybe he hopes that somebody will make a call that will make the Feds go away. Maybe he hopes for a little understanding, from one Chicago guy to another. I’d hate to hear that those hopes were anything but unfounded, of course.

I mean, I keep hearing that Obama is supposed to be smart.