Can an elected official convicted of corruption charges ask for a light sentence on the grounds that he's really honest?
It's been clear for a long time that former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich marches to the beat of a drummer he alone can hear.
Still, Blago's capacity to astound continues, as his upcoming Oct. 6 sentencing hearing at the U.S. courthouse in Chicago demonstrates.
Blagojevich was convicted on a variety of corruption charges that could, at least theoretically, result in a prison sentence in excess of 300 years. The reality, however, is quite different. He'll probably get about 10 years, depending on how U.S. Judge James Zagel interprets the pre-sentencing report and evaluates testimony during an expected three-day hearing.
What matters for Blago now is showing contrition, humility, sincerity and regret.
That's why it's beyond surprising that Blago's lawyers intend to argue that Blago was a "good, honest governor" who cared about the ordinary guy.
He was convicted in connection with a hugely ambitious corruption plot. The line about being a "good, honest governor" was presented to and rejected by the jury.
Further, the facts don't support any claims that Blago was an effective chief executive.
The state is, in effect, bankrupt, and Blago's practice of spending money Illinois didn't have played a big role in its current predicament.
Lawyers obviously have to argue something in defense of their client's character and background, and coming up with something both positive and persuasive will tax their imaginations in Blago's case. But they probably should go back to the drawing board and come up with something that has at least a veneer of credibility.