I think the bizarre case of Roland Burris and his appointment to the Senate by Rob the Wackojevich can be best described by painting the following simple (or not-so-simple) picture:

Imagine being a minority. When I say “minority”, don’t simply imagine it in the traditional sense. Any minority could apply here (i.e. a man in a room full of women, a white person in a room full of non-whites, a heterosexual man in a room full of gays, etc.).

At any rate, being the lone minority, you are attempting to a hold a position in an organization populated exclusively by a single group. You are finally being given the opportunity to join that organization when your predecessor (also a minority) has gone on to bigger and better things. The major caveat is: you have been afforded this opportunity by a person engaged in ethically questionable – albeit legal – activities. As a result of your complex (and possibly distant) relationship with the embattled appointer, the organization in whose membership you are attempting to earn has essentially blocked you at the gates. Even if you can finally storm the gates and claim the position which you are constitutionally able to have, your legacy in this organization is far more likely to be tainted based off of your association with the appointer than your status as a minority in this group.

Facing this reality: do you accept the position nonetheless?