The Occasional Muse
My humble opinion on current events
December 16, 2002
Lott Won't Leave, so
Kick Him Out
We've learned what matters to Trent Lott.
It's not his party, his country, or his constituents. Nope, that all pales
in comparison to power. He must maintain it, and God help anyone who
Is this unduly harsh? I don't think so. As
I stated a few days ago, Lott has seriously damaged Republicans in
particular and conservatives in general. He has offered new ammunition to
those who fire false and slanderous accusations of racism at the Right.
Nothing he can do, no amount of groveling or apologizing or "reaching
out" can change that. To many people, not just the Left, the
Republican party is once again the home of Bull Connor and the Klan.
Legitimate conservative positions on affirmative action, racial quotas,
and other race-related issues that Lott has supported are now offered as
proof of his supposed racism. Democrat Vic Fazio was asked on Crossfire
last week if he thought Lott were a racist, and Fazio said he had no idea,
but segregation and discrimination were in Lott's blood and he grew up
with these ideas entrenched in his nature. Translation: Lott's a racist
because he's a Republican who grew up in the South.
If Lott remains as Majority Leader,
Democrats will tar the whole party as racist segregationists. Any bill
that President Dubya or any other Republican supports or proposes will
immediately be the "Trent Lott" bill. Social Security reform?
"The Trent Lott bill to starve old black people." Tax cuts?
"The Trent Lott scheme to take money from blacks and give it to his
rich white friends." I could go on and on.
Fortunately, Senate Republicans are
beginning to realize this. Senator Don Nickles, the current number two man
in the Senate, has called for a meeting to vote on a new majority leader,
which will take place January 6th. It's widely believed that Nickles has
his own eye on Lott's job, so this could be a bit of cynical politics. In
fact, it could even be a blatant power grab and ruthless attack on a
weakened opponent, but I don't care what the motives are. Lott has to go.
Lott is ready to fight before that happens.
He's reportedly instructed his staff to research Nickles' voting record
for any hint of racism. Isn't that delicious? Senator Segregation going
after someone else for racial insensitivity. Talk about cynicism and chutzpah.
Other Republicans have also been mentioned as possible players. It's hard
to imagine Lott having any support at all when January 6th rolls around.
He's probably toast.
But he won't go away quietly. Lott has
reportedly threatened to resign from the Senate if he's deposed, thus
allowing Mississippi's Democrat governor to appoint Lott's replacement.
This would throw the Senate into a 50-50 tie, thus unleashing mayhem and
chaos. Lott could be bluffing, or he may even do it in a fit of pique. I
say let him - it would help Republicans, because they can say, once again,
that they chose moral principles over power, something Democrats rarely
do. However, David Frum reported on National Review Online that the Bush
White House made Lott promise not to resign if he's voted out, so who
knows what could happen.
Either way, Republicans should kick Lott
out because it's the right thing to do. Conservatives often condemned
Clinton for lacking moral authority to govern. Lott has also lost his
moral authority and threatens to do the same to his party. Don't let him