Skip to comments.2002 ends with comedy of the absurd
Posted on 12/22/2002 8:34:15 PM PST by mikeb704
A few observations on the almost Senate majority leader, Trent Lott, and his travail. Kindly note that Ive constrained myself from using any of those most popular rib tickling plays on the senators name, so if youre looking for a Lotta trouble or any similar bon mots you can move on right now.
Lotts biggest mistake was one of timing. His comment about the desirability of Strom Thurmonds election more than half a century ago was clearly not malevolent. Initially, it only received the attention of the perpetually aggrieved Leftists whove accorded themselves permanent victim status. December, though, is traditionally a slow news month and the media, spurred on by the usual suspects, took Lotts throwaway line and ran with it. Suddenly, it was all Trent, all the time.
Having said that Lott wasnt malevolent doesnt mean that he wasnt stupid. Hes been around long enough to know that Republicans, particularly conservatives, have to be extraordinarily circumspect in talking about anything that even remotely has to do with racial matters. Democrats such as former Klansman Senator Robert "Sheets" Byrd can go on TV, say the n-word, and not worry about demands he resign. No Republican could ever get away with that.
Another error of judgment was Lotts decision to move into fulltime apology mode. Former Democrat Senator Paul Simon pointed out that there had been "an excessive response for what was a jocular moment." Mr. Simon believed "the whole thing has been blown out of context." But by unremittingly begging for forgiveness, Lott validated the view he had indeed committed a grievous mistake.
Republicans showed how quickly they could turn on one another. Afraid of being tarred with the segregationist label themselves, they quickly tossed Trent over. This stood in stark contrast to how Democrats stood almost totally united to defend Clinton, who was fined $90,000 for lying under oath and obstructing justice. Forced to pay an $850,000 settlement in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Disbarred in Arkansas. Prohibited from practicing law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet Democrats to this day are loyal to him.
Mildly amusing was the role reversal that took place over the past few days. While Republicans shifted from defending Lott to wanting him to disappear, some Democrats were reevaluating their position. Representative John Lewis (D-GA), who at first insisted on Trent resigning his leadership post, later accepted Lotts apology and invited him on a civil rights tour in March. Jesse Jackson said he might be willing to give the leader another chance: "Lott could use his sense of contrition and redeem himself politically ... He could make a great contribution to his nation and his party." Most likely, the Reverends perception of redemption would include Lott subscribing to much of the Jackson agenda, including reparations, but it doesnt matter any more.
What does matter is that the Republicans who ditched Lott will never satisfy the demands of the opposition. If they thought they could buy some friends and some time by making nice, theyre sadly mistaken. With their appetite whetted by victory, the Loony Left has already unsheathed the long knives for Lotts replacement, Senator Bill Frist. NOW president Kim Gandy days: "Few senators have a worse voting record on civil rights than Trent Lott - but Bill Frist is one of them. Frist has voted against sex education, international family planning, emergency contraception (the morning-after pill), affirmative action, hate crimes legislation and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This is the man who is supposed to save face for the GOP in the Senate? Think again." The Center for Public Integrity reports: "Until the year he was elected to the Senate, Frist was a member of Nashvilles Belle Meade Country Club, which had excluded blacks."
There they go again. In the end, Trent Lott needed to leave because he was too broken to serve as his partys leader. Republicans as well as Democrats inflicted the damage. It was a lousy way for them to end the year. For the sake of America, lets hope they can get their act together in 2003.
|Democrats stood almost totally united to defend Clinton, who was fined $90,000 for lying under oath and obstructing justice. Forced to pay an $850,000 settlement in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Disbarred in Arkansas. Prohibited from practicing law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet Democrats to this day are loyal to him.
And now they are out of power in every branch of government. Never believe that the public did not notice this, or didn't care.
This is not a strength of the Democrats, it is their weakness. In pursuit of power they are morally blind. This disgusts most people. It is not something we should emulate.
But it sure helped to keep the sleazer-in-chief in office, didn't it?
A coupla quick points:
It really should be up to the legislative branch, not the executive, to pick its own leadership I think. On the second part, I believe the perception will not be, as you say, that the right cleaned its own ranks, but that Leftist pressure can toss Republicans onto a guilt trip that'll cause them to cave in.
The pressing issues of our time.
Sounds like the perfect replacement to me.
It's remarkable that the one characteristic of all these issues that have never been on my radar screen is increased spending, increased wealth redistribution, and rewarding stupidity and ineptitude.
I fear for the republic unless we can ignore the shallow end of the gene pool.
"For the sake of America, lets hope they can get their act together in 2003."
I have given up any hope that, in the main, the leaders of either party really have "America" first and foremost in their minds while "ruling". It seems, and sadly so, that most politicians at the national level these days make decisions based upon what is politically expedient towards the acquisition and maintenance of power first and if those decisions enhance the Republic ... well that is just a bonus.
We should all have "hope", especially during this season, but to be honest any hope I have for our Constitutional Republic, based upon the current crop of "leaders" is slim at best.
I agree, but hope springs eternal.
Thanks for the comment, and Merry Christmas to you and yours.
The senator does have his points, and appears to be collecting the right enemies.
That was true, but only at first. As Pat Buchanan wrote: "When Democratic leader Tom Daschle suggested that Lott meant no harm, Black Caucus Rep. Maxine Waters landed on him with both feet. A scorched Daschle hurriedly saw the light."
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