by Steven C. Day
I have a question for Trent Lott. Trent, what in the world
were you thinking?
Because, frankly, pal, your now infamous memorandum to "Republican
Opinion Leaders" has to go down as one of the dumbest moves
in political history. It came like a gift from the gods to
Senate Democrats. In one bold move, you accepted up front,
on behalf of the GOP, full responsibility for all partisanship,
bickering and stalemate which may occur in the new Congress,
alienated the few remaining Senate GOP moderates, proved yourself
to be a hypocrite and reopened public debate on the GOP's
theft of the presidency.
As a Democrat, all I can say is: Thanks Trent!
In your memorandum, you declared that Republicans "must begin
to wage the war today for the election in 2002." Gosh Trent,
did it ever occur to you, that having said this, that everything
you and the Republican minority (read it again Trent - MINORITY)
do and say from this point forward will be written off by
the public as just so much campaign bluster? And did you ever
stop to consider that when the dreaded partisan gridlock inevitably
develops on Capital Hill that you will have already accepted
full responsibility for it? That kind of gives the Democrats
a free hand to stand their ground against your man Bush, don't
Thanks again Trent!
You also couldn't resist taking a few cheap shots at Jim
Jeffords in the memorandum; you accused him of making an "impetuous
decision" which would "undermine our democracy." Golly Trent,
have you already forgotten about those two guys named Chafee
and McCain. You see, they don't think Gentlemen Jim is impetuous,
a back stabber or any of those other rotten things you've
been saying about him. They think he's a man of principle
who had a legitimate beef. And you know what else, Trent?
They feel like they have the exact same beef and they know
Tom Daschle's telephone number.
So thanks again, Trent! And keep up the good work!
By the way Trent, you seem to have forgotten something else:
It apparently slipped your mind, in writing your memorandum,
that you have four impetuous back stabbing party switchers
of your own, including Richard Shelby of Alabama and Ben Nighthorse
Campbell of Colorado, both of whom left the Democratic caucus
to become Republicans after the GOP took control of Congress
in 1994. Or did you think that no one would notice? I mean,
really Trent, weren't you at least a little concerned that
all this would make you look like, well, a hypocrite? Or maybe
you figured that milk had spoiled years ago.
But I've saved my favorite part for last - your impassioned
defense of democracy. You decry Jeffords' move as "a 'coup
of one' that subverted the will of the American voters who
elected a Republican majority." Well, Trent, you appear to
need a quick civics review: First, Jeffords wasn't elected
by all Americans, he was elected by the citizens of Vermont.
Second, Vermont voters elected Jeffords, not the Republican
Party. And, third, as you well know, the people of Vermont,
a very independent bunch, have overwhelmingly approved of
his decision to leave the GOP.
On the other hand, in making this ridiculous claim, you have
performed a great public service by reopening the discussion
about the true subversion of democracy which occurred when
the Supreme Court awarded the presidency to the candidate
who lost the election. So one more time: Thanks Trent!