Democratic Underground

Thanks, Trent!
June 8, 2001
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 you think?

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!

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