December 14, 2002


TRENT UBER ALLES: Jonathan Karl reported on CNN this morning that, rumor has it, Lott is saying in private to his Senate colleagues that if he's forced to resign as Majority Leader, he'll resign from the Senate.

And just when I thought my contempt for this man couldn't grow.

As Karl mentioned, this is seen as a threat, because Mississippi has a Democratic Governor; if Lott resigned, a Democrat would presumably be appointed to replace him. Lest we forget, the Senate is divided 51-49, effectively (it's technically 51 to 48+1-- Jim Jeffords is nominally independent). Before the election, it was widely speculated that an effective 50-50 split would inspire Lincoln Chaffee to pull a Jeffords and throw the Senate back into Democratic control.

So Lott, supposedly a leader in the Republican party, is aiming an ICBM at the GOP Senate to preserve his own power. Mind you, to be a United States senator-- any senator-- is to wield more power than most people ever dream of. To even be in that sandbox is an honor, but Lott is saying that if he doesn't get the nicest shovel, he's not going to play anymore. There's a reason I'm using children in my metophor.

As Eugene Volokh's friend Dan Polsby pointed out, Lott may not be a racist, but he certainly has a depraved solipsism-- a belief in the "'it's all about me-ness' of the world." Lott doesn't seem to have figured out (or possibly to care) that every day he doesn't resign is hurting the party, to say nothing of the country. If Chaffee's defection really is a fait accompli (and it might not be), it would still be better to lose the Senate for a couple years than to keep Lott.

Posted by John Tabin at December 14, 2002 09:12 AM