Lott Resigns; America Says, “Wait, he was still in the Senate??”

The big political news today (that doesn’t have to do with the election) is that Minority Whip Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, is resigning by the end of the year.

“Trish and I have decided that it’s time to do something else,” Lott said, referring to his wife.

“Let me be clear: There are no problems,” Lott said.
[...]
Lott said he did not have a position lined up for him after he leaves the Senate, but sources tell CNN Lott plans to join the private sector. Lott also said he was considering teaching.

Two GOP sources close to Lott said they were not surprised by Lott’s decision to retire.

“He’s wanted to go into the private sector for a long time,” one source said. “He stayed because of Katrina. Mississippi is doing very well, and he’s delivered what he needed to deliver.”
[...]
Republican sources close to Lott said one reason for Lott’s decision to resign is the new lobbying restrictions on former lawmakers.

A law kicks in on January 1 that forbids lawmakers from lobbying for two years after leaving office. Those who leave by the end of 2007 are covered by the previous law, which demands a wait of only one year.

“He wants to go make a living; he has no money,” a GOP source said. “He’ll be acting as a lobbyist and political adviser.”

The source also said Lott wanted to leave now so that the person appointed to replace him would have almost a year in the Senate before facing the voters during the elections in November 2008.

You can always count on Republicans to tell the truth, huh?

The thing that gets me about this resignation is: Why was he still in the Senate to begin with? This is Trent “We wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years if Strom Thurmond had been elected president” Lott. The guy who basically exposed himself as an ignorant bigot on C-SPAN and yet was re-elected by a majority of the good voters of Mississippi.

(More information about why the Thurmond comment constitutes ignorant bigotry can be found on the Internet.)

I realize that, at the time of his statement (2002) we were already deep into “Bush is Jesus/Republicans are the choir of angels” thinking, but why wasn’t he rousted out after last year’s election? The Democrats weren’t able to stop the war, bring the Constitution back into style, or give healthcare to children, but surely they could have put together a resolution to smack Lott around a little bit?

This is one of the reasons I get so apathetic about politics. Sure, every now and then I’ll feel a burst of energy and want to pitch in, help out, change the world, etc. But then I realize that people like Trent Lott still have their jobs and no one is doing anything about it (except him). It’s demoralizing.

It also makes me wonder how many other not-so-hidden bigots are still serving and how long we’ll have to wait for this generation of douchebags to die.

9 Responses

  1. “This is one of the reasons I get so apathetic about politics. Sure, every now and then I’ll feel a burst of energy and want to pitch in, help out, change the world, etc. But then I realize that people like Trent Lott still have their jobs and no one is doing anything about it (except him). It’s demoralizing.”

    -…and I thought I was the only one who felt that way.
    Surprise, surprise.
    The only thing that is prompting me to vote in 2008 is:
    “Vote Democrat: Deny the Republicans your vote.”

  2. Yeah, I’m still not convinced that the Democrats should get my vote. It just pisses me off that because I’m a leftist and a working-class woman they think they’re *entitled* to it, no matter how spineless they are and no matter how long they refuse to do anything that might make a Republican angry. The Democrats aren’t exactly racism-free, you know?

  3. The Democrats have been shamefully spineless and ineffectual, but where politics are concerned I will always be a pragmatist. I prefer spineless and ineffectual to, well… racist wealthy homophobic chickenhawks. I’ll vote Dem for the same reason as the Admiral — to keep the Republicans out of office.

    (Speaking of Republicans, were they always like this? I only started paying attention to politics in college. Didn’t there used to be, like… moderates?)

  4. Ico asked:

    “Speaking of Republicans, were they always like this?”

    Actually, No. The Democratic Party historically was not what is today either. There has been a lot of flip-flopping on the positions between both parties in the last 5-6 decades.

    Interestingly, Republicans played key roles on both Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and the passage of the Civil Rights (Voting) Acts of 1965.

    The Democrats (Kennedy and Johnson) put us in that green hell known as Vietnam. (This explains partially why Dems are cautious about war today.)

    We can thank a Democrat for authorizing the use of the worst weapon in history…the atomic bomb. (Truman)

    And it was a Repulican who enlarged the Social Program for people in the U.S. (Eisenhower).

    Both parties have done a magnificent job of high-jacking each other’s social and political approaches and polarizing the U.S. public.

    Yet, like ABW, I feel a little demoralized as well. Both parties repulse me.

    -Adam

  5. Adam, thank you for the history lesson. I had a general sense that they’d flip-flopped in their positions over time, but couldn’t point to any specifics. Politics doesn’t demoralize me so much as aggravate me. I’ll freely admit that, rather like ABW suggested, I really am just sitting here waiting for this generation of bigots to die…

    BTW, this is totally tangential but the word “demoralizing” got me thinking about it… has anyone heard of the “Thought Police” act?

  6. These people stay in office because for the same reason that they espouse their racist views: their constituents agree with them. And that’s that. Remember when Strom Thurmond died and actual people were actually saying that well, the existence of his black daughter actually showed that he was “noble” because it showed that he was committed to his racist, segregationist policies without any personal bias? And almost nobody in the public sphere said “Hold it! That man’s a racist rapist!” And I say “rapist” because you cannot convince me that in the racist segregated 1920s South Carolina, a fifteen-year-old black maid had freedom to say no to the son of the household in which she worked. He was a segregationist pig, and Trent Lott is his acolyte, and their constituents flat-out do not consider that to be a major problem.

  7. And I say “rapist” because you cannot convince me that in the racist segregated 1920s South Carolina, a fifteen-year-old black maid had freedom to say no to the son of the household in which she worked.

    Amen. I thought this was so obvious, and yet it was totally downplayed by the media (as far as I saw).

    It also makes me wonder how many other not-so-hidden bigots are still serving and how long we’ll have to wait for this generation of douchebags to die.

    Just long enough for the next generation of bigoted douchebags to take over, I guess. I hope I’m being overly cynical, but I grew up in the South hearing white racist evangelicals talk about how Jesus wanted them to take over the US and make it into God’s Country. I’m just now old enough to run for president or the senate… which means so are the people I’m talking about.

  8. This was exactly my response when I heard this news. I thought he was LONG gone…?! Shoulda known better, I guess.

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