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.