The Senator from Lottville (err, excuse me, Pascagoula) Mississippi is about to release a memoir
detailing his incompetence as Senate Majority Leader.
Actually, advance reports indicate that he blames everyone but himself, including President Bush, Colin Powell, Senator Vivisector of Tennessee, and Senator Dairy Compact of Vermont.
My question for Trent Lott is this: in your leadership capacity, when you cut the deal that Jim Jeffords asked for on the Dairy Compact, why didn't you extract a promise of party loyalty from a man who, in your own words, "always had a habit of bartering his crucial vote on legislation for his own pet projects" ?
The answer: YOU ARE AN INCOMPETENT STOOGE.
As for the Strom Thurmond controversy, Lott rises to a stirring defense of his shameful, stupid, and ultimately irresponsible comments:
Lott characterizes the racially insensitive remarks that led to his downfall — he made the comments at a party for former Sen. Strom Thurmond — as "innocent and thoughtless." But he said most of the "vultures" in the media treated them "as a hanging offense."
Lott says he would have weathered the political storm if not for the "manipulations" of Frist and other GOP colleagues. "No other senior senator with stature would have run against me," Lott said. "If Frist had not announced exactly when he did, as the fire was about to burn out, I would still be majority leader of the Senate today."
Lott also said Frist "didn't even have the guts to call and tell me personally" that he was going to run for the majority leader position.
The accusations by one top Republican against another are unusual and break President Reagan's so-called 11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican."
But with Frist's decision to leave Congress when his term expires in 2007, it may not carry much risk for Lott, said Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes the Senate for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. "Frist is a lame duck. They don't get along anyway. There's no love lost between them," Duffy said.
The book is far kinder to President Bush than it is to Frist, although Lott complained about the president's lack of support. He recalled that he was in the yard of his home in Pascagoula, Miss., several days after he resigned from the leadership post, when Bush called him on the phone.
"He said he felt bad about rumors that the administration was undermining me, and was proud of how I had handled my decision to surrender my office," Lott writes. "I will always remember my response clearly: 'Thank you, Mr. President, but the rumors did hurt me and you didn't help when you could have.' "
Lott counted GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky among his allies in his time of need. Working with his enemies, he wrote, were Republican Sens. Don Nickles of Oklahoma, Susan Collins of Maine and George Allen of Virginia.
I suppose I should be a little less concerned about what The Cheerleader from Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (R-MS) has to say in his own defense. I will read the book, but only once it reaches the library.