Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Trent Lott to Run Again ... For Whip?


(image via nndn)

Senator Trent Lott disgraced himself in 2003 when he praised the senile ex-Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond's past Presidential run as a segregationist. Afterwards, it was discovered that Lott also shared a sordid past back when he attended Ole Miss. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)

Since then Lott has strenuously used his seniority and cultivated alliances to try to resurrect his fallen legacy in the chamber of the United States Senate. Pragmatically -- and cynically -- speaking, a chastised Lott, running against history, is useful to African-Americans, especially in the impoverished and unchampioned sectors of Mississippi. In that sense, there has been a tacit forgiveness extended to Trent Lott for sins past and, to be frank, pork barrel legislation present.

Yesterday, Senator Lott announced that he is running again. Lott has, for the past few months, dangled the possibility -- however improbable -- that he would go back to the private sector and earn some dinero the old fashioned way. Images of his Hurricane Katrina destroyed property in Pascagoula was trudged out. (Averted Gaze) But insiders have never doubted that, for Lott, power and influence trump cold hard cash. The story is not that Lott is running for a fourth term as Mississippi's senior Senator, but What leadership position will Lott go after?

Speculation has hovered around the two top posts in the Senate -- both positions which Lott has held -- the Majority Leader and the Senate Whip. According to the Washington Post:

"Unlike in the House, which faces a vigorous contest to replace former majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), the Senate's upcoming GOP leadership race has clear front-runners poised to move up the ladder barring an upset. McConnell has spent three years lining up support to succeed Frist. And the party's third-ranking leader -- Republican Conference Chairman Rick Santorum (Pa.) -- is seen as the favorite to replace McConnell as whip, with one big caveat. Santorum must survive a strong challenge this November from Democrat Robert P. Casey Jr., the Pennsylvania treasurer.

"Should Santorum lose to Casey, then Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.) -- now the GOP's fourth-ranking leader -- might try to leap two spots instead of one. Lott has said he is not interested in the number two post of whip because he doesn't want to entertain the possibility of Santorum losing to Casey."

(Averted Gaze) There is, we cannot fail to note, dark, Shakespearean symmetry to Trent Lott. (The Corsair pours himself a glass of Neguebouc Haut Armagnac les tres rare Armagnac; lights a Cohiba Sublimes LE 2004) Of course he cannot entertain those possibilities aloud but you can be sure they are having a party in his unconscious mind. Even now, as Lott prays to his dark Gods to fell Rick Santorum so that he can return to a Senate leadership position, it was Santorum, an amiable dunce to be sure, who gave up his number 3 leadership position to save the Mississippi Senator' s "face."

Et tu, Brute?

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