Saturday, April 16, 2005

Trent Lott and the Democratic Party

Will Collier of Vodkapundit has an amazing post in which he illuminates the filibuster strategy of Senate Democrats. Also interesting is his take on Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist:

I've never been particularly impressed with Frist. Seems like a decent fellow, but I don't get the hoopla. For one thing, he's not a particularly good politician. He was picked out to replace Trent Lott (whom I have even less use for) because he was seen as a straight-arrow, and that's all well and good, but I thought he was too inexperienced for the job at the time, and he hasn't done much since then to convince me otherwise, or that he has the leadership qualities for a really critical position like Majority Leader. I really don't get the Frist-for-President stuff, for those reasons and others. I don't think he'd be a competitive candidate, even in the primaries.
I think that there are two possible interpretations of the Democratic Party's successful attempt to drive Trent Lott out of the Republican leadership by manufacturing public outrage against him. The first, as Will Collier's column suggests, is that the Democrats suspected that a Senate Majority Leader Lott would have been able to succeed with the so-called nuclear option to end filibusters of judicial nominations. Thus, Lott was forced to resign and, given that the Democrats have not launched a similar campaign against Frist yet, we can assume that they believe that Frist is going to bungle (or is currently bungling) the nuclear option.

An alternative is that Trent Lott is, aside from the filibustered judicial nominees, the highest profile victim of the Democratic Party's campaign to inflict casulties on the Bush administration. If you look at the pattern of public outrage from the Democratic party since 2000, it appears as if the Democrats have been probing the Republican leadership for weakness.

After the 2000 elections, the Democrat party's hatred was focused solely on the "illegitimate" President Bush. This gradually gave way somewhat to the "Dump Cheney" speculation before the 2004 elections, which gradually morphed into a call for Rumsfeld to resign over Abu Ghraib. After the 2004 elections, the Democrats have tried to attack the nominations of other cabinet-level nominations such as Condoleeza Rice and Alberto Gonzales, and at this point they've finally worked their way down to third-tier targets such as Lester Crawford and John Bolton.

Predictably enough, now that the 2006 congressional elections are the Democratic Party's planned stepping stone back to the Presidency, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is the latest Republican under high-profile attack.

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