Tags: Lesson | One | Politics | 101

Lesson One in Politics 101

Thursday, 24 May 2001 12:00 AM

I have been inundated with critical emails attacking Jeffords for "being a liberal who votes with the liberals and can keep voting with them. Who needs him? We are better off without him. Bush can still get what he wants without turncoats like Jeffords.”

Here now Lesson One in Politics & Government 101:

Politics is "getting what you want” – as my high school history teacher often preached to our class.

And, in "getting what you want”, you might have to bend and compromise on some other things.

For example, Jim Jeffords made it clear through his past legislative record that increased funding for Special Education was his top priority. He told the Bushies that that was a key pre-condition for his support for the Bush Tax Cut.

What did Team Bush do?

They told Jeffords to "forget it” on Special Ed!

Or, as a Republican strategist said in today’s New York Times, when Jeffords refused to give White House officials unconditional love, they responded in a fashion that left him feeling "constantly dissed, ignored, embarrassed, not treated with the kind of respect you would accord a senator, let alone a Republican."

In the

But Jeffords’ defection means that other things Bush will want, specifically the confirmation of conservative federal judges, will be

So here is the Lesson: when you have a 50-50 U.S. Senate, you cannot afford to lose

The key here is that Jeffords

His defection means that incoming Democratic Committee chairmen will immediately fire hundreds of conservative GOP staffers.

His defection also means that Tom Daschle will derail the Bush Agenda at every turn – whereas it was supported at every turn by Trent Lott.

So all of you Bush supporters who vented to me about Jeffords’ liberalism need to keep in mind one thing: if we had 65 GOP Senators, we could afford for a Jeffords to bolt. You could shout, "Good riddance” as the door swung behind him.

But we

And losing him hurts – Big Time!

And driving him out through disrespect and a sense of ‘hardball payback’ borders on political incompetence.

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I have been inundated with critical emails attacking Jeffords for being a liberal who votes with the liberals and can keep voting with them. Who needs him? We are better off without him. Bush can still get what he wants without turncoats like Jeffords." Here now Lesson...
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Thursday, 24 May 2001 12:00 AM
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