Tags: Lott | Builds | Himself | Daschle | Continues | Obstructionism

Lott Builds Up Himself as Daschle Continues Obstructionism

Tuesday, 12 November 2002 12:00 AM

Lott’s office and the Senate Republican conference informed NewsMax on Tuesday that the GOP Senate caucus would vote the following morning, with a news conference shortly thereafter.

As reported by News Max, Lott made a pre-election

Daschle continued his obstructionism Tuesday, according to Fox News Channel. He opposed a new compromise on the homeland security bill, even though it was crafted by moderates in his own party, Zell Miller of Georgia and John Breaux of Louisiana, Fox reported Tuesday night.

No matter that the GOP on Nov. 5 got about 4 million more votes than the Democrats did. Daschle made it plain that even in the event that Sen.-elect Jim Talent, R-Mo. is sworn in to fill an unexpired term, thus giving the GOP the numerical advantage, the Democrats will filibuster against any attempt by the GOP to reorganize during the end-of-the-year session.

Lott caved and said OK before a single vote was cast. He did not leave himself the option of now going to the public with the moral high ground about respecting the wishes of the electorate now that the voters have spoken.

When Talent is sworn in as expected on Nov. 22, Lott can become majority leader. But without control of the all-important committees, that would be a largely ceremonial title. Daschle and Co. remain in charge as if the voters had said absolutely nothing last week about Democrat obstructionism.

Elections mean something to the Senate Democrats only when they win. When they lose, they still play the same old hardball as if nothing had happened.

Republican senators barely returned from their election recess before they learned that the Mississippi lawmaker had scheduled the leadership election. Perhaps he felt he had to act right away before the gathering storm of protest reaches a crescendo. Reader response to NewsMax's reports has been huge, and angry.

A New Hampshire reader wrote his senior senator, Judd Gregg, urging that he challenge the Mississippian for the top job. New Hampshire, despite experiencing an influx in the last decade of liberals from Massachusetts, remained on track with its traditional crusty Yankee Republicanism last week. The voters there elected John Sununu to the Senate, rejecting the incumbent Democrat governor who also ran a strong race for the seat. (Note: A NewsMax call to Sen. Gregg’s office elicited no interest in challenging Lott.)

Another reader, this one from Lott’s Mississippi, wrote NewsMax about being "pretty upset” about the one-sided deal.

Obviously, Lott’s inclination to play Mr. Nice Guy is not reciprocated by powerful forces on the left, whose ideas were rejected by the people Tuesday. The

Conservatives across the country remain steamed that Lott gave up the Republican committee chairmanships the minute Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont left the party in the middle of 2001. They believe the GOP then could have used the required three-fifths filibuster-proof majority rule to block that Democrat takeover, invoking the argument that the voters in the 2000 election had given Senate control to the GOP.

Lott is also remembered for cutting short the Clinton impeachment trial, saying to House Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde, "You’re not going to dump this garbage on us.” (Quoted from the House impeachment Special Counsel David Schippers’ aptly titled book, "

The New Hampshire reader cited above offered "two energizing suggestions":

Even if a compromise on homeland security flies, that still leaves judicial nominations, permanent tax cuts and energy legislation in limbo until next year, as long as Democrats control the committees.

It is true that Democrats can invoke the requirement for a three-fifths majority on any of these legislative actions. The question is whether the Republican leadership, fresh from a 4-million-vote majority mandate, has the courage to go public with its case against further obstructionism.

Sen. Lott wants none of that confrontation. (Does he fear his base is still "dumping garbage” on him?) He seeks a quick vote on his leadership before grassroots conservative outrage catches up with him.

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Lott's office and the Senate Republican conference informed NewsMax on Tuesday that the GOP Senate caucus would vote the following morning, with a news conference shortly thereafter. As reported by News Max, Lott made a pre-election Daschle continued his...
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Tuesday, 12 November 2002 12:00 AM
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