Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | November 07, 2002

Lott sweats payback from Senate Dems

Call me crazy. Call me partisan. But, I get the sense Lott is a bit worried about being majority leader again. And the reason is fairly self-evident: he and his GOP brethren need to show results.

Yet Lott is now intimately aware how easy it is to stymie the will of the Senate majority. He used those tactics himself to block Democratic initiatives and smear Senate Democrats as "do-nothings" Now, he will have to face the inevitable payback from the Democrats.

And considering the public now views the GOP as firmly entrenched in the corridors of power, any perception of inaction will be placed squarely at the feet of Lott and Co.

Clearly ecstatic that he will be returning to the majority leader's post that he lost when Democrats took over the Senate 17 months ago, Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) was nevertheless wary yesterday about the difficulties that may lie ahead. He had good reason: He has used the same stalling tactics and other parliamentary weapons against Democrats that Democrats may now use against him.

"The Senate was designed by our forefathers to be very slow and difficult to move," Lott said. "And, boy, they succeeded."

For his part, Daschle appears to be playing nice, while laying the foundation for resistance:
In television interviews yesterday morning before leaving South Dakota for Washington, Daschle indicated that Democrats may face a period of political self-examination before coming to grips with their new reality. But, even while tipping his hat to Bush as an effective campaigner, he insisted that Democrats would not roll over and play dead.

"I guess my concern is that we don't have the checks and balances in place that I think this country needs," he said on CBS's "Early Show." "We're not going away. We're going to keep fighting. We're going to stand up for the things we believe in. It's going to be important for us to continue that fight, even though we're in the minority."

I look forward to that self-examination, and I look forward to seeing how the leadership battles at the DNC and House (and perhaps even the DCCC and DSCC) shake out. But most of all, I look forward to Senate Dems deftly blocking the GOP's agenda.

In fact, I would love seeing the Senate quietly place roadblocks to Bush's agenda (hence creating the impression of a "do-nothing" Congress), while having the House provide the loud rhetoric and bombast to rally the troops and give voice and definition to the Democratic Party agenda (a la Gingrich).

Posted November 07, 2002 10:35 AM | Comments (137)


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