What Steve Hayward pointed out about Lott’s virtues-- his ability to play the inside game-- reflects the whole problem with Congress that John Marini, Tom West, and others have been pointing out for years: That Congress has suffered a constitutional transformation since the time of the Founding. This is not the Founders’ Congress.
While Lotts skills are important, his recent stupid utterance not only reflects the pettiness that always pervades collective bodies. That pettiness becomes transformed under the aegis of the administrative state and hence arise petty fiefdoms, or should I say, in this case,a plantation. Lotts low qualities were suppressed or brushed aside by the constitutional qualities the Founders required in a Senate designed to bring forth virtue. But when he speaks on his own, he is Lott the low. What would he be like if he were not restrained by his post? I would be interested in finding out.
The political problem is of course how to drop Lott without handing liberals a greater victory than they’ve already won. His going down has to be part of an assertion of constitutional principle and devotion to Republican party principles as properly understood-- in brief, as defenses of natural rights and limited government, not as assertions of affirmative action, redistribution, and all the perquisites of the administrative state.