According to this article in the Washington Post, allies of Trent Lott in the Senate are trying to head off a possible challenge by his fellow Republicans to remove him as Majority Leader by implying that Lott would quit the Senate and turn his seat over to a Democrat if he is removed.
Senate sources said allies of Lott have tried to stave off such a challenge by sending the message to colleagues that he would leave the Senate if he lost. McConnell warned in a conference call Friday night that Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove (D) would appoint Lott’s successor, presumably a Democrat. That would put the Senate in an even split, 50 seats for each party.
Hey, when insincere apologies don’t work then I guess the next best thing to do is try a little blackmail.
I hadn’t said anything on this issue before because, honestly, I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about. It was apparent that Lott’s statement that started this firestorm was meant as a poor attempt at humor. However, his resorting to having his supporters imply he’ll turn the Senate back over to the Democrats if he’s removed from his position as Majority Leader strikes me as incredibly childish. Whether he meant to cause a firestorm or not doesn’t absolve him of his responsibility of dealing with the consequences. Still, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by all of this. This is Congress we’re talking about after all.