Poetic justice

Why shouldn’t Trent Lott be #2 in the GOP Senate minority? After all, he did as much as any (surviving) Senator to create that minority.

In an way, this week’s results were entirely just and appropriate. Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer get to lead the Democratic majority their actions helped create, and Trent Lott returns as the #2 in a Senate minority his actions helped create.

Note that McConnell (Ky.) was unopposed for Minority Leader, and the contest for Whip was between Alexander (Tenn.) and Lott (Miss.). Anything that accelerates the trend toward the Republicans’ becoming a Southern regional party, dominated by people who wish the Dixiecrats had won, can’t be all bad.

But Allen’s collapse means that none of the major GOP Presidential contenders will be from the Confederacy.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

8 thoughts on “Poetic justice”

  1. Mark, I think that the GOP is becoming a Great Plains Regional Party, with tentacles in the deep south…
    I think that the democrats are growing in moderate southern states(Like Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, etc).

  2. "Anything that accelerates the trend toward the Republicans' becoming a Southern regional party, dominated by people who wish the Dixiecrats had won, can't be all bad."
    Accelerates so fast we're in a time warp to 1996-98, when the Senate majority had a leader from Mississippi and a whip from Oklahoma, while the House Speaker was from Georgia and the majority leader and whip were both from Texas. Plus ca change….

  3. Andre
    The Democrats remain in deep, deep trouble in all of the 'upper tier' of southern states: TN, KY, W. Va, LA, AK.
    Tennessee didn't even vote for its own son, Al Gore. Louisiana has, post Katrina, fewer of the blacks who delivered a deeply divided state to the Democrats.
    NC doesn't even figure, I don't think. Yes the intellectuals in the Research Triangle, and the blacks, but the majority of the state is rock-ribbed Red.
    Add to that West Virginia, which is increasingly 'Red', and Missouri, which is no longer the state of Harry Truman, and you can see what a hill the Democrats have to climb.
    The Confederacy is still reliably Red. Strip out the black vote, which can't tilt any more Democrat, and it is almost totally so.

  4. Valuethinker,
    I don't know about the other states you mention, but I don't think the Democrats are in "deep, deep trouble" in Tennessee. Ford lost, true, but he got 47%, in a state that has only about a 15% African-American population, low for the South. The governor, Bredesen, a Democrat (and a Harvard graduate who lived in the north until his 30's) is quite popular. Five of the state's nine Representatives are Democrats. Doesn't sound like "deep trouble" to me.

  5. Valuethinker: "The Democrats remain in deep, deep trouble in all of the 'upper tier' of southern states: TN, KY, W. Va, LA, AK."
    There are pockets of AK — Alaska — that resemble Dixie, but I don't think anyone would consider the Last Frontier to be a southern state.

  6. Bill Maher said, "Trent Lott was excited to be the Minority Whip… until he found out he wouldn't actually get to whip minorities."

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