By Rick Shaftan, December 7, 2014
In a desperate effort to remain relevant after resigning his Mississippi Senate seat, Senator Trent Lott’s vicious personal attack on Ted Cruz serves only to elevate the Texas Senator in the eyes of conservatives.
Why? Because Trent Lott is the epitome of Republican failure, a man whose unremarkable tenure as Senate Majority Leader ended with a pathetic display of public panic that exposed a man devoid of philosophy or belief, other than the insatiable lust for power, and whose resignation from the Senate was predicated on his insatiable lust for lobbying dollars.
Lott’s downfall began after he dared say on Senator Strom Thurmond’s 100th Birthday that America should have elected Thurmond as President in 1948 over Democrat Harry Truman or the uber-RINO Tom Dewey. Thurmond challenged the two as a Third Party “States Rights” candidate in 1948, winning five states.
After being criticized because of Thurmond’s opposition to Civil Rights, Lott panicked. The next two weeks illustrated a pitiful display of attempts to “prove” he wasn’t a “racist” which spun out of control until his resignation from the Senate’s top job.
Lott’s sad performance didn’t have to be. Strom Thurmond was a true American hero, a man who at age 40 resigned his judgeship to go into the Army and eventually participate in the D-Day invasion. Lott should have called on the Chicken Hawks and Desk Jockeys put their patriotism up against a man who risked his life to protect freedom.
But he didn’t.
Trent Lott’s entire career has been built on going along and being a useful tool for the Establishment. Trent Lott feels emboldened to speak out against Ted Cruz. But in all his years in the Senate just how did Trent Lott advance the ball for the conservative movement?
Trent Lott was in Washington for nearly 40 years as a Congressional Aide, Congressman and U.S. Senator. Can anyone name even one thing that Trent Lott ever did to stop our nation’s slide into Socialism?
Trent Lott embarrassed Mississippi and Republicans all over the country with his sad and weak performance when attacked. His groveling and begging for approval illustrated the insecurity of a man ashamed of his past support for keeping blacks out of Ole Miss, and who threw Senator Thurmond overboard in an attempt to show he really didn’t mean what he said he meant.
People need to lighten up. Lott should have ended the whole thing with a joke about how “you Yankees” were afraid that “Ol’ Strom” would “replace Grant on the $50 bill with Robert E. Lee and made Hank Williams birthday a national holiday.”
Instead Trent Lott showed himself to be a spineless politician willing to sacrifice anyone in order to maintain his grip on power and control, and when that all faded away, it was all about the money. Trent Lott’s attacks on Ted Cruz tell Americans that Cruz is the one man the failed Republican Establishment fears the most.
I like a number of potential candidates besides Ted Cruz: Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Sam Brownback and even Marco Rubio. But if Lott’s goal is uniting conservatives behind the Junior Senator from Texas, he’s doing a great job.
Rick Shaftan is a New Jersey-based pollster and media consultant with Neighborhood Research and Mountaintop Media and who has been active in a number of Mississippi campaigns. He can be followed on Twitter @Shaftan.