Unintended Consequences And Sen. Lott
Politico and other outlets report that Lott is retiring before the end of the year in order to avoid new restrictions that would prevent him from lobbying for two years. For that, we lose his leadership through 2012.
Ask yourself this: Would Lott be any more a threat to the integrity of government if he had to wait just one year, as the current law requires, instead of two? What exactly is gained from a two-year restriction that a one-year restriction does not already provide? Nothing except financial hardship for Senators and Representatives who have long labored for less dough than most of them could have made in the private sector.
Like term limits, most high-minded anti-corruption legislation does nothing to stop corruption -- the corrupt will always find ways to work the system; only the non-corrupt will be hurt -- while depriving city councils, statehouses and Congress of the seasoned leaders we need.
Of course, the leftyblogs will mark the occasion by dredging up the unfortunate and much overblown comment Lott made in 2002 at Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday, when he said America would not "have had all these problems" if Thurmond had become president. They may even throw in some lefty closet anti-gay jibes by reminding us that Lott was an Ole Miss cheerleader. To see Lott's comment as racist, one must be a bigot, and unfortunately, most of the Left is.
Fine. We'll write about Monica every time we mention Bill.
But the real news about Lott today isn't what he said in 2002; it's that Congress is continuing to create new problems (think McCain/Feingold) instead of effectively addressing corruption.