Monday, December 26, 2005

Novakula on Lott

The prince of darkness has some interesting things to say:

WASHINGTON -- Trent Lott within the next week plans to decide between seeking a fourth term in the U.S. Senate from Mississippi or retiring from public life.

That could determine whether Republicans keep control of the Senate in next year's elections. For the longer range, Lott's retirement and replacement could signal that Southern political realignment has peaked and now is receding.

Mississippi, one of the reddest of the red Republican states, has not even been on the game board of the Washington analysis forecasting the 2006 Senate outcome. But in Mississippi, prominent Republicans are worried sick. They believe Lott will probably retire. If so, they expect the new senator will be a Democrat, former State Attorney General Mike Moore. Republican politicians in Mississippi believe Rep. Chip Pickering, the likely Republican nominee if Lott does not run, cannot defeat Moore.

I imagine Lott's doing a little dance here to see whether they'll depose Frist and give him his old job back. That'd be pretty funny, really, for a variety of reasons. Conservative bloggers were thrilled at their claimed role in helping to hound Lott out of office. My guess is they'd acknowledge his return with a shrug.

I found the last bit of Novak's column interesting, too.

When George W. stood aside while Trent Lott was tossed out, I wrote on Dec. 23, 2002, that the secret liberal theme behind his defenestration was that "the GOP's Southern base, the bedrock of its national election victories, is an illegitimate legacy from racist Dixiecrats.

Now, three years later, that bedrock may be eroding.