Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Chafee: Lott must go; Lott: I'm not going (updated)

The other shoe has dropped: Lincoln Chafee, widely regarded as the GOP senator most likely to defect (er, become an “independent” like Democrat-in-all-but-name Jim Jeffords), is calling for Lott to go. Meanwhile, Our Man Trent says he's not going to quit the Senate regardless.

JB Armstrong suggests that Chafee's position helps Lott (in comments); I'm not so sure:

Good news for Lott? I'm not so sure... a lot of Republicans would prefer a 51-48-1 Senate without Lott as the leader to a 50-48-2 Senate with Lott nominally in charge depending on the good graces of Snow, McCain et al. and the continued functioning of Dick Cheney's pacemaker. (If Cheney has to be replaced in a 50-48-2 Senate, needing 51 votes to be replaced, you could end up with a John Adams/Thomas Jefferson situation.)

Plus, Chafee's basically saying "it's me or him." Any other moderate can now join Chafee and say "it's the majority or him." I still see Lott as screwed.

Fred Barnes and Charles Krauthammer, speaking on Fox News (on Special Report with Brit Hume), still think Lott is history.