Oy gevolt. So in addition to the outburst of pro-Jeff Sessions sentiment, Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), once banished for proclaiming that "we wouldn't have all these problems" had we maintained a segregationist agenda, is now the Number 2 Republican in the Senate (As Robert George says: There is something painfully ironic with Trent Lott gaining the title of "minority whip"). This from the party trying to engage in "outreach" towards African-Americans? It'd be laughable if it wasn't so sad.
But don't think the Democrats aren't holding their own on the idiocy front. Pelosi has managed to royally piss me off on both the Hoyer/Murtha race for Majority Leader, and the Harman/Hastings decision for chair of the Intelligence Committee. If the Democrats have a mandate to do anything, it's to fight corruption in the halls of Washington. Murtha has consistently been on the watchlist of corruption observers, and just recently called the Democrats' reform bill "total crap". He's effectively beholden to defense contractors, and loves earmarks to death. Oh, and aside from Iraq, he's as conservative as you can get in the Democratic caucus and largely incoherent as a speaker. Hoyer is not my favorite Democrat in the world, but he was instrumental in getting Democrats elected this cycle, his positions--though not exactly liberal--are more in line with the general views of the caucus, and he knows how to play ball in Washington. Plus, given the fact that I'm starting to really dislike Pelosi, I'm not sure I want to set her up as a DeLay-style tyrant of the House. As for Harman/Hastings, it's no question: you don't take off one of our party's top experts on Intelligence and replace him with a former judge impeached for taking bribes! This should be a no-brainer. And the kicker is that in both these cases, Pelosi's decisions seem less about what's good for the country or the party, and more about waging personal vendettas against two people she detests (her feuds with Hoyer and Harman are long-runnng). This is not an auspicious start.
So, like John Cole, I have to agree with Dean Barnett: Republicans and Democrats are [apparently] determined to engage in a two year dumb-off. Ugh.