Unlike Ohio Republican gubernatorial nominee J. Kenneth Blackwell, and U.S Senators Rick Santorum (R- PA) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), some prominent politicans who have made disparaging comments about gays have shown little commitment to principle. It now seems that one of them, Mississippi junior Senator, Republican Trent Lott, is eager to rival his bigotted West Virginia Democratic colleague’s (Robert Byrd) record in bringing home the pork to his state.
in Tuesday’s OpinionJournal’s Political Diary (available by subscription), John Fund noted how Lott helped prevent Coburn from stripping funding for two massive earmarks that the Mississippian supported, a $700 million set-aside for a railway along the Magnolia State’s Gulf Coast and a $500 million subsidy for defense contractor Northrop Grumman.
Although Mr. Lott is playing fast and loose with our tax dollars, we shouldn’t be too harsh on the junior Senator from the Magnolia State. You see, he has a problem which he unconsciously revealed in a 1998 interview with talk show host Armstrong Williams. Offering his opinions on gays, Lott said:
And you should not try to mistreat them or treat them as outcasts. You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem, just like, you know, my father had a problem, as I said, with alcoholism. Other people have sex addiction. Other people, you know, kleptomaniac.*
(Emphasis added.) That comparison seemed odd at the time, but given Mr. Lott’s record on pork-barrel spending, particularly these past few days, that spontaneous comment was clearly (what some have called) “a Freudian slip.” With those words, this politician unconsciously revealed a problem which (on a subconscious level) he likely very much wished to address but was afraid to deal with, lest he be ostracized.
Thus, when Mary Katharine Hamm blogged that “Trent Lott has not yet recognized that he has a problem,” she referred to his conscious state of mind. His comment eight years ago indicates that on some deeper level, Mississippi’s junior Senator realizes he has a problem with kleptomania, “an obsessive impulse to steal regardless of economic need.” For many years now, he has been using the congressional appropriations process to take taxpayer money for projects, nearly all of which, like the subsidy to a corporation in solid financial shape, are not economically necessary.
We should help the Senator deal with his problem, by making clear that we understand it. We won’t ostracize him for his condition — provided he acknowledge it and take steps to deal with it.
First, we need to distinguish the Senator’s problem — and our own (as he defines it). When we act out our homosexuality, provided we do so only with consenting adults, we don’t harm anyone. When, however, the Senator acts out his kleptomania, he hurts the taxpayers, by taking our hard-earned money and setting it aside for programs which further bloat an already bloated federal budget. He’s thus far more in need of treatment than are we.
Still, I don’t think we should treat Mr. Lott as an outcast because of this problem. Instead, we must help him find a way to control it. To that end, we recommend that he start reading Porkbusters every day. I’d also recommend Instapundit, the Club for Growth, fiscal publications of the Cato Institute, the Wall Street Journal editorial page as well as the speeches (in book form or via the web) of the greatest Republican president of the last century — Ronald Wilson Reagan. There are many, many other places he can go for treatment.
The Senator may think he can’t help himself, that he “needs” to take the people’s money and allocate it for projects in the Magnolia State. Perhaps, as a child, his parents didn’t give him very much — so to compensate he now needs to take from the public purse. Despite the difficulties of his childhood, we believe that familiarity with libertarian/fiscally conservative ideas will help cure this pork-barrel politician of his kleptomania.
Please Mr. Lott, get help now, lest your problem prevent you from achieving your full potential. Your problem is more than just a personal issue, it has become a national disgrace as your “need” to take taxpayers’ money further increases the size of the federal deficit.
Senator Lott, please bear in mind that just because you acknowledge your kleptomania doesn’t mean people will treat you as an outcast. We’re here to help you deal with the problem. And just think, in just a few months, you can help lead the ranks of congressional ex-kleptomaniacs, eager to put the federal fiscal house in order.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
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* In a google search for the Senator’s comments, I found several different transcriptions, but in all of them the junior Senator from Mississippi compared homosexuality and kleptomania.