Nice gesture, but where is the substance | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Nice gesture, but where is the substance

In a recent Clarion-Ledger editorial, the paper commended US Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) for creating legislation to commemorate former US Senator Blanche Kelso Bruce (R-Mississippi) on a postage stamp. The Honorable Mr. Bruce, a former Bolivar County Sheriff, was the first African-American to serve a full term in the US Senate. Hiram Revels, also from Mississippi, was the African-American to serve in the US Senate, but left to become president of Alcorn State University.

The gesture is nice and ironic, considering Lott is running against an African-American that seeks to be the first US Senator elected from Mississippi (Revels and Bruce were elected by the Mississippi House of Representatives during Reconstruction). It is also well overdue. But just like his sudden support of the Voting Rights Act Extension and his co-sponsorship of the Emmit Till Act, which will open up cold cases from the Civil Rights Era, Lott’s recent acts look more like election year opportunism rather than a change in heart, as the Clarion-Ledger claims.

The question becomes where the substance that would verify those claims of rehabilitation is. Lott voted for the ninth straight time in June of this year against increasing the minimum wage, which affects 13 percent of Mississippians directly. Lott voted for the Bankruptcy Reduction Act, which creates an obstructive barrier for Mississippians trying to recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina as well as catastrophic illness. Lott voted to re-institute FEMA in the Homeland Security budget, after making claims that he would push for FEMA’s return to be a stand-alone, cabinet-level agency. More importantly, Lott supported the massive tort reform movement, which now has him and thousands of other Coastal residents tied up in court for years to reach settlements with the various insurance companies.

While it is nice from time to time for those elected into public service to offer gestures to recognize those who have accomplished much, it is more important for us to do substantive things that will change the mindset and impact the futures of those whom we serve. That would be a true sign of rehabilitation.

Previous Comments

ID
170292
Comment

I'd like to know whether Eric Fleming believes that 13-year old girls, impregnated by a man in his twenties, should be forced to bear the child. That is, is he pro-choice or not? (As I recall, he says he doesn't support the right to abortion.)

Author
hevens
Date
2006-10-13T18:13:41-06:00
ID
170293
Comment

hevens: I successfully offered the amendment on the abortion ban bill that passed the Mississippi House this past session which would have given exceptions for rape, incest or if the life or health of the mother was in jeopardy. The example you describe falls under the category of statutory rape in state law, which would qualify under the rape exception in that amendment. Therefore, the short answer would be "No", those 13-year-olds cited should not forced to bear the child.

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-10-15T08:01:51-06:00
ID
170294
Comment

I believe it's still legal for Mr Lott to run for the senate, Eric. :)

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-10-15T13:27:06-06:00
ID
170295
Comment

I believe it's also legal for Mr. Lott to lose.

Author
Jesse Johnson
Date
2006-10-19T21:16:34-06:00
ID
170296
Comment

If he gets outvoted, JJ. Only then.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-10-19T21:26:52-06:00

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