Frist’s Legacy

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Josh Marshall’s mocking Bill Frist, which is always fun. Reading through his posts, though, I sometimes wonder if the Democrats—no, add the whole country here—might have been better off if they had never ousted Trent Lott from his Senate Majority Leader spot in late 2002. After all, the fact that new figurehead Frist owed his job to Karl Rove ushered in an era in which the Senate GOP became a faceless extension of the president’s will and command, refusing to compromise with the minority party, and passing bills that reward key campaign contributors. Lott, for all his warts, would have never let that happen, at least not to the degree we’re seeing now.

Frist’s incompetence as a leader, meanwhile, and his inability to get much of the Republican “agenda” passed, seems to have driven the Senate GOP into such a fury that the party gave up the business of governing and decided instead to transform itself into a non-stop campaigning machine. Frist couldn’t get an energy bill through Congress back in 2004, so the GOP decided that the solution was to bring up gay marriage and flag-burning votes to try to trap the Democrats. Frist couldn’t get leaders to agree on a budget that year, so votes were manipulated to play “gotcha” games with Kerry and Edwards. Frist can’t get John Bolton confirmed, so Republicans have taken to attacking Dick Durbin for speaking out on torture. And so on. On a substantive level, I can’t imagine either party prefers this state of affairs—though Republicans might enjoy the election-day victories and cheap point-scoring that come with it.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate