In my ongoing attempt to absorb the news of each day, I had apparently assigned one department in my head –a very small department– to deal with the news of Trent Lott’s sudden “I’m retiring” announcement yesterday.
On one level my assessment was: “O.K….”
But there was a second level which registered an instinctive “That’s a bit odd. He just won re-election last year. Why would he suddenly…”
I then picked up some of “relevant Trent background”: we heard about Katrina destroying his house…we heard that Trent was not a wealthy man, not by Wash.Senator standards, that is,….etc. etc….)
And then I heard Trent’s own elaboration. He told us that after “due consultation with his wife of X years” and a coincidental biblical reading at church on Sunday, I think it was the “to every —– there is a season” quote…after all that, Trent decided “it was time to go”. “Time to move on”, I believe, were his actual words.
That was a neatly worded announcement, Trent: we note in passing, and appreciate, the “I’m a married man…lovely wife…of X years…who goes to church…and examines sermons for personal messages” signal.
That might have been the end of it. The whole thing might have been handled and filed by that small department in my head.
THEN came the news that with the changes to the politician-to-lobbyist revolving door rules ( for example, on Jan 1st 2008, Trent’s waiting period would be increased from 1 year to 2.) there might well have been an incentive for Trent to jump. If true, Trent had apparently forgotten to include that information in his elaboration. Tut tut TUT, Trent.
But why now, not even a year after re-election?
THIS Tuesday morning, it looks like that story is about to be lifted out of “that small department in my head” and passed upstairs: I heard on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer morning program, a cynical sounding old reporter –didn’t get his name– suggesting that we might not have heard all of Trent’s several reasons for resigning:
“The talk on the gay blog circuit is that Trent Lott is gay…had some involvement with a gay escort…we don’t know if it’s true…”
Really? Trent Lott gay? Really?
But indeed, when I googled on -Trent Lott gay blog- there were already many entries on the subject.
One or two gay blogs were suggesting that Lott had a history of opposition to gay issues, and they seemed to be suggesting that he was on the brink of being outed; another entry seemed to derive confirmation simply from the claim that Trent and Senator Larry Craig –remember Larry of the Wide Stance?– were good pals. (Come on guys. It’s a small club. AND shrinking for Republicans. What’s wrong with hanging out with anyone…)
Let us also add one of the dicta of this blog:
“Not that there’s anything wrong with it”.
Let us remind ourselves of our own dicta.
And remember, this may all turn out to have no basis in reality, or truth, or both.