THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Tuesday, March 7, 1995 TAG: 9503070263 SECTION: LOCAL PAGE: B1 EDITION: FINAL TYPE: Column SOURCE: Guy Friddell LENGTH: Medium: 65 lines
HOW DARE HE?
Mark Hatfield was the only Republican senator to vote against the balanced budget amendment.
Mickey Mouse gimmickry, he called it.
And it failed by one vote.
HIS vote, it will be hereafter to some unforgiving Republicans.
Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott delivered the verdict.
Hatfield, he charged, is arrogant.
By whose derogation is Mr. Lott keeper of the conscience?
Hasn't he learned that while the House is the madding crowd - a raucous caucus at risk every two years of being whistled home - the Senate is an institution of institutions, filled with walking contrarians?
Has Mr. Lott sighted South Carolina's upright totem, Strom Thurmond, or its roaring white-maned lion, Ernest Hollings?
Has he heard West Virginia's Robert Byrd discoursing on the House of Agamemnon, deadlocking all?
Did he see colleagues of both stripes rush to thank Virginia's John Warner for denouncing Oliver North?
Hasn't anybody told him that Harry Byrd rarely backed his party's presidential nominee and was lauded by Virginians - at least a majority of those allowed to vote?
And that imperious John Randolph of Roanoke entered the chamber, unchided, with a pack of fox hounds at his heels?
Has Mr. Lott forgot he hails from the land of Bilbo (Theodore), as bombastic a racist as was ever elected?
Did someone remind Mr. Lott he's from the South, where a normal officeholder is the eccentric?
The chamber echoes yet with Louisiana's Huey Long proclaiming Every Man a King!
And it has felt the soft, lonely pad of that independent tiger, Oregon's Wayne Morse. Oregon, bless it, breeds independence.
How much does Mr. Lott know of Hatfield?
Twice elected governor, Hatfield invested heavily in education and in rehabilitating welfare recipients to work.
He warned in 1964 against sending troops to Vietnam.
He excoriated Lyndon Johnson for talking peace as he intensified bombing.
In 1970, he urged limits of two terms for the House, one for the Senate.
He is so religious, his driver disclosed, that he would stop the car and kneel at the roadside to pray.
Doesn't Mr. Lott comprehend that voters recognize both parties are mired in hypocrisy - Republicans trying to browbeat Democrats with the device of the balanced budget amendment, Democrats raising the Social Security scarecrow?
The balanced budget restraint is about as effective as the medieval iron chastity belt. Soon both parties would be trying to wriggle out of it.
Hatfield said he will offer a solution to the issue.
We await it - and what Mr. Lott will make of it. ILLUSTRATION: Photo
Mark Hatfield was the only Republican senator to vote against the
balanced budget amendment.