Herding Cats

After Trent Lott left the Senate to get rich as a K Street lobbyist he wrote a book about his days as Senate Majority Leader. The Mississippi Republican aptly named his memoir "Herding Cats."

As Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) looks ahead to leading Senate Republicans in January he may feel Lott understated the challenge.  He not only inherits the likes of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, but there's a colorful new crop in his herd that will give him headaches as well.

Here are some glimpses of the platforms, promises and records of several Republican senators-elect:

Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) — She boasted of experience castrating hogs and firearms skills as a way to tame Washington.  She wants to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Education and impeach President Obama.

Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) – He wants to ban all abortions, eliminate the Department of Education and repeal Obamacare.

Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) – She's the first woman elected to the Senate from her state, but she opposes equal pay for women. She wants to emasculate the EPA to help coal producers.

Steve Daines (R-Montana) – He favors teaching intelligent design in the public schools. 

Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) — A leader in the House of the "hell no caucus," he didn't vote for disaster relief, the farm bill or the Violence Against Women Act.

Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) – He supported personhood legislation to provide a fertilized egg the same protections as a person, but he got fuzzy on the issue in the face of criticism later in the campaign.

James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) — A Baptist minister, he said he entered politics because of a "calling" from God.

David Perdue (R-Georgia) – He's a "job creator" who acknowledged spending "most of my career" outsourcing jobs to Asia."

Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) – He ran as anti-Obamacare crusader while making $114,000 giving speeches to pro-Obamacare groups. He was endorsed by Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz, who is said to be his role model.

Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) – He wants to eliminate the Department of Education and repeal Obamacare.

Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) — He wants to rein in the EPA, says there is no "right" to clean air and water; against gay marriage; opposes federal, state and local laws that might interfere with the "absolute" right to gun ownership; thinks Obamacare is unconstitutional, opposes raising federal minimum wage,

Every one of them spent millions of dollars to get a job that pays $174,000 a year in a city they all profess to hate and in an institution the vast majority of Americans hold in contempt. Go figure.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.