Jeffords in the spotlight

Democrats have a new hero while Republicans have a new object of hatred.

Published May 23, 2001 8:44PM (EDT)

As the bashing of independent-to-be Sen. Jim Jeffords continues on conservative sites around the Web, folks at the Free Republic are trying to take matters into their own hands.

"Let Jeffords know what an idiot he is being," writes one poster, who goes on to give Jeffords' contact information. "And make sure that your comments are made by someone from Vermont," the poster adds, then providing a link to a list of Vermont voters.

But others are still reeling from the news that Democrats seem poised to take control of the Senate.

"I couldn't sleep last night ... this is awful folks!" moans one Freeper. Writes another: "The only thing that upsets me is how giddy the press is over this. Their bias is so blatantly obvious. Jeffords fought Bush in every direction. I just hope Bush plays hardball now. I hope he's learned his lesson that you can't play nice with a bunch of bullies. You have knock the crap out of a bullie and hope you survive. If you do, you'll have his respect."

The mood on liberal sites was a bit more sanguine, to say the least.

"Does Trent Lott as minority leader sound good to you?" asks, an obviously rhetorical question.

And Democrats are already assessing the new world order. Take the new Table Talk thread that appeared Wednesday titled "What Will Be the First Bill Introduced in the New Senate?

But at least some Greenies over at were indifferent to the blockbuster news. "Going from R to D really isn't that drastic anymore," sighs one poster. "I hate how senators all seem to vote with their party and not with their constituents (or their conscience). We need senators who will renounce both parties and start voting the way the people who elected them want them to."

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By Anthony York

Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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