Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | December 11, 2002

Get off Lott's back!

Remeber last election cycle, when Doug Forrester bashed Sen. Toricelli so hard, and so effectively, that it forced the senator to retire (thus saving the NJ seat for us)? Well, I'm afraid we're about to commit the same error with Trent Lott.

The spigots are fully open, and we're getting confirmation about what those of us on the left already knew -- that Lott is openly racist. His close relationship with the CCC is being rehashed, while we now find out that Lott gave that exact same Thurmond speech in 1980. No "off the cuff" statements here. Drudge even got in on the act, after ignoring the story for days (as to not dilute the power of his now-discredited "scoop" of Kerry's haircut).

Still, the idea was always to would Lott, and to hold him up as the shinning example of what the GOP stands for. Trent Lott is not the only Republican racist (or to be more charitable -- "hostile to minority interests") in Congress. However, he's one of the stupidest and least able to conceal his contempt for civil rights.

So in retrospect, perhaps Daschle was on to something when he gave Lott a pass. I still think Daschle should've handled the issue differently ("I certainly hope he didn't mean what he said! Segregation was horrible, yadda yadda..."), rather than make excuses, but it's clear Daschle's job as minority leader is easier vs. Lott than against any number of more competent (and diplomatic) GOP senators.

So let's all back off Lott, and for heaven's sake, don't call for his resignation. He's more valuable to us alive than dead.

Update: Mark Byron makes the following excellent point in this post's comments:

There's a bit of reverse psychology here; if the Democrats are crying for Lott's ouster, the GOP will tend to say "I don't want to give those liberals the pleasure, let's keep him." If you lay off, the presure to avoid political correctness will be off and they can get rid of Lott as a liability for the 2004 and future campaigns.

If you really want to get rid of Lott, lay low, and the Republicans will likely get rid of him as Majority Leader. If you want to get rid of the Republicans, speak up and make them make a dumb but anti-PC move to keep him.

Byron has a right-leaning blog worth checking out.

Posted December 11, 2002 09:42 AM | Comments (136)


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