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Is Univision next?

Unfortunately, I was eating at 8 PM. Then I decided to watch Trent Lott on BET. I need to clean up the floor, now; I couldn't keep dinner down. The two lowlights I remember:

  • "I am for affirmative action, and I practice it. I hired black people for my staff." The only thing he left out was "Some of my best friends are black people."
  • "My actions don't reflect my voting record." Huh? If anybody knows what that means, please let me know. It's either a repudiation of his voting record, or it's simply incoherent.

I think that about sums it up. Reading body language is always tricky, but I've seen burn victims who looked more comfortable than Lott did tonight. His explanations don't pass the laugh test. He didn't know who Martin Luther King Jr. was? He announced his retroactive support for Strom Thurmond's presidential campaign because Thurmond stood for anti-communism? As opposed to the pro-Soviet Harry Truman?

The questions about Charles Pickering showed the real problem with Lott remaining in power, though. Bill Clinton had no shame, and apparently neither does Trent Lott. But Bill Clinton was term limited, and his sins were personal, not ideological, so they couldn't seriously taint his agenda. Nobody was going to think that support for public health care, or taxes, was an endorsement of adultery. But with Lott, it's different. Everything and everyone he supports is going to be tainted with racism from now on. If he's majority leader, every bit of the Republican agenda, regardless of how active he is in promoting it, will be seen as racist by some. I've seen some conservatives saying that Lott should be removed as majority leader, but because he's not a good conservative rather than because of these comments. That's wrong. He should be removed for these comments. The fact is, we don't know whether Trent Lott is racist -- and the mere fact that we need to debate it is the problem.

And the mere fact that Lott won't step down is evidence of his lack of concern for the Republican party, and thus a reason to remove him.


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