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Lotts more to come

The New York Times is reporting that Republicans are going to put on the full court press to support Trent Lott this weekend. They're going to send people out on the Sunday morning talk shows -- including supposed "maverick" John McCain -- to explain to us how Lott's really a wonderful guy, and how he was just funning us when he expressed his longing for segregation.

Still, Senate Republicans, in a conference call put together by Mr. Lott's supporters after Mr. Lott's news conference on Friday night, had decided to began a campaign on his behalf.

Several Senate officials said that was intended as much to help Mr. Lott as to protect Republicans from political damage.

The senators, in their meeting, discussed arguments that Mr. Lott's allies would use in their appearance on the Sunday morning talk shows to defend the senator and his party. According to participants, Mr. Lott's surrogates would say they accept Mr. Lott's apology and believe that he sincerely changed his ways over the years.

You mean, from 1980, when he wished a segregationist had been elected, to 2002, when he wished a segregationist had been elected? Joshua Micah Marshall, as everyone knows, has been all over this story, compiling a list of the dozens of red flags throughout Lott's career. Go look at the dates of the various little "incidents," and please pinpoint for me exactly when he "changed his ways."
They also intended to portray Republicans as a moderates who embraced civil rights.
Yes. Embrace civil rights. And white supremacists. It's a big tent, you know.

And the really bad news?

At the same time, Republicans said they would be planning to expedite consideration next year of legislation that Republicans said was intended to rebut the perception of the party as hostile to civil rights.
So Republicans won't do something that might actually show they repudiate Lott's views, by repudiating Trent Lott as leader. Instead, they'll either (a) push some watered-down policy proposals that will convince absolutely nobody of anything, or (b) they'll repudiate their own principles (HAHAHA) to push some big government, high-spending/affirmative action program. Which, of course, still won't convince anybody of anything.

I just don't get it. It's not like Trent Lott has actually accomplished much in his tenure as majority leader, or for that matter in the rest of his career. What exactly is the incentive to keep him on here? I know nobody wants to be seen bowing to pressure, but in this case, the pressure is coming from conservatives as much as, if not more than, from liberals. I'm sure Lott has built up some political capital over the years, but come on. Or is this just Republican stubbornness over the fact that the Democrats never abandoned Bill Clinton? Or is the blackmail theory true? Whatever the explanation, the Republican party is making a huge mistake here. They must see this. The only question is how gutless they really are.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 15, 2002 7:18 AM.

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