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Lott Resigns As GOP Leader
December 20, 2002 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Lott Resigns As GOP Leader. Senator Lott has bowed to internal and external pressure and has resigned his position as Senate majority leader. He will, however, not resign from the Senate altogether. Will Republican be able to recover, or have they been permanently weakened? Will Democrats still be able to capitalize on the scandal?
posted by ncurley (95 comments total)

 
When the situation first started Reps could either admit they (or at least their leadership) are racist, or try to deny it. In either case, they'll look like racists. But then, that's no news to anyone, so this is really a non-event for everyone but the Reps, who have to deal with a shakeup of their power structure. The only way Dems can get anything out of this is if Lott goes on to resign rather than submit to be a mere Senator and not The Senator. Then, he's likely to be replaced with a Dem, giving Dems get the majority.
posted by badstone at 8:37 AM on December 20, 2002


na na na nah
na na nah nah
hey hey hey
GOOOOODBYE
posted by vito90 at 8:45 AM on December 20, 2002


Actually, this is great news for the Reps (who I suspect had their fingers cross that Lott would step down gracefully), and bad news for the Dems since they're not going to have Lott to criticize come the next round of elections.

This is no setback for the Republican Party. They were counting on it. I personally had my fingers crossed that Lott would make a polite exit, not because he's a racist (that's mostly spin), but simply because he was a liability to the party.

The Democrats, with all their howling and feigned outrage, have managed to eliminate one of the Republican weak spots that they could have instead taken advantage of during the next elections. Now the Reps will probably get a more "politically correct" (and probably more Bush-loyal) leader in there.

The Dems kicked themselves in the pants with this one.
posted by oissubke at 8:46 AM on December 20, 2002


Another real story here is the new political power of blogs.

Lott's resignation was prompted more by the blogosphere (who wouldn't let the story die, notably in blogs like Eschaton and Talking Points Memo) than by traditional media.

The tenacity and investigative thoroughness of bloggers is replacing the stenography that passes for mainstream journalism. Perhaps this development will shake up the sleeping media. It ought to.
posted by skimble at 8:51 AM on December 20, 2002


Well, I was going to be sarcastic about the idea of the Republicans being "permanently weakened" by all this, but now I have to be sarcastic about oissubke's similar over-the-top pronouncement.

This is a minor business. In two weeks it will be forgotten. The only damage will come if either party fixates on the damage.

Anyway, is a more moderate Republican on the way? To my mind, the biggest danger to the Republicans now that they have power is that they'll have a ultra-right pigout -- slashing taxes on the high-end wealthy, gutting environmental legislation, maybe even getting messed up with abortion. If they do that, the American public might even start to notice what they do -- and some might even disagree! But a slightly more moderate Republican Congress can do what it wants without notice.
posted by argybarg at 8:58 AM on December 20, 2002


Even though there is a golden opportunity to capitalize on this, right now the Democrats are too lame to pull it off. They could win over some Republicans by contrasting what Republican voters want and what their Repubican leaders are giving them.

I think many Repubican voters have been lulled into thinking Republican policitians are fighting for the little guy, when the initiatives of Republican politicians tend to be more about protecting corporations and their own asses. Most Repubican voters aren't racists, and they should be shocked at what Lott (and apparently others) stand for.
posted by neuroshred at 8:59 AM on December 20, 2002


I'm just as happy to see him go, but really I think Skimble's brought up the only part of this that's really discussion-worthy (in the MetaFilter sense, I mean).... Politician finally succumbs to pressure from gaffe, yawn. But Politician succumbs to pressure put on by bloggers, that's interesting.

I love the idea of the blogosphere developing some political muscle. The dream is that it'd be more thoughtful than talk radio, but that's probably not the case.
posted by COBRA! at 9:01 AM on December 20, 2002


Who's next? Condi Rice?

The last couple months have seen the following "resignations":

O'Neill at Treasury,
Lindsey - Economic Advisor,
Harvey Pitt at SEC,
Webster didn't even get to his office,
JC Watts said he's no longer willing to be a Republican office holder,
Kissenger resigned from the 9/11 commission because of conflicts of interest,
the 2nd in charge of that commission also quit (his name alludes me at the moment).

We've (the United States of America, that is) been accused of meddling in South American countries elections, and even trying to oust democratically elected leaders (no, I'm not referring to Saddam Hussein). Halliburton is being investigated by the SEC and the Enron scam should be back in the news by mid-Spring. Add a recovery that's not happening (and not going to happen for another 10 to 15 years) and the Dems look just fine.

So who would you pick to oust? I'd pick Cheney because I'd like for W to prove that he's the real brains in this administration.
posted by chris0495 at 9:05 AM on December 20, 2002


lott's blight on the republicans is no more over than clinton's blight on the democrats. this is politicians we're talking about here, not actual adults!
posted by mcsweetie at 9:05 AM on December 20, 2002


does anyone here know what the election turnout percentages were before and after the Nixon scandal?

my guess is that turnout would've been higher pre-Watergate. can anyone confirm this?
posted by chris0495 at 9:07 AM on December 20, 2002


wait, what? you guys are seriously suggesting that a couple of random weblogs had more to do with this than, for example, lott's devastating appearance on black entertainment television? than the subsequent lambasting of that appearance on late-night tv? than its constant mention on the 24-hour news networks?

please.

lott's resignation has a lot more to do with the news cycle than the emergence of weblogs as 'real journalism.'

less self-congratulation, please.
posted by kjh at 9:13 AM on December 20, 2002


It's interesting to note that this Congress will be the first in a long time without such Republican favorites as Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, and Dick Armey. And with Lott stepping down from his leadership post, it looks the old guard southern conservative wing of the party may have lost their grip on power. Sen. Frist is no Trent Lott.
posted by marcusb at 9:14 AM on December 20, 2002


Dang!

There goes 2004. I was really hoping this nitwit would try and tough it. A bloody battle in January, with Lotts subsequent retirement (and the appointment of a Dem as successor) is preferable to a quiet and soon to be forgotten stepping down.

All that is going to come of this is Bush's puppet, Frist, getting the job. Oh goody.
posted by cedar at 9:17 AM on December 20, 2002


kjh: I'm certainly not saying that blogs singlehandedly brought Lott down. I'm saying that no noise was made about this for a few days after he made the remark, except by the online community. And then enough noise was made that it gained enough critical mass to become an omelette on Lott's face and force him into a bunch of embarassing apologies, including the BET appearance.

IMHO, this is exactly the role talk radio played with, say, the Wellstone memorial uproar.
posted by COBRA! at 9:19 AM on December 20, 2002


I'm as skeptical as any about blogger triumphalism, but they do seem to have kept the story above the fold. The story won't be as devastating as it was to the GOP for the past week, but it confirms for many who may have been wobbly just how deeply entrenced the racism runs for the Republicans. I suppose they'll concentrate even more efforts on excluding black/minority voters from the polls than registering them.
posted by owillis at 9:20 AM on December 20, 2002


If Lott isn't a dyed-in-the-wool racist, despite protestations and spin control to the contrary, then give me another word for it. I've seen the incident from the CSPAN coverage, and hey, the man was speaking from the heart. I've grown up here in the South, I know people like him, and I know exactly what he meant when he uttered those words.

The GOP's smartest long-term strategy is to appeal to other ethnic groups than merely the Euromongrels, thereby undermining a bastion of Democratic potential support (party of the forgotten and the oppressed etc.); Lott, by shooting off his mouth, nearly torpedoed the agenda single-handed.

Lott's still going to be in the Senate and he'll still be a (chastened) vote, but he's definitely been slam-dunked for the gaffe he made -- and rightly so.
posted by alumshubby at 9:21 AM on December 20, 2002


There are two real questions here:

1) Does Bush feel that the practice of catering to bigots that the Republican party has done since the 1980s is a losing proposition in the long run?

2) Will Lott be enough of a sacrificial lamb when the Republican party has a batch of other major leaders who have done pretty much the same things Lott has gone down for?

Thad Cochran (R-Miss), Trent Lott (R-Miss), Jesse Helms (R-NC), Phil Gramm (R-TX), Harry Flood Byrd (I-WV), Dick Armey (R-TX) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have ALL done interviews with The Southern Partisan magazine for instance.
posted by jonnyp at 9:23 AM on December 20, 2002


Hah. Bush deftly takes advantage of Lott's error to shove him off the political stage and install the much more useful and accommodating Bill Frist. Can you imagine how powerful Bush would be right now if he wasn't a moron?
posted by BGM at 9:24 AM on December 20, 2002


The Dems kicked themselves in the pants with this one.

Nice attempt at spin, oissubke, but no. The Republicans have shown themselves. They will do it again.

This year:

Dow down 13%
NASDAQ down 28%

Since George W. Bush has been in office, the stock market has emptied more than 6 trillion dollars, more than the GDP of Japan.

All this, in addition to the Trent Lott fiasco.
posted by plexi at 9:28 AM on December 20, 2002


Will Democrats still be able to capitalize on the scandal?

Unfortunately no, the scandal is pretty much over. However, I wouldn't mind seeing Bush's face being morphed into Lott's face in ads for the 2004 election.
posted by Bag Man at 9:30 AM on December 20, 2002


The tenacity and investigative thoroughness of bloggers is replacing the stenography that passes for mainstream journalism.
I love blogs, too, but tell me where I can find investigative tenacity? The ones you cite merely link to reports from mainstream media. They provide a service, but they're certainly not wearing out any shoe leather. Eschaton, for example, credits "The Note" for breaking the Lott story. That's ABC News - it doesn't get any more mainstream than that. Check out the bylines: Mark Halperin has been doing political reporting for 15 years. That's hardly stenography.
posted by sixpack at 9:31 AM on December 20, 2002


If the bloggers ever manage to keep the flame burning on an issue that isn't sound-bite comprehensible and doesn't involve the very entertaining humiliation of a public figure, then I'll be impressed. As it is, this was a story the mainstream media wanted anyway; it was a very easy sell.

Get back to me when the bloggers get the world fired up about building codes or insurance reform.
posted by argybarg at 9:31 AM on December 20, 2002


The only way Dems can get anything out of this is if Lott goes on to resign rather than submit to be a mere Senator and not The Senator. Then, he's likely to be replaced with a Dem, giving Dems get the majority.

Um, actually, the Republicans have a 51-48 majority (with Jeffords as an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats). Even if Lott resigned his Senate seat *and* Governor Musgrove (D) appointed a member of his own party, that would still make it 50-49 (or essentially 50-50 with Jeffords). That means that Vice President Cheney, as president of the Senate, would have the tie-breaking vote.

Also, things could depend on *when* Lott resigned. If he resigned in 2003 then there would be a special election in November 2003. If he resigned this year, then there would be an election within 90 days of his resignation.

Not sure if a Lott resignation would mean all that much in these scenarios.
posted by terrapin at 9:32 AM on December 20, 2002


It wasn't only left-leaning blogs that helped bring Lott down. I only mentioned two that I read and happen to like.

It's clear that the pressure on Lott to appear on BET in the first place did not come from traditional media, but from the obsessive and relentless online examination of him and the evidence of his inglorious past by bloggers of every stripe. Right-wingers quickly realized the severity of the political damage too, and voiced their various opinions accordingly.

Blogs helped push Lott over the cliff of his own history. And may I add: Hallelujah!

argybarg: Bloggers are not interested in proving anything to you personally, but we are working on less thrilling topics too.
posted by skimble at 9:38 AM on December 20, 2002


not because he's a racist (that's mostly spin), but simply because he was a liability to the party.

well, this is exactly what the republicans think, but I still cannot see how someone could hear what Lott said and deny that he's got deeply ingrained racist feelings. To praise Strom Thurmond at all is weird enough considering his past and his lack of making up for it (no ex-Nazis get 100th birthday parties...); to specifically praise his 1948 bid is unacceptable. To expand on this to state that we wouldn't have "all these" problems if we'd followed the segregationists - how can you deny that's racist?

anyway. I know we've been over this too many times. It just still surprises me that people seem to consider certain things acceptable...

The Dems kicked themselves in the pants with this one.

what could they have done differently? It's just the republicans were smart enough to sacrifice one of their own for the sake of the party - I agree that Dems were probably hoping Lott would not step down, but clearly he had to be spoken against or the whole thing would just slip under the radar and be a complete non-issue by the time the election came around. If there was an uproar but Lott stayed in, it could have had some political clout later. If there was no uproar, there'd have been no issue; uproar plus resignation means the republicans can claim they've atoned for this.

But Politician succumbs to pressure put on by bloggers, that's interesting.

i don't think it's as simple as that, but this was a slow moving uproar. The media and the politicians didn't seem to be sure how to react, and I think small networks of communication, including but not limited to, online discussions / blogs, are where the opinions of most americans became clear. it's like a product that sold by word of mouth instead of top-down advertising.
posted by mdn at 9:42 AM on December 20, 2002


I was really hoping he would stay, just, as was previously noted, for politcal leverage during the elections. Now it makes the Republican's look caring and that Lott was a "black" sheep.

I actually didn't hear much from the Dems. It seemed as if they knew the consequences of him stepping down, and kept their mouth's shut. I wonder what was said to Lott behind the scenes.
posted by Espoo2 at 9:42 AM on December 20, 2002


The reports say Bill Frist may be the new choice. I thought he was the Ely Lilly Bandit, how could they pick him?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:43 AM on December 20, 2002


Lott's resignation was prompted more by the blogosphere....than by traditional media.

*wipes tears from eyes*

Thanks. I haven't had a laugh like that in a while. I'm sure that most of Lott's team have never even heard the "word" 'blog. Nor have about 99% of his constituents.

On preview: It's clear that the pressure on Lott to appear on BET in the first place did not come from traditional media.

Yeah, I'm sure that Lott was quaking in his boots when he saw the 'blog posts about him. It couldn't have anything to do with the 24/7 coverage by CNN, Fox and MSNBC.

The blogosphere will rule you all!
posted by eyeballkid at 9:44 AM on December 20, 2002


sixpack is right: "investigative tenacity" is an overstatement. Maybe "contextual tenacity," synthesizing the loose threads of others into a bigger picture.

The link owillis provides addresses this issue better than I did in my original comment. (Thanks.)
posted by skimble at 9:46 AM on December 20, 2002


Pollomacho - I believe Dick Armey has been fingered as the Eli Lilly Bandit
posted by vito90 at 9:57 AM on December 20, 2002


while i'm not one to put on my cheerleading uniform for the so-called "blogosphere" (god i hate that word). I have to admit that Joshua Marshall (of the previously mentioned Talking Points Memo) did more than just point to traditional media. He was the one that broke the story about the amicus brief on behalf of Bob Jones University.
posted by jnthnjng at 10:03 AM on December 20, 2002


I personally had my fingers crossed that Lott would make a polite exit, not because he's a racist (that's mostly spin), but simply because he was a liability to the party.

Well, oissubke, there's the small problem that in the couple of weeks from now till January, any Republican who wants to fill Lott's shoes will have to make sure that he hasn't said anything that can be construed as racist and can be rebroadcast or quoted on the news networks. At the end of the year, there's usually not much going on, even with war on the horizon, so CNN will be happy to allocate time to chew over the records of the bunch of southern white boys chasing after Lott's position.

It couldn't have anything to do with the 24/7 coverage by CNN, Fox and MSNBC.

Well, not entirely: since the 24/7 coverage only began in earnest after a couple of weblogs kept the subject alive. For sure, it was the Big Media Avalanche that flattened Lott, but the reason for the avalanche was a couple of random punters shouting and throwing snowballs on top of the mountain.
posted by riviera at 10:03 AM on December 20, 2002


I am with eyeballkid and adampsyche on this. It is a little arrogant to believe that bloggers weild that much power. Bloggers' opinions hold as much if not less value than the "Man on the street" opinions expressed in newspapers.
posted by riffola at 10:03 AM on December 20, 2002


vito90, Armey sort of tried to take responsibility, since he was responsible for the bill as a whole, but he wasn't the one who put that particular provision in. And nobody seems to want to say who it is. Bill frist, however, sponsored a bill with that exact provision in it earlier in the year.
posted by jnthnjng at 10:06 AM on December 20, 2002


Well, not entirely: since the 24/7 coverage only began in earnest after a couple of weblogs kept the subject alive.

Funny. You and I must have different cable news stations. I don't recall the press ever backing down on this, not from the moment of Lott's speech.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:10 AM on December 20, 2002


prompted more by the blogosphere
skimble: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
AHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
AHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

oh. you weren't joking?
posted by quonsar at 10:27 AM on December 20, 2002


As usual, oissubke has posted the most symptomatically revealing thing in this thread.

It shows the real mind-bender: Republicans can somehow still construe Lott's comments as 'not racist'. I would love to read an elaboration on this--is it the result of a belief in the 'seperate but equal' doctrine? A distaste for black people? Or just simple denial?
posted by goethean at 10:28 AM on December 20, 2002


I personally had my fingers crossed that Lott would make a polite exit, not because he's a racist (that's mostly spin),

Oiss, give me a break. Talk about spin.

Lott is a racist. He does not like black people. He has never liked black people. He just did not mean to say it out loud. Period.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:28 AM on December 20, 2002


not because he's a racist (that's mostly spin)

Please remove head from anal orifice, look around, see any pandering to racist voters in the Publican party? Many of us are capable of reading the "racist code words" like Rayguns "states rights" speech.

Still stumped? A little help: think "Southern strategy."
posted by nofundy at 10:39 AM on December 20, 2002


I think Lott likes black people in the same way my old southern grandad liked them. He was the boss man, and he would hang out and drink with them in pool halls. A few of his black co-workers would come by on Christmas eve and visit, and I know he helped them out with loans and such. I think he had a genuine affection for those guys.
And he still referred to them as "niggers". Not in a hateful, spiteful way, it was just the word he used.
Was he racist? Most certainly.
Did he hate black people? Not at all.
Don't confuse racism with hate; there is a difference.
posted by 2sheets at 11:31 AM on December 20, 2002


I have no clue as to the power of blogs in this--Mickey Kaus suggested heavvyweight emailers like Sidney Blumenthal and James Carville as factors. I think that this story would have been front and center in black newspapers and on black talk radio irregardless whether the networks, Washington Post or New York Times picked it up. With the Tavis Smiley show on NPR, it quite possibly would have made it above the fold, blogs or not.

The story won't be as devastating as it was to the GOP for the past week, but it confirms for many who may have been wobbly just how deeply entrenced the racism runs for the Republicans. I suppose they'll concentrate even more efforts on excluding black/minority voters from the polls than registering them.

In that second sentence, owillis has put his finger on the story that may next find its way above the fold now that the Lott saga has reminded and interested the press in racial politics. It means more scrutiny of judical appointments like Pickering's, too...

The whole era of jim crow and the civil rights struggle that overturned it is recent, not ancient history no matter how right may try to spin and change the subject. People may crow, true or false, about how the right led the charge on Lott and yet there's still Ashcroft's dirty CofCC and Southern Patriot linen still waving in the breeze. Lott's blurt may keep echoing yet.
posted by y2karl at 11:31 AM on December 20, 2002


look around, see any pandering to racist voters in the Publican party?

So Republicans appealing to voters with Republican platforms is racist? Is or is not Federalism a racist goal? Is it not part of the mainstream Republican platform?

As a Libertarian I can't help but to feel insulted that a great part of what my party stands for is repeatedly reduced to "racism", just so one mainstream party can throw child accusations at another to scare all the shaky suburban soccer moms into giving them their swing vote. I'm going to call this the Democratic "Soccer Strategy", which is just as malevolent as Nixon's Southern one. (But hey, it must be alright to vilify others if it helps out The Team, eh?)
posted by dgaicun at 11:32 AM on December 20, 2002


Oh wait....
posted by dgaicun at 11:35 AM on December 20, 2002


So he gave up his leadership post? So what.

The only pertinent question is:

When will Republicans finally, finally do the right thing and demand that racist Lott resign FROM THE SENATE?

This scum is still a United States Senator, fer chrissakes.

For Republicans (the party of choice for other reputable politicians like, oh, David Duke) to tolerate Lott's continued presence in the Senate speaks volumes about their real agenda on race.

For the love of God, how much racism (over years) will these Republican people tolerate? Lott's record (info thanks to Derrick Jackson, Boston Globe):

1960s - fights to keep his fraternity "all white" nationwide.

1975 - votes against extension of the Voting Rights Act.

1976 - votes to keep judges from awarding costs to attorneys representing plaintiffs who won civil rights suits.

1979 - votes to ban school busing.

1980 - praises Strom Thurmond in echo of recent "wouldn't be in same mess if Thurmond had been elected" bullshit.

1981 - helps Bob Jones University (which bans interracial dating) lobby for tax exempt status.

1982 - votes AGAIN against extending the Voting Rights Act.

1983 - opposes Martin Luther King holiday.

1998 - Says "I feel closer to Jefferson Davis than any other man in America."

1983 - again supports amendment to give tax exempt status to Bob Jones University.

1984 - "The spirit of Jefferson Davis lives in the 1984 Republican platform."

1988 - votes against administrative penalities in housing discrimination.

1989 - votes against ML King holiday commision funding.

1990 - one of FOUR in entire Senate to vote against hate crime categorization by race. Votes against restoration of affirmative action programs.

1992 - Tells Council of Conservative Citizens - "The people in this room stand for the right principles...."

1994 - votes to support amendment to strip funding from King holiday. Votes against use of racial statistics in death penalty appeals.

1995 - votes to end affirmative action in federal contracts.

1997 - votes against affirmative action.

1998 - votes against affirmative action.

2000 - votes against expansion of hate crimes laws inclusive of gay and lesbian people.

2001 - only Senator to vote against appointment of a black judge to 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

2002 - After latest racist diatribe, Republicans finally, FINALLY (after a little prodding from the left) find the testicular mass to express a little concern about their man Lott. Virtually all Republican concern revolves not around how wrong Lott's racism might be, but how it might affect the 2004 elections. GW "Bob Jones" Bush (who no doubt was coached by his father George "Willie Horton" Bush to use all the right "code words" to utter during the campaign to assuage Republican racists) worries about alienating southern voters if he comes down too hard on Lott. He never finds the guts to actually step up to the plate and call for Lott to step down as majority leader. Bush decides the bravest thing he can do as Our Leader to show displeasure for racism is to kinda sorta snub Lott a little bit. You know. In that special way that maybe won't alienate all those Republicans who agree with Lott.

And now who's a possible replacement? Don Nickles, Republican from Oklahoma? Check his record on the King holiday, Bob Jones University, and affirmative action. Much difference? Check the records of other southern Republican Senators.

And for oissubke and his/her Republican friends who, after all this, unbelievably and nauseatingly and pathetically STILL contend that Lott is really not a racist -- everyone must wonder just what someone has to do in the Republican party to be considered such. A return to lynchings? Obviously over the years Republicans tolerated Lott because they felt his politics reflected their own. Obviously, many still do.

And the pertinent question remains: when will Republicans finally, finally do the right thing and demand that racist Lott (and so many Republican politicians who echo Lott's views) resign their offices?

America deserves better.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:45 AM on December 20, 2002


The Democrats, with all their howling and feigned outrage, have managed to eliminate one of the Republican weak spots that they could have instead taken advantage of during the next elections. Now the Reps will probably get a more "politically correct" (and probably more Bush-loyal) leader in there.

The Dems kicked themselves in the pants with this one.


I may be too soft-hearted, but I think it's just barely possible that removing a racist from the most powerful position in the Senate was simply the right thing to do.

And as mdn said, how much of a liability would he have become if they had ignored the problem? It would have been forgotten quickly and they'd have missed their chance to score points with black voters (clearly the party's most important constituency at the moment).
posted by Epenthesis at 11:45 AM on December 20, 2002


FREE MUMIA!!!!

Right Fold_and_Mutilate?
posted by dgaicun at 11:49 AM on December 20, 2002


When someone runs by dirty tricks, particularly dirty tricks involving pandering to someone's racism, then there is something wrong. No, not all Republicans are racists. Not all Southern Republicans are even racist, but there are enough to make a serious difference in an election. Why else would Bush campaigners call around asking SC voters if they would be less likely to vote for McCain in the primary if they found out he had fathered an illegitimate, black child? Oh, I suppose it was the illegitimate part that was supposed to really get the people talking, no? The Democrats in the south have a history too, George Wallace lost to Floyd Patterson in the 50's and vowed never to be "out segged" again in an election, he wasn't. Difference is that After George got shot (after winning the Michigan primary) Nixon's boys started to try to out segg the old yellow dogs and succeeded. The problem is that now you've got a whole class of guys who grew up in the post Nixon GOP like Lott that were drawn in by their segregationist views. How the hell do you weed these sleazy bastards out from the ones that ran on legitimate Republican platforms? Its going to take a couple of generations of nobody running on segregation before nobody wins through segregation. Hopefully this is the turning point.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:52 AM on December 20, 2002


Yes, dgaicun, it's perfectly fine for the dems to script a strategy that capitalizes on the Lott episode. I would go further and say that it is a moral imperative for the dems to get as much milage out of the Lott mess as possible. The dems are on the correct side of this issue and they should push it for all it's worth. The republicans are on the completely wrong side of this issue and they cannot change their voting records. Republicans are dead in the water if the national debate turns from war and tax cuts to social justice, education, jobs and race.

And remember, Clinton's been staying out of the spotlight in deference to Gore. Now that Gore's not running, I think we will see some bomb throwing - not from the back row - but from outside. Bill will figure in the next election, not as a candidate (obviously), more of a DNC godfather type.

It's a fight for the future of our country. I doubt that it's going to be pretty.
posted by chris0495 at 11:52 AM on December 20, 2002


The republicans are on the completely wrong side of this issue and they cannot change their voting records. Republicans are dead in the water if the national debate turns from war and tax cuts to social justice, education, jobs and race.

In other words, the Republicans are in the wrong because they vote Republican, which, of course, is objectively wrong.
Sheesh.

. . .And thus is the vision of the Anointed
posted by dgaicun at 11:59 AM on December 20, 2002


I don't think you read that right. The Republicans that defend and commit the sort of behavior that Lott and his lot do are in the wrong. Its OK to be a Republican, to have right leaning opinions, but its not allright to try and push a segregationist agenda. Lott is NOT on track with the GOP platform, he's got a couple planks extra, and you want HIM running the party in the Senate?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:09 PM on December 20, 2002


The Dems kicked themselves in the pants with this one.

You give the spineless ones too much credit. This one has Rove's fingerprints all over it. I didn't even hear the Dems whispering in the halls of Congress, only the Wurlitzer amplifiers of Rove.

In other words, the Republicans are in the wrong because they vote Republican, which, of course, is objectively wrong.

If casting a racist vote is "voting Republican" then yes it's wrong. However, you conveniently omit the fact there are still many "party of Lincoln" Republicans that do not cast the racist votes or use racism to garner votes. Only the "good old boy" Southern Publicans from Miss. and Texas and Fla., etc. play that game.
posted by nofundy at 12:14 PM on December 20, 2002


Look, Bush won't defend the guy, Powell won't, Cheney won't, why would anyone? The guy let fly some sentiments that were akin to getting caught with a live boy or a dead girl, political suicide in 2002. I for one am overjoyed that expressing segregationist viewpoints (something even Strom has buried in the closet for the last 40 years) is a sure fire way to get yourself canned from high office. It may actually mean that those days are starting to be over (a boy can dream can't he?)!

Oh, and nofundy, don't just point fingers at the south, racism is rampant ALL OVER this country and the race bait is good fishin' in each and every state in the union, don't kid yourself.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:17 PM on December 20, 2002


Lott was stupid and is paying the price. So what. Maybe Republicans will put in place a more effective leader.

However, as a middle class white heterosexual man, I view Democrats as blacks might view the KKK. Democrats continue to push for laws that discriminate against me on the basis of my race, sexual orientation, gender and income.
posted by paleocon at 12:18 PM on December 20, 2002


mdn writes: "(no ex-Nazis get 100th birthday parties...); "

Well at least one did. Be sure to scroll down to the photo of Leni w/ Sigfried and Roy.

http://www.dasblauelicht.net/leni_riefenstahl_centennial.htm

2sheets says
"I think Lott likes black people in the same way my old southern grandad liked them. He was the boss man, and he would hang out and drink with them in pool halls. A few of his black co-workers would come by on Christmas eve and visit, and I know he helped them out with loans and such. I think he had a genuine affection for those guys.
And he still referred to them as "niggers". Not in a hateful, spiteful way, it was just the word he used.
Was he racist? Most certainly.
Did he hate black people? Not at all."


Or maybe he only hated the uppity ones, like James Meredith

If Republicans think this is going away, well, KBISFB




posted by Mack Doggy at 12:19 PM on December 20, 2002


However, as a middle class white heterosexual man, I view Democrats as blacks might view the KKK. --paleocon
Keep your ear against the radio speaker and your dial tuned to Rush...mustn't let reality get in...
posted by goethean at 12:27 PM on December 20, 2002


you want HIM running the party in the Senate?


NO!!!!


I said nothing to suggest that, and it was never my issue. The issue was the bigoted Democratic 'Soccer Strategy', that involves vilifying Republicans (using the same generalized terms that racists use) for political advantage. There is no Segregationist Agenda hiding in the Republican party. Opposition to Affirmative Action and 'hate-crimes', or even an MLK holiday is not a Segregationist Agenda!
posted by dgaicun at 12:28 PM on December 20, 2002


dgaicun: FREE MUMIA!!!!

Right Fold_and_Mutilate?


and

In other words, the Republicans are in the wrong because they vote Republican, which, of course, is objectively wrong.
Sheesh.


Do you bother reading what other people have written before commenting? It looks to me that you just assume that if it comes from a slightly liberal point of view that it is a bash against the Republicans.

Foldy lists the particulars of Lott's voting record, you can't counter, so you make a lame attempt at a troll. chris0495 makes a comment about the Republican voting record on racially charged issues and you make another lame quip, without even understanding that his commment is a reflection on the voting records of Republican Senators and not the general conservative voting populace. Nice addition to the conversation. If I was a hard core liberal, I'd be glad to have you around.

The truth is that Lott is racist. The problem exists. There is no logical way to believe otherwise. Once the problem is recognized, the next step is to work on a solution. Instead, though, the Republicans are trying to dance around it. What is this crap about you knowing that I know what you know that I think I know what Lott meant. Look at fold_and_mutilate's list again and tell me with a straight face that I misunderstood Lott's statements or misunderstand his intentions.

I will tell you, with a straight face, that you are full of shit.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:29 PM on December 20, 2002


"certain Republican Senators" that should read.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:30 PM on December 20, 2002


Oh, and nofundy, don't just point fingers at the south, racism is rampant ALL OVER this country and the race bait is good fishin' in each and every state in the union, don't kid yourself.

mea culpa
you are correct
posted by nofundy at 12:45 PM on December 20, 2002


lame attempt at a troll

Look, F&M is a hit&run poster with inflammatory positions, such as affirmative action is racist. You think calling someone a racist and then running away is fair? Don't talk to me about 'trolling'.

Look at fold_and_mutilate's list again and tell me with a straight face that I misunderstood Lott's statements or misunderstand his intentions.


That list tells me nothing about a Segregationist faction within the modern Republican party. I understand that people within mainstream politics have different opinions, but none predicated on harm to black people. Statements like these:

"They try to suppress black voting, they ran on the Confederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina, and from top to bottom the Republicans supported it."

. . .are manipulative and false. Republicans ( from top-to-bottom!!) did not try to suppress black voting. This is absurd. The sooner the better, that paleo-conservatives are finally out of Republican office, but I am not seeing any broad racist agendas, just distasteful people who support legislation I disagree with.

I will tell you, with a straight face, that you are full of shit.

??
posted by dgaicun at 12:55 PM on December 20, 2002


dgaicun:
So Republicans appealing to voters with Republican
platforms is racist? Is or is not Federalism a racist goal? Is it not part of the mainstream Republican platform?

As a Libertarian I can't help but to feel insulted that a great part of what my party stands for is repeatedly reduced to "racism", just so one mainstream party can throw child[ish] accusations at another to scare all the shaky suburban soccer moms into giving them their swing vote.


Neither support for federalism or opposition to affirmative action is inherently racist. But there's an old saying in politics: "You've got to dance with them that brung you." Republicans who oppose affirmative action sometimes have to rely on making coalitions with unrepentant racists in order to get the working majority they need in order to implement their policies. So opposing affirmative action doesn't make you a racist, but if you benefit from the political support of racists, you shouldn't be surprised if some of the mud directed against them hits you. By the way, you say you are Libertarian with a capital "L," but it's unclear whether you are a member of the Libertarian Party or a libertarian Republican. I think being a member of the Libertarian Party would be one way to promote federalism and oppose affirmative action programs for principled antistatist reasons without getting into morally questionable alliances with Southern racism. For example, libertarianism and American federalism have close ideological connections, but sadly a lot of "federalists" in the Southern wing of the GOP are not libertarians, but authoritarians who believe that the wrong side won the Civil War.
posted by jonp72 at 1:01 PM on December 20, 2002


change to -. . . opposition to affirmitive action is racist (though inflammatory either way)
posted by dgaicun at 1:02 PM on December 20, 2002


Look, F&M is a hit&run poster with inflammatory positions

No. F&M is a poster with positions contrary to yours.

You think calling someone a racist and then running away is fair?

Running away? Running away from where? This is a weblog. Foldy made a post that supports his position with a good deal of info to back it up. Where does this running thing come from?

That list tells me nothing about a Segregationist faction within the modern Republican party

I don't recall the phrase "Segregationist faction" in Foldy's post. He points out that it is a matter of public record that there are other US Senators that seem to share Lott's voting decisions when it comes to issues that are race related.

So I repeat: Do you bother to read anyone's posts or do you just immediatly dismiss them because they don't follow your party's line?
posted by eyeballkid at 1:08 PM on December 20, 2002


When will Republicans finally, finally do the right thing and demand that racist Lott resign FROM THE SENATE?

I am definitely a lefty, and I still say that if Mississippians want to elect a racist senator that is their prerogative. However, if that same senator is the majority leader -- and therefore makes legislative decisions that effect the entire country and its direction -- then it is time for him to stand down from his position as majority leader (which he has).
posted by terrapin at 1:11 PM on December 20, 2002


FREE MUMIA!!!!

Right Fold_and_Mutilate?


Ignore all he wote and then put words in his mouth.

Typical.
posted by y2karl at 1:23 PM on December 20, 2002


wrote, to be sure...
posted by y2karl at 1:24 PM on December 20, 2002


And the pertinent question remains: when will Republicans finally, finally do the right thing and demand that racist Lott (and so many Republican politicians who echo Lott's views) resign their offices?

Right on! Then, we need to reeducate those dumb hicks down in Mississippi that actually voted for the man!
posted by groundhog at 1:25 PM on December 20, 2002


jonp72, I'm a member of the Libertarian Party. I support, mostly, Libertarian policies, and seemingly, it shouldn't matter why someone else votes for these policies as well.

you shouldn't be surprised if some of the mud directed against them hits you.

Yeah, but is that mud justified? I'm saying it isn't.

Though intentionally appealing to racism is ethically wrong, but I think there should be a demand for a stricter criteria for evidence than it seems to be getting. Nixon obviously did, but did Ronny, did W? I'm not so sure that's the case. I would need to see broad patterns, and lots of evidence of support from the upper-tiers of government, and I don't see much convincing data that there has been any for at least twenty years.

eyeball kid,

Do you bother to read anyone's posts or do you just immediately dismiss them because they don't follow your party's line?

I immediately dismiss posts that initially assume I support racist policies, b/c there is no room to work with that. In all my encounters with F&M, he screams at me, and never responds. He usually pops in, writes an unbalanced screed, and leaves. Others have noted it before. I do apologize though, my quip was unnecessary. The second one was too, I deserve to be called-out, though Chris basically said, I' hope the Democrats get more voters b/c of the Lott mess, b/c I like their policies better', which was a pretty shallow statement.
posted by dgaicun at 1:30 PM on December 20, 2002


Republicans ( from top-to-bottom!!) did not try to suppress black voting. This is absurd.

I would need to see broad patterns, and lots of evidence of support from the upper-tiers of government, and I don't see much convincing data that there has been any for at least twenty years.


One word for you: Redistricting. The GOP is taking their plans to crack, stack and pack black voters out of any position of power through the judicial system as we speak. This agenda does not stop at the Mississippi line either, we're talking all the states, even "Liberal" ones like New York. So don't tell me that its absurd to think they are suppressing black voters. This is a REALITY!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:40 PM on December 20, 2002


I' hope the Democrats get more voters b/c of the Lott mess, b/c I like their policies better', which was a pretty shallow statement.

I don't think it's a very shallow statement. Deep down, that's pretty much how it works. I'm not ashamed to say that I hope more people vote democratic because of this whole mess. Many of my right-leaning friends made similar comments during the Clinton scandal.

While Lott is only one person, and it isn't fair to characterize a group based on the actions of an individual, I do think it speaks volumes about the policies of the Republican party. After all, he was the majority speaker, and was chosen by his peer's to lead.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:46 PM on December 20, 2002


Don't know if I like the way this has gone down, but I honestly believed it wouldn't go anywhere. Has reaffirmed my faith in humanity somewhat. Just one nagging concern...people seem more concerned that he's a racist than that he's a segregationist. I really don't give a damn what the cracker believes, so long as he doesn't want to make laws about it. Honestly, I could care less how racist anyone in government is. Most of these people believe in a man who lives in the sky and sends rabbits to give them candy...I don't think a little racism is going to make them any more dangerous.

Where he stepped over the line was saying, basically, "there should have been laws to keep black people down." He should have said, "I wish black people would just go back to Africa...but there's not really anything I can do about it because I love the Bill of Rights." Would anybody have seen the difference, though? He'd probably still have to step down, because he's a racist. I really wonder about people...but at least this is a positive outcome so far.
posted by son_of_minya at 2:05 PM on December 20, 2002


The online community definitely made this situation happen. They made print and television report the story. It's just that someone besides Freepers making a difference online is too hard a pill for some to swallow. Hey, even some conservative blogs were in on this before the New York Times and the Washington Post. Lott's history of (apparently) supporting segregation got him in trouble, not just what he said at a party. He can believe what he wants, but he just happens to be one of the most powerful lawmakers in Washington DC.

If anything, this story proves (yet again) that the liberal media doesn't exist. It's sensationalist, not liberal. Actually, the media have been kissing Bush's ass so long, it was refreshing to see a Republican get criticized anywhere. Especially, after all the time spent repeating the various Al Gore, Gary Condit, Barbra Streisand, Paul Wellstone memorial service, RNC/talk-radio-created spin.

I also laugh at the hypocrites that drag out all of the tired Southern stereotypes. Why is it wrong to stereotype anyone on the planet Earth except Southerners here in America? That's typical PC garbage.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 2:21 PM on December 20, 2002


'Cause we're such toothless, shoeless, bigoted morons, that's why Barney! Actually Barney, you should pick up a copy of the Redneck Manifesto worth a read if you want to trace the stereotyping and bad mouthing of the hillbilly in America.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:26 PM on December 20, 2002


I don't need to pick up or trace anything. If people want to believe the worst about the South and Southerners, that's their ignorance. Certainly, it's shows what hypocrites PC types are.

Also, a big howdy to MidasMulligan, who busted my balls for posting this story in the first place.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 2:36 PM on December 20, 2002


the Republicans are trying to dance around it.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm fairly impressed that Republicans aren't dancing around it. I had the misfortune of catching Fox News the other night, and most of the conservatives asked indicated that Lott had made a huge mistake.

Oh well, I guess any MeFi thread is an excuse to pee your pants over what conservatives are doing/saying.
posted by dhoyt at 2:41 PM on December 20, 2002


Unless you're conservative or libertarian--then you pee yourself over whatever the liberals say.
posted by y2karl at 2:48 PM on December 20, 2002


I don't really need an excuse to pee my pants. That said, hey, chill Barney, I agree with you, I think you'd like the Redneck Manifesto, it shares your (our) beliefs on this issue too, but backs it all up with lots of facts and examples, that's good right?
posted by Pollomacho at 2:50 PM on December 20, 2002


Unless you're conservative or libertarian--

No, first you get shouted down by about fifty shrill college kids with no life experience, and then you pee yourself.
posted by dhoyt at 2:54 PM on December 20, 2002


I could care less how racist anyone in government is. Most of these people believe in a man who lives in the sky and sends rabbits to give them candy...I don't think a little racism is going to make them any more dangerous.

Son_of_Minya, I'm going to tattoo this on my back, and move to the beach.
posted by dgaicun at 3:02 PM on December 20, 2002


Unless you're conservative or libertarian--then you pee yourself over whatever the liberals say.

Rest assured, Libertarians are peeing themselves all the time over things conservatives say.
posted by dgaicun at 3:06 PM on December 20, 2002


As pointed out on CalPundit, and linked to on owillis' blog, I sincerely hope that there comes a day when we look upon the overt and rampant homophobia that currently corrodes our government with as much distaste as we do Lott's sentiments today.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 3:26 PM on December 20, 2002


I'm thinking of the kiddies wading pool in the little Idaho town where I grew up--the park department, such as it was, got a bit slack about flushing and refilling it and it had a tendency to get a distinct yellow tinge after a week's worth of babies and toddlers visits. Which was most unappealing. So, they painted the sides and bottom blue--then it just turned green.

There's some metaphor somewhere there...
posted by y2karl at 3:27 PM on December 20, 2002


No, first you get shouted down by about fifty shrill college kids with no life experience

Ahh, I remember my younger days as an immature, reality-defying Ayn Randoid. 'Twas bliss, it was.
posted by Ty Webb at 3:36 PM on December 20, 2002


I agree with others here that Lott is resigning for the wrong reasons; he's not resigning because of his voting record, or his racist associations like the CCC, or even his statement at Strom's birthday. He's resigning because the party has determined that he's a political liability after not being able to clean up his mess. While I agree with the end result, I wish it were clearly stated by President Bush and the incoming majority leader that Trent's ideology - supporting the pre-Civil War South as an ideal, despite their treason in support of slavery, first and foremost - is absolutely incompatible with modern life and modern government, and that they personally denounce such ideals.

The Democratic party has shown its failings as an opposition party. I did not hear one Democrat even answer "yes" to the question "Is Trent Lott racist?" Like anyone else who isn't keeping a white-knuckle grip on their internalized racism, whether they can admit it to themselves or not, I can clearly see that Trent Lott does not consider blacks equal to whites, does not believe that the injustice of the past and inequity of the present faced by blacks in this country is a serious concern, and does not think that honoring leaders that lead this country out of its moral poverty (MLK) is valuable. Why can't the Democrats say this? Are they too afraid of the right-turn American politics has taken to even consider offending those bigots that would never consider voting Democratic in the first place?

Yes, many American people are racist. And being as we have a representative government, those racists expect to be represented as well. So not only do we see that pigs like Lott can rise to high power within government, we also have to see that many people in this country either support their racist views or don't think that their representative's bigotry is any concern. I've always known this. I've experienced it personally. I think many in government know this too. I just wish they had the guts to seriously confront those who use "code words" and evasion to support their racist intentions, and not just the morons who don't know better than to praise segregation on camera.
posted by billpena at 4:11 PM on December 20, 2002


I did not hear one Democrat even answer "yes" to the question "Is Trent Lott racist?"

NEWS ALERT: Democrats are politicians.

Trent's comment was just ambigous enough that for anyone who called him a straight out racist they would be tar and feathered immediately for playing "the race card".

most of the conservatives asked indicated that Lott had made a huge mistake

This was only after days of condemnation. Noted conservatives like Bob Novak, Sean Hannity and Pat Buchanan are still carrying the Trent Lott torch. Hell, Pat kept saying Lott had been "lynched" in a decidedly irony-free manner. Even JC Watts was pro-Lott until sometime in the last few days he got a memo from the President reminding him that he should act like a human every once in a while.
posted by owillis at 4:30 PM on December 20, 2002


jonp72, I'm a member of the Libertarian Party. I support, mostly, Libertarian policies, and seemingly, it shouldn't matter why someone else votes for these policies as well.

you shouldn't be surprised if some of the mud directed against them hits you.

Yeah, but is that mud justified? I'm saying it isn't.


Thanks. I actually respect you more as a Libertarian. I even voted Libertarian for Lieutenant Governor in California, but that was mainly a protest vote.

However, in a winner-take-all political system like the U.S., you have to build coalitions so that you can get a simple majority vote. In order to win a majority, political parties (whether they're liberal or conservative) sometimes have to do business with unsavory characters. In the southern wing of the GOP, the "unsavory" types are generally racists. The GOP, just like the Dems or any other political party, sometimes has to answer for the behavior of their more disreputable supporters. That's just a fact of political life.

So to answer your question, "Is that mud justified?" I would say that mudslinging is certainly justified when directed at a racist. The "collateral damage" mudslinging at non-racists in the GOP coalition is not justified, but it's completely naive to expect that it's not going to happen. Even if you grant that the GOP as a national organization (as opposed to its Southern wing) is not intentionally appealing to racism, common sense, political experience, and modern polling techniques gives political parties a very solid grasp on who is in the coalition that wins them elections. This is why I find it hard to believe that the GOP can truly be ignorant of any boost it gets in elections from the racist vote, especially since Nixon's "Southern Strategy" is a historical fact documented by the very people who implemented it (e.g., Kevin Phillips). Accepting votes from racists and not saying anything to condemn those racists can be just as bad as intentionally appealing to racism.
posted by jonp72 at 5:29 PM on December 20, 2002


Time Magazine: "If Lott didn't see the storm coming, it was in part because it was so slow in building. The papers did not make note of his comments until days after he had made them. But the stillness was broken by the hum of Internet 'bloggers' who were posting their outrage and compiling rap sheets of Lott's earlier comments."

Please direct all further bitching about blogs-n-Lott to Time Magazine.
posted by skimble at 5:42 PM on December 20, 2002


Thank God! Now the high moral and ethical standards of our professional politicians will be restored to the...what the hell am I thinking? This changes nothing.
posted by Mack Twain at 6:57 PM on December 20, 2002


Let me state once again. For all the insipid whining about omnipresent and ethereal racism, the only state sanctioned discrimination laws are those enacted by Democrats against white heterosexual professional males.
posted by paleocon at 9:51 PM on December 20, 2002


Trent Lott is exactly the same guy today that he was 20 years ago. His fitness to serve in the Senate has neither increased nor decreased. His comments and attitudes could have been a big deal any day you picked. Somebody picked this day.

What is actually happening is that Karl Rove has succeeded in completing the GWBush takeover of the Republican party (as Bush 41 never did) by replacing the biggest remaining independent GOP power broker with someone beholden to him for getting the job. And you have to admit that he played the pols, press and public like an orchestra to do it.

Now racism will disappear as a talking point, because Rove can't afford that genie staying out of the bottle too long, for fear of who else it might tag at random.

For me the funniest aspect of this whole thing is the spectacle of Trent Lott standing up next to Strom Thurmond, who sits drifting in his centenarian fog at the voter's expense, and everybody wants to know what LOTT is doing being a Senator!
posted by anser at 7:10 AM on December 21, 2002


Wow, did anyone else first read that as Lotr?
posted by delmoi at 10:05 AM on December 21, 2002


Sauron In "Racist" Shocker
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:20 AM on December 21, 2002


Sauron? That's giving Lott way too much power. Lott is, at best, the Witch King of the Nazgul.
posted by Dr. Boom at 11:43 AM on December 21, 2002


paleocon, please. If nobody rose for it the first time, why cast the same line twice with the same bait?
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:06 PM on December 21, 2002


When challenged about the racial nature of the rhetoric, the Southern Strategist would defend himself by claiming ignorance: "I didn't mean that, of course." The intended target of the message — the racist voter — understood completely, while leaving the politician "plausible deniability" with non-racist voters.

And so for decades, this approach has lingered. The controversy over the Martin Luther King holiday is a perfect example. Republicans (and some Democrats) playing the Southern strategy cast the debate as a question of the economic impact of giving government workers a day off, ignoring the appeal of honoring an American hero.

The Confederate flag debate is another example. The Southern Strategist casts the debate as a matter of state pride, claiming that the Civil War was about "states' rights" not slavery — an absurd assertion that neglects the fact that the only state right truly at issue was the right to enslave Africans...


As the Southern strategy unfolded in the Nixon era some of us argued that it was not only morally bankrupt but short-sighted: racism's ugliness might linger for many years, but racism was without a doubt dissolving in our pluralist society. The strategy might work for a while, we said, but in the long run it would drive black voters from our party, possibly for good, and it offered no replacements for the white racist voters as they gradually died off.

And now, Trent Lott's epic fall is a sign that the long run is upon us. That he was done in by the sort of comment he and other Southern Republicans have been able to get away with for decades — using that old "I didn't really mean it" line when they got caught — shows that the Southern strategy it now as ineffective as it is immoral.
Republicans must now decide where we should take our party. We can go with President Bush, who reminded us that "every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals." Or we can hang on to the divisive politics of racism and sink gradually, but inevitably, into oblivion.


Linwood Holton, a Republican, was governor of Virginia from 1970 to 1974.
posted by y2karl at 7:48 AM on December 23, 2002


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