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April 08, 2004

PEOPLE SEEM TO BE NOTICING Sen. Chris Dodd's racially insensitive comments, as the story is breaking into traditional media:

WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- A mini-scandal has erupted in Congress as some Senate Republicans question whether comments made by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., were racist.

In a speech on the Senate floor last Thursday marking Sen. Robert Byrd's 17,000th vote in the body, Dodd said the West Virginia Democrat, member of the Ku Klux Klan before taking office and opponent of the 1964 Civil Right Act, "would have been right during the great conflict of Civil War in this nation."

Dodd's comments struck some as similar to remarks made by former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., that led to his losing the position.

Read the whole thing. Strangely, though bloggers on the right were swift to condemn Trent Lott's comments, bloggers on the left don't seem to be condemning Dodd's with anything like the same degree of energy. As Jeff Goldstein notes, some are even trying to defend Dodd's comments. And Joe Gandelman has a roundup.

UPDATE: More here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More from Chris Dodd, here. Has Dodd said anything about this that I've missed?

Like Lott, he could have shut this down early with a simple statement that he didn't mean that the U.S. would have been better off with a Grand Kleagle in charge during the Civil War. How hard is that?

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