It's one thing to say that Strom Thurmond should be allowed to celebrate his 100th birthday without people focusing on his allegiance to a hateful and oppressive ideology half a lifetime (er, his lifetime -- for most people it would be a whole lifetime) ago -- just as youthful flings with Marxism may be forgiven later on even if they're nothing to be proud of.
But to say, as Lott did, that the country would be better off if Thurmond had won in 1948 is, well, it's proof that Lott shouldn't be Majority Leader for the Republicans, to begin with. And that's just to begin with. It's a sentiment as evil and loony as wishing that Gus Hall had been elected.
(The official 1948 Democratic Party sample ballot on Atrios' page, by the way, is a must-read. It's easy to forget how things once were. Lott has, apparently. At least, it would be worse if he hasn't.)