December 12, 2002

BILL HERBERT ON TRENT LOTT'S LATEST explanation, that he was really supporting Strom Thurmond's commitment to defense and limited government: "Sorry, not buying it." Herbert goes on to note:

This might be believable if Thurmond had actually run on those issues -- or any other issues besides "segregation forever," for that matter. . . .

What I find particularly galling about his statement is that the Dixiecrats were hardly conservative about anything but race. They were Big Government Liberals who happened to also be racist, in the William Jennings Bryan tradition. Thus, someone who calls himself a Conservative should find the Strom Thurmond of 1948 far more abhorrent than other racists, and certainly less palatable than other Democrats of the time.

There's more.

UPDATE: Reader Chip Taylor emails this response to Lott:

So THAT'S why the Dixiecrats split from the Dems. The man who dropped the bomb on Japan wasn't hawkish enough.

I'm glad Sen. Lott cleared that up; I thought it was something else.

Heh. Charles Krauthammer is brutal in the Post:

What is so appalling about Lott's remarks is not the bigotry but the blindness. One should be very hesitant about ascribing bigotry. It is hard to discern what someone feels in his heart of hearts. It is less hard to discern what someone sees, particularly if he tells you. Lott sees the civil rights movement and "all these problems over all these years." He missed the whole story.

Backbenchers might be permitted such a lack of vision. Leaders are not. Lott must step down.

I think we've passed the tipping point. I'd say we're likely to hear an announcement that Lott won't run for Majority Leader sometime tomorrow afternoon. For the GOP's sake, I'd better be right.

UPDATE: My mistake -- he's already been elected for the next term. I somehow had the idea that it was just a straw vote, with the real one coming later. He still needs to go.