by John Hawkins | December 9, 2002 1:43 am
Rough Week-End For The GOP: There was a lot of bad news for the GOP this week-end including…
The firing of Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill, and chief economic adviser Lawrence B. Lindsey: Both O’Neill and Lindsey are smart, competent guys. But, Lindsey was reportedly combative and O’Neil seemed to blurt out some dumb comment about every month or so. If the economy was humming along, both of them might have survived, but with a soft economy, firing them is a good political move – especially since both of them are easily replaceable. In fact, O’Neil’s spot has already been filled by John W. Snow, a smooth talking railroad executive who’ll probably be a better fit than O’Neil. Short-term, the Democrats will get in some cheap shots on this issue but long-term it’s a good move.
Mary Landrieu Defeats Suzanne Haik Terrell In The Louisiana Senate Race: I thought Haik Terrell had the momentum in this race but Landrieu pulled it out. I don’t suppose that this should be a big surprise for anybody since there hasn’t been a GOP Senator in Louisiana since reconstruction. But, this is a significant loss for the GOP for at least a couple of reasons. Not only does Landrieu’s win buoy a Democratic Party that was despondent after the 2002 elections, it also leaves the GOP majority a little thinner than I’d like. If a GOP senator were to die in a state with a Democratic governor and a GOP senator jumped or if let’s say John McCain and Lincoln Chafee were to change parties, the Dems could regain control of the Senate. But that being said, both of those are unlikely scenarios and there is a silver lining — this loss will help keep the GOP from getting cocky — and that’s a good thing.
Trent Lott’s Moronic Comment: Trent Lott had this to say at a 100th birthday party and retirement celebration for Strom Thurmond,
“I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”
Of course, back then Thurmond had been nominated for President by the ultra-racist Dixiecrat faction of the Democratic Party and was fighting against “anti-lynching” laws and was heavily backing segregation. So having Lott say he was “proud of voting for him” and suggesting that “the rest of the country (should have) followed our lead” is a huge blunder.
Now I’m sure Lott only made that comment because he was trying to be nice to Thurmond at his retirement party. However, it’s absolutely inexcusable for the Senate Majority Leader to say that sort of thing — especially since it plays right into the false racist stereotype that Democrats continually try to pin on Republicans. All of this is on top of the fact that I’ve never been particularly impressed with Trent Lott to begin with. Therefore, I can’t say that I’d be unhappy if he were ousted over this remark. Hey, Newt Gingrich made Lott look like Jimmy Carter in the political acumen department and he had to take a bullet for the party over less than this. Maybe Trent can take a lesson from Newt and step aside. I would be pleased if he did….
***Update***: Instapundit is hammering Lott and now Drudge is weighing in. Worse yet, Lott’s remarks were so idiotic that I’m finding myself inclined to agree with Al Sharpton (Let the ice skating tournament in hell begin)…
“According to Sharpton: “Lott’s statements are blatant racism at the highest order, and are insulting to all Americans at a time that America needs to be unified.” In a time of unprecedented attacks on the American way of life, to have the majority leader of the U.S. Senate give tacit support to a white segregationist’s political philosophy, is frightening and offensive.”
“The Republican Party has said that it wants to reach out to minorities, whom have historically felt uncomfortable with being members of their party in any great numbers. Now the Republican Party has an opportunity to show they sincerely reach out, by repudiating Lott’s statements and asking him to step aside as Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.”
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