by John Hawkins | December 10, 2002 5:26 pm
The GOP Vs. Trent Lott: Some of the comments from Conservatives and members of the GOP about Lott’s comments…
Rush Limbaugh had this to say about Lott’s comments, “What Lott said is utterly indefensible and stupid. I don’t even want to attempt to explain or defend it. Yes, there’s a double standard on this stuff, but you have to take this into account before you open your stupid mouth.”
David Horowitz says adios to Lott, “If he was oblivious to the implications of his outrageous remarks at Thurmond’s party, that is reason enough for him to step down as Republican leader in the Senate. The stakes are simply too high to allow this kind of political stupidity (which is to put the best spin on it) to pass without consequence. It is bad for the Republican Party and for the country.”
My comments from yesterday, “(I)t’s absolutely inexcusable for the Senate Majority Leader to say that sort of thing… 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….”
Robert George In National Review says, “Ultimately though Bush, Rove, and Co. have to ask: “an George W. Bush and the Republican party really afford to have Trent Lott (R., Miss.) be its face in the United States Senate?…Do they want someone who deserves to be Senate Majority Leader – or a man who seems to continually fantasize being white majority leader?”
Andrew Sullivan On Lott, “Trent Lott Must Go: Sorry to those who think I’m making too much of this. But it seems to me that the G.O.P. has zero credibility on racial matters until they get rid of this man as Senate Majority Leader.”
Jonah Goldberg of National Review weighs in, “His remarks…were incandescently idiotic according to any criteria….On the facts, Lott’s comments were dumb. Morally, they were indefensible. Politically, they served to confirm the suspicions of millions of blacks and liberal whites about what is in the hearts of conservatives and Republicans while earning him nothing but a smile from a 100 year-old man.”
Armstrong Williams concludes, “Then as now, there was scarcely little condemnation amongst Mr. Lott’s colleagues. This needs to change. Our Republican leaders cannot keep squinting their eyes to Lott’s racial insensitivity. As congressmen, they bear a dual responsibility to represent the nation’s conscience and to act as respectable faceplates for the party. By giving Lott a pass on his racist-seeming remarks, they’ve suggested the worst kind of stereotype: that lurking beneath the Republican party is a private identity that harkens back to a time when blacks were valued only as a cheap source of labor.”
Former Bush speechwriter David Frum writes, “What came out of his mouth was the most emphatic repudiation of desegregation to be heard from a national political figure since George Wallace’s first presidential campaign. Lott’s words suggest that one of the three most powerful and visible Republicans in the nation privately thinks that desegregation, civil rights, and equal voting rights were all a big mistake.
These would be disgraceful thoughts to think, if Lott thought them. If Lott thought them, any Republican who accepted his leadership would share in the disgrace. So Lott needs to make it clear that he does not in fact think them. He owes his party, his state, his country, and his conscience something more – something much more – than a curt “I am sorry if you were offended.” If he can’t do that, Republicans need to make it clear that Lott no longer speaks for us.”
Virginia Postrel on Lott, “Black voters aren’t the only ones turned off by Jim Crow nostalgia. The best way to position Republicans as intolerant barbarians is to keep Lott around as Senate leader. Plus he’s smarmy.”
Lott is damaged beyond repair with his own party. There is absolutely no way he should remain Senate Majority leader after what he’s said and the insincere sounding apologies he has given afterwards. The best argument that can even be made for Lott at this point is that he’s a bumbling incompetent who keeps putting his foot in his mouth and is not a racist. Is that the sort of guy we need leading the charge in the Senate?
I know we can complain about the hypocrisy of the Democrats over Robert Byrd, Clinton’s segregationist mentor, Jesse Jackson’s “hymietown” comment, etc — but that doesn’t excuse Lott. I think it’s time for a change — and soon.
***Update***: Drudge is now leading with a story from the Washington Post that points out that Lott has made very similar comments before.
Not only do I think that Lott should not be the Senate Majority Leader, I don’t think he will be the Senate Majority Leader when this is over. Lott could survive this sort of beating from the left, but not from the right — and the right is hitting Lott harder than the left. Lott has forever more been politically crippled by his thoughtless words and his abysmal handling of the controversy that surrounded them. So the sooner Trent Lott does the right thing and relinquishes his leadership position, the better.
***Update #2***: Sean Hannity interviews Trent Lott about the controversy which you can listen to the interview on Real Player here. Hannity asks all the right questions and Lott certainly made an effort to sound sincere. But, I honestly think Lott has waited too long, is too badly damaged, and has raised too many legitimate questions of race. I still want Lott gone and I still believe he’s toast as Senate Majority Leader…
***Update #3***: Oh *@%#, Bush has decided to back Lott…
“White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said President Bush backed Lott’s apology and said Lott had sufficiently addressed the issue.
“He has apologized for his statement, and the president understands that that is the final word from Senator Lott in terms of the fact that he said something and has apologized for it,” Fleischer said.
He said Bush is comfortable with Lott as the leader of Senate Republicans. “The president has confidence in him as the Republican leader, unquestionably,” Fleischer said.
Lott said Wednesday he believes the American public understands that people in politics make mistakes and make bad statements.
“I think that people themselves recognize how tough the job is and that you should be focused on the future and not on the past,” he concluded.”
I completely and utterly disagree with the President on this issue. Bush shouldn’t be backing Lott, he should be leading the charge to get rid of him. This is definitely a mistake…
***Update #4***: If you want to get see Trent Lott removed from his position of leadership, feel free to email your Senators from here.
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