by John Hawkins | December 12, 2002 10:16 am
Time For Lott To Step Aside: Among the prominent Conservatives, Republicans, and respected Libertarians who have explicitly called for Trent Lott to step down as Majority Leader are…
Neal Boortz, Linda Chavez, Jonah Goldberg, David Horrowitz, Jeff Jacoby, Charles Krauthammer, Deroy Murdock, Peggy Noonan, Glenn Reynolds, Thomas Sowell, Andrew Sullivan, & Armstrong Williams.
Even if you simply think Lott simply made a mistake in phrasing and didn’t mean to make a statement that sounded racist, do you really think Lott can effectively lead the Senate now? It’s one thing to have a bunch of ultra-sensitive liberals calling you a racist since they’ll make the charge at the drop of a hat. But, when a significant portion of your own Conservative base is questioning whether you’re a racist or not, you’re going to be politically crippled. So I’m imploring Trent Lott to do the right thing & step down as majority leader. That’s what a real leader who actually cares about the Party would do in a situation like this.
***Update***: President Bush has not asked Trent Lott to step down — at least publicly. However, according to the Washington Post, GWB has weighed in on Lott’s comments personally now. W. said…
“This great and prosperous land must become a single nation of justice and opportunity. We must continue our advance toward full equality for every citizen, which demands … a guarantee of civil rights for all.
Any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive and it is wrong. Recent comments by Senator Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country.
He has apologized, and rightly so. Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals. And the founding ideals of our nation and, in fact, the founding ideals of the political party I represent was and remains today the equal dignity and equal rights of every American.”
***Update #2***: I caught Lott’s apology on radio while I was driving home tonight and unlike some other pundits, I thought he sounded sincere.
That being said — it changes nothing. Lott is too politically crippled to be an effective Senate Majority Leader. The comments he made are sticking because he took so long to effectively address the situation and more importantly because Lott has been involved in several other small race based flaps in the past. Leaders have to be held to higher standards and unfortunately for Trent Lott, he isn’t cutting it. There is no way we in the GOP can be taken seriously when we talk about how important a color blind world is when we have Trent Lott as Senate Majority Leader. To maintain credibility on the issue for the GOP, Lott will have to step down and let someone else take up the leadership role — unless we want to do the same thing the Democrats did throughout the Clinton years and slavishly support the indefensible. The Democrats paid a heavy price for that at the ballot box and we will too if Lott remains in place…
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