Friday, December 13, 2002

Trent Lott recently made remarks that seemed to endorse Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist presidential race. This appears to have landed him, in what almost looks like slow motion, in a heap of political trouble. Some comments:

  1. The Democrats were very confused in their criticism of the remarks. Daschle, following his usual tin ear for politics, practically apologized for Lott, and most of the Democrats appeared to be laying low hoping the whole thing would blow over. Some of the Republican-controlled press has even managed to make the Democrats' reaction to Lott more of an issue than Lott's remarks! The sad fact is that if the Democrats had tried to make a big issue of the matter the press would have criticized them unmercifully for spoiling the 100th birthday celebrations of a great man with their petty partisan politics.

  2. The Republican commentators and their press lackeys are going after Lott because they feel he is a liability to them as Senate Majority Leader, and would be only too pleased to see him replaced. As a bonus, they get to appear to be racially progressive.

  3. There is a long tradition of right-wing leaders making racist remarks which are then criticized and immediately withdrawn with apologies, usually stating that the remarks were 'misunderstood', or the speaker 'misspoke', or was tired, etc., etc. This is not just an American phenomenon, as we have seen it in recent years in Australia (various remarks about immigrants and Aborigines), Austria (Haider's speeches), and Canada (various remarks by Reform/Canadian Alliance politicians). The point of all these 'mistakes' is to get the real message out to their racist supporters, supporters who will then forgive the politicians for having to apologize as they have been forced to do so by the evil liberals. Lott has a long history of playing this game, and may very well get away with it again.

  4. As I have recently written, the only possible explanation for the recent Republican electoral victories is a combination of a fake crisis or threat (terrorism), coupled with the essential racism which underlies all of American politics. The Republicans have found the formula to successfully have people vote for what they perceive as their race interests rather than their class interests. Lott's remarks are just more proof of how the Civil War is still being fought.

  5. This is the funniest thing I have read on the subject. It's not quite so funny when you consider it probably accurately reflects the views of Lott and many, many of the people who vote for him and Republicans like him.