Lott and Gore

What a weekend politically. Lott has now realized he can’t apologize away his braindead racist remarks and Al Gore is out. I have admired Al Gore for a long time. I voted for him in 2000, and glady. He is a smart man but not a brilliant one. He realized, it seems, with the savaging the media gave him on his book tour this past month, that he was going to be treated just as unfairly by the “liberal” media this time around as he was the last time. And he decided not to play the game. Good for him. He shows his integrity in avoiding the ugliness that would have ensued.

The contrast with Lott is remarkable. Gore was a man who never let slip the kind of Neanderthal stupidities that came from Lott’s mouth, because Gore is both master of his own thoughts and of his utterances.

Why is it that this country’s media will not tolerate Democrats who are intelligent, educated, well-spoken and in the dead center of national political beliefs while those same so-called “liberal” media let the Republicans get away with murdering logic, the English language and political integrity? I can’t help but think it’s overcompensation for some kind of feared “liberal” bias. The result is that anyone to the left of Richard Nixon gets slaughtered. Everyone on the weird radical right gets treated with kid gloves, as though their ignorance and hostility to government and the good it can do were somehow a handicap protected by the ADA. Good men like Gore are out of the running while complete morons like Bush run the country.

The worst thing that could happen to the Democrats would be to nominate Joseph Lieberman, who is more beholden to big business, especially the insurance industry, than many a Republican. Lieberman, Lott-like, also once apologized for laughably stupid remarks (the bogus assertion that all morality derives from religion), but once a political figure says something in public, he can’t really take it back. If such public figures can make such questionable remarks in public, it is hard to accept the sincerity of the apologies, that they really didn’t believe what they said. If they didn’t believe it, what business did they have saying it in public? And if they worded the statements so poorly, what business do they have seeking our votes? If they can’t speak off-the-cuff in public, they are unlikely to be very good at governing, which requires, more than anything, thoughtful improvisation in the face of pragmatic realities.

If Lieberman is the Democratic candidate (or VP candidate) in 2004, I’ll vote non-Democratic in a Presidential election for the first time in my life. Anyone but Lieberman (well, except for Bush)!

The Trent Lott Debacle

Well, thank heavens it’s finally happening, but people are now getting bent out of shape about Trent Lott’s idiocies (see Lott: It gets worse). Prominent Republicans like William Bennett are rightly calling for Lott to step down as a party leader. All I can say is: What took them so long? And I don’t even mean his remarks from last week — I mean his completely reactionary right-wing views on every issue there has ever been. The Republican leadership of Congress is a disgrace to the country and to the Republican party. It’s why no thinking person should ever vote for a Republican, regardless of an individual candidate’s views on the issues — Republicans elected to Congress will have to toe the party line, will be forced to vote against their own stated positions simply because of party discipline. And those moderate Republicans who are elected because they have moderate views will be the enablers of the Republican leadership’s goal of pushing through the President’s agenda to undo the progress made in the days since the Reagan/Bush debacle came to an end. Lott is finally apologizing fully, claiming that he really didn’t mean to refer to Thurmond’s party’s platform (which consisted entirely of segregation). Well, perhaps it’s true that he wasn’t thinking about that, but that just goes to show that the man doesn’t belong in public life. If he is so thoughtless as to say “accidentally” such inflammatory things, then he isn’t qualified to be given the kind of responsibility he has had in the past. But he’s not stepping down, as he should. This is a great thing for the Democrats, since it proves that Republicans really do not at heart represent tolerance.