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.