Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Trent Lott, pigfucker

By Heraclitus

Okay, did that title get your attention? I got it from Ed Morrissey. Well, actually, what Morrissey said was that he opposed Lott for Senate whip because of Lott's unquenchable lust for pork.

This naturally inspired a lot of criticism from the blogosphere, which has focused on earmarks (especially secret earmarks) as a point of entry for corruption in Congress. In response to this criticism, Lott told an AP reporter that "I'll just say this about the so-called porkbusters. I'm getting damn tired of hearing from them."

Memo to Senator Lott: porkbusters are taxpayers, and we have every right to question how our money gets spent. The fact that the question came in response to a $700 million project to relocate rail tracks in Mississippi that we had just spent $300 million repairing makes the point even more clear. Lott belongs to a generation of politicians that believe that they are above the criticism of their constituents, and that we should just shut up and let our betters decide what to do with us.

But, folks like Morrissey notwithstanding, Lott won the race, and is set to be the GOP No. 2 Senator in the next Congress (he's no. 2 all right). Of course, Lott made waves a few years ago when he opined that, had Strom Thurmond won his bid for the presidency in 1948, the country would have been a better place. Here's exactly what he said:

"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."

Thing is, Thurmond ran as a Dixiecrat, on a segregationist platform. He also delivered the longest filibuster in the history of the US Senate, in 1957. What was piece of legislation was he trying to prevent being passed? The Civil Rights Act of 1957. Thurmond's filibuster came after the southern Senators succeeded in significantly weakening the bill through a weeks-long filibuster of their own. But it wasn't enough for Thurmond. He led the opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He also had a child with a black woman (out of wedlock, of course).

If only the South had remained racially segregated (and, as we all know, the legal segregation was only the tip of the iceberg of injustice and barbarism), "we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years." I don't know what problems he was thinking of; presumably teh gays. Here's how the AP refers to these comments:

Lott relished his duties as majority leader but stepped down in 2002 under pressure over remarks that were interpreted as racially insensitive.

There were "interpreted as racially insensitive"? Lott said he was "proud" to have supported a segregationist for president, and that "all these problems" were caused by ending the legal subjugation of southern blacks. That's more than "insensitive," and saying so is more than an interpretation. How much longer before everyone recognizes that the famous notion of the "liberal media" is simply a lie?


UPDATE -- by Michael J.W. Stickings

Even Malkin thinks the Republican leadership is "lame".

ABC News is reporting that Lott beat Alexander, "who had made an 18-month bid for the post," 25 to 24 by secret ballot. All you have to know about the new Republican leadership is that Mitch McConnell is #1 and Trent Lott is #2. Lovely, but, then, what do you expect from the stupid party? Call it yet another victory for extremism.

See also the Post.

Howie Klein posts a political cartoon that puts it in perspective. He also suggests that Lott's victory reflects "the true unreconstructed southern nature of today's GOP".

And here's Josh Marshall: "Nice to see that the segregation wing of the Republican Party can still muster a majority of votes in the Senate GOP caucus."

And Steve Benen: "I think the Republican leadership has just about given up on its African-American outreach effort." And: "Lott’s ascension to the Senate GOP leadership again seems a bit like a slap in the White House’s face. The president, with varying degrees of subtlety, has made it clear that Lott is not his favorite member of the Senate."

See also Joe Gandelman and John Cole, both of whom offer some solid analysis.

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