Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Tuesday, December 10, 2002
 
Like a lot of leftists, I was hardly surprised by Trent lott's recent absurdities. I have always assumed that most of the old guard southern white Republican leadership privately thought that way, and this really isn't the first time Lott has slipped up and let his racism show, just the first time he's been so blatant about it. I was pleased, but also not surprised, when conservative bloggers jumped on the story; most conservatives of the baby boom generation and after support racial equality in reality and not as a pretense.

It would be too much to ask for bloggers like Glenn Reynolds, who has been all over this, and Andrew Sullivan to shut up about the 'liberal media', now that they have demonstrated that their own liberal credentials are in better shape than much of the mainstream media they complain about. But they might try a bit of reflection.

I was honestly shocked that Lott failed to make a quick apology. Especially since the remarks were made on the verge of a very close election in a southern state with a large black population. The reluctance to apologize really shows that the far right of the Republican Party is feeling profoundly confident after the last election. The suggestions in some circles that they are going to press a modest agenda are likely to be far off base.

Another strange thing is that the national media seems to be picking up on the story only now, after an apology of sorts has been issued. It's as if, no matter how outrageous a statementy made by a leading Republican is, the media is afraid to criticize or mention it unless an retraction is made that concedes the excess. So maybe Lott's delay in apologizing showed more media savvy than I thought.



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