Democrats & Liberals Archives

Minority Whip Indeed

Trent Lott has to be laughing about his new title. He openly praises one of the staunchest of segregationists and four years later he becomes the face of the GOP. The Republicans have vowed to reassess their party policies and get back to basics. What does the nomination of a bigot say about getting back to the core philosophy of the Republican party?

"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 followed our lead, we wouldn't have all these problems over all these years, either."

Trent Lott (2002)

Thurmond, of the "Dixiecrat" party ran in 1948 against Democrat Harry Truman and Republican Thomas Dewey. He carried Alabama, Luisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina. All very progressive, enlightened and race friendly areas of the country in 1948, I'm sure.
During his campaign, Thurmond said, "All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the negro into our homes, our schools, our churches."

Is this the mindset of the new post 06 election Republican party?
Trent Lott was voted to become, essentially the face of the GOP less than one week ago despite his support of Mr. Thurmond and his segregationalist platform. Mr. Lott did not proclaim his support of an obvious bigot in 1948, which might have been easier to take given the racial climate of the time. His support of segregation was declared in 2002 at Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday.
If the Republicans are "cleaning house" and claiming to embrace true "Conservative values", what does the decision to put Trent Lott in the role of GOP leader say?
Are Mr. Lotts' views representative of the Republican party?
How should minority voters interpret this move?
I think it's quite obvious.
Minority Whip. That's funny, In a scary, sad sort of way.


Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at November 20, 2006 9:40 AM
Comments
Comment #195880

Woody,

You know, you’re right. I’m glad I can turn to the Democrats, a Party who would never tolerate people like this, they’re better than that. So good, in fact, that they’re the Party where a former KKK member is a senior senator, as is another who wrecks his car into a river and leaves his female companion to die, and another who talks about how stupid soldiers are. And then there’s always that representative who sent an underage page to Europe on the government dime to have sex with him. Or that other Senator who talked about how you can’t find a 7/11 without an Indian behind the counter (he’s not joking) or the Junior Senator from New York who talks about seeing Ghandhi at the local convienience store. Oh wait, since in your little fantasy world it wasn’t the Democrats who were the Party of slavery and the party who wrote the Jim Crow laws, I guess it is only Republicans who can be racist. Thanks for clearing that up.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 20, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #195883

1LT,

What do you make of Lott being named GOP leader?


What would your interpretation of this move be, if you were a person of color?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 20, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #195894

The crucifixion of Lott never sat well with me, because when he praised Thurmond it wasn’t an endorsement of racist policies. This is very similar to Kerry’s “botched joke”. It is sound bite driven, “gotcha!” politics and it serves no one. That doesn’t mean I support Lott (or Strom, for that matter), but argue them on the merits of their policies, not some stupid quote. It should be a pretyy easy argument to win.

Posted by: David S at November 20, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #195895

Andre,

First, sorry for calling you Woody, I just wrote a response to him and had his name on the brain. Since I’m not a person of color, I don’t really know. Maybe I’d wonder why my people keep voting for the Democrats when they get nothing but scare tactics about how the Republicans will bring back Jim Crow. Maybe I’d wonder why it is that blacks are treated as tokens by the Democrats (anybody remember Jocelyn Elders?) while it is Republicans who bring up black people who are actually competent. I’d wonder why it is that when a Democrat makes a racist remark they keep getting a free pass while when a Republican says something in the same vein he gets the full attention of the national media.

My impression of Trent Lott being named minority whip is simple. The whip’s job is to round up votes and maintain party discipline. Trent Lott has shown himself to be able to do that. What do you make of a radical being appointed Speaker of the House?

Posted by: 1LT B at November 20, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #195906

David S.,

“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 followed our lead, we wouldn’t have all these problems over all these years, either.”

This sure sounds like he agrees with his policy.

1LT,

I wasn’t aware of Nancy Pelosi being a radical. What harmful things has she done?
Oh, she’s a liberal.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 20, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #195913

andre,

You’re stretching this a little thin…
You guys have a whole country to screw up….get busy…

Posted by: cliff at November 20, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #195914

Andre

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

Sure sounds like he thinks stupid people go into the military.

Posted by: David at November 20, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #195917

Exactly, David. Trying to sum up a politician in one 10 second quote is pointless. Its a weak argument, and when you lean on a weak argument it makes people believe you don’t have a better one. Like I said before, if you can’t come up with a more compelling reason to run Trent Lott out of town, you’re not trying hard enough.

Posted by: David S at November 20, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #195918

1LT B,

Perfect first response to the article. No other response needed.

Posted by: Brian B at November 20, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #195920

1LT B:
What “radical” means in the political context is a person that supports significant change. I believe most Americans also support significant change in congress. Don’t you? If so you are a radical also. If anything it is a compliment.
Lott,on the other hand is “conservative”. That means someone that favors a continuation of the status quo. Look it up.

Posted by: BillS at November 20, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #195931

When Kerry misstated his “joke” (it should have been: “…you get us stuck in Iraq.”), and the nation came down upon him for it, I couldn’t help but imagine some mother hen telling him, “Well, what did you expect? You don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t open your mouth.”

His intended joke was a moronic, juvenile jab at the president. Bush deserves the criticism he receives, but you’d think someone who also wants to be president someday might put a little more thought into his critique or at least read what his speechwriters give him before the talk.

I’m tired of people being mean just to be mean. You have something to say, make it helpful. Whatever else a politician does or believes, you’re only getting one thing out of him at the end of the day that matters: a vote cast for or against something.

Posted by: Thomas R at November 20, 2006 6:15 PM
Comment #195940

C’mon.. Supporting Strom? Get real. That’s like supporting Adolf Hitler. Everyone knows what the guy stands for.

Posted by: Max at November 20, 2006 8:05 PM
Comment #195944

I just heard that he was excited about being the minority whip until he realized he would not actually be able to whip minorities. He may present an outward appearance of not being a bigot. But you can bet inwardly and in private he still is. That stigma will always hang over his head no matter what his claims are.

If I were a person of color I would probably think, business as usual from the good old boy forum.

Too be honest I do not think the republican party has had the proper time to re-examine their situation and make ethical and organizational changes. They are still indebted too their special interest groups, and corporate lobbyists for the remainder of this term. The walls are falling down around them. They will have too clean up the mess and reorganize once they see who is left standing after the earthquake. That is assuming that true ethics reform is instituted and all responsible individuals are held accountable. Until that time they have to find someone who knows how to keep the troops marching in step. And that person is Lott.

More than likely it will change the voters views of the republican party at all. Just more of the same old corrupted system still hard at work.

Posted by: ILdem at November 20, 2006 8:31 PM
Comment #195945


I always liked Trent Lott, not his politics but his personality, the way he talked, his manmerisms. I was disappointed over the Thurmond incident. But, I thought his apology and his promise to change were sincere.

When the Republican house impeached President Clinton and the Senate found him not guilty, I think that Trent Lott was one of the principle people responsible for that verdict.

Posted by: jlw at November 20, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #195946


Mannerism

Posted by: jlw at November 20, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #195951

“a vote cast for or against something.”

Uh yeah, like Lott’s opposition to creating a national holiday to honor Martin Luther King, or his opposition to hate crime legislation.

Or, uh, voting against the renewal of the Voting Rights Act.

Yep, lawmakers leave a trail.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 20, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #195956

You said it Kansas Dem, lawmakers sure do leave a trail if a person simply keeps track of their record. Lott’s speaks for itself — and what it says is a pile of Macacca. As for the GOP voting him “minority whip”, they really must have no shame. None at all. And this is why they deserve to keep on losing.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 20, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #195975

I saw Lott on some talk show years ago explaining why giving money to politicians is protected free speech, and I’ve sickened at the mention of his name every since. He doesnt seem to support ethics in Washington nor does he support any meaningful lobbying reform. Far as I am concerned he is useless as a politician.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 21, 2006 12:25 AM
Comment #196006

My all time favorite Lott quote follows:

In response to the question, “if homosexuality is a sin.”

Lott responded, “Yes, it is, in America right now there’s an element that wants to make that alternative lifestyle acceptable. You still love that person and you should not try to mistreat them or treat them as outcasts. You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem, just like alcohol, others have a sex addiction or are kleptomaniacs. There are all kinds of problems and addictions and difficulties and experiences of this kind that are wrong. But you should try to work with that person to learn to control that problem.”

Minority WHIP indeed.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 21, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #196104

KansasDem,
If only we could have helped Ted Bundy with his addiction of killing people we should have tried to work with that person to learn to control that problem.

Posted by: Doughball at November 21, 2006 7:32 PM
Comment #196129

Doughball,

I’m absolutely dumbfounded about him throwing in the “klepto” thing. It added a certain “funniness” to the whole diatribe.

But, yeah, under his description I guess we should try to understand and cure pedophilia, bestiality, etc.

But, there is no comparison between two adults loving each other and a perve taking advantage of a child or an animal.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 21, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #196759

1LT B,

I agree, the ancient history of the GOP is grand (Lincoln, our greatest president, and, um, er, well, Lincoln). More recent history (Herbert Hoover, Nixon and 41/43) not so hot, with two good POTUS (Ike and Reagan) mixed in.

But none of that is the point. We’re talking about what a current senator recently said about a republican with a dark, not grand, past - it’s not like Lott’s comment in 2002 is ancient history.

If we accept that logic, that Lott’s comments from 2002 are irrelevant, then you should stop criticizing Kerry for his comments over 30 years ago. Certainly any of Bill Clinton’s foibles are off-limits as well.

Regardless, I think Lott as GOP Senate Whip is a great thing.

If Lott is a new man, then we have another senator who can speak to the 21st century - and the country wins.

If Lott is the conservative Trent Lott of old, then the GOP continues to fade into irrelevance and the GOP loses - and the country still wins.

Posted by: CPAdams at November 28, 2006 6:32 PM
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