Third Party & Independents Archives

And the Foot in Mouth Award Goes to......

Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) was quoted today as saying he didn’t understand why Sunni and Shiite Muslims are killing each other in Iraq. Does he really mean this? I hope to heaven he’s attempting to make some other point. Because, if he really doesn’t understand this, then we are in far worse shape than I thought.

Mr. Lott's direct quote,

It's hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what's wrong with these people," he said. "Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli's and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me.
was reported today by CNN after a meeting at the Capitol with the President. He also responded that the subject of the Iraq War didn't come up and that the media was the only group obsessed with the war and that
We don't and the real people out in the real world don't for the most part."

Oh, really? It would seem that perhaps Mr. Lott and whoever makes up the mysterious "We" he refers to would be wise to obsess over Iraq. After over $300B spent and almost 3 thousand dead US soldiers, one would hope that the United States Senate,

The Most Deliberative Body in the World
would spend some time figuring out why Sunnis and Shia's are blowing each other up.

The statement Mr. Lott makes would almost be funny if it didn't portray the type of institutional ignorance our government has regarding other cultures. This isn't the first time Mr. Lott has opened his mouth and inserted his wingtip. Most of us recall the lauditory comments regarding Strom Thurmond that got him stripped of his Senate Majority Leader post.

Mr. Lott, it's not hard to understand sectarian violence. It's not hard to understand the violence between the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq. One simply has to read. There's this thing called the library. You might want to try visiting one some time and taking advantage of the people who have actually taken the time to understand the problem. Your decisions and votes might just be a little better informed and the people of Mississippi might be a little less embarassed that one of their elected officials is without a clue as to what is going on in Iraq.

If Mr. Lott's comments are indicative of the opinions held by the majority of our elected officials in the Congress, then this provides a terrific example of why the incumbents in Washington need to be run out of town on a rail.

Either Mr. Lott is a total ignoramus or simply attempting to distract the electorate from the cesspool that Iraq has become.

Posted by Dennis at September 28, 2006 5:58 PM
Comments
Comment #184928

Dennis

Most in the Senate are dolts. I doubt many have the necessary understanding ogf the gist of the Muslim religion.

“To defeat the enemy, you must become him” Sung Tzu

We don’t know the enemy ….

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 28, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #184984

I agree with sicilianeagle.

Every single senator, congressman or administration official who isn’t closely studying the history and beliefs of Islam is simply not doing their jobs. And that goes for members of the media as well.

It is truly terrifying subject matter, and everyone needs to educate themselves about the real history and the current goals of “the religion of peace.”

Posted by: Pilsner at September 28, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #184992

While I certainly don’t endorse Lott’s comments he is asking a lot of the same questions a lot of Americans are asking. Now, whether they should already know the answer or not is another story, but if a Senator’s main job is to “represent” then he is definitely representing the people of Mississippi with those questions.

I lived in MS twice for a total of 4 years. The town I lived in, Meridian, was so inane 98% of the civilian public had no idea what was going on at the Meridian Naval Air Station. I’ll never forget one stupid police officer saying “Oh, you guys really fly up in there?”

Many nice people live there, many racists live there, and just about all of them are smart as a box of rocks.

Posted by: Ken Strong at September 29, 2006 12:14 AM
Comment #185004
“To defeat the enemy, you must become him” Sung Tzu

Mr. Eagle sir, I seem to recall you saying that the liberals just wanted to have a kumbaya session of therapy with the terrorists when we suggested that we study their motives for terrorist attacks. Or perhaps it was Jack, the other great American on the red side.

Posted by: Loren at September 29, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #185005
While I certainly don’t endorse Lott’s comments he is asking a lot of the same questions a lot of Americans are asking. Now, whether they should already know the answer or not is another story, but if a Senator’s main job is to “represent” then he is definitely representing the people of Mississippi with those questions.

That’s really frightening. IMO I would prefer to vote for people who are smarter than I am. That’s difficult, since I’m one of those New York Liberal Elitists

Posted by: Loren at September 29, 2006 12:52 AM
Comment #185013

“To defeat the enemy, you must become him.”

Oh my…so that explains the torture…could someone get Sung Tzu to the Whitehouse please? It’s an emergency.

I’m truly sorry for that one folks, but you can’t just lob that one out there and not expect someone to hit it…

Posted by: Liberal Demon at September 29, 2006 2:51 AM
Comment #185020

“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. “
—- Trent Lott

“They all look the same to me.”
—- Trent Lott

That last sentence just sort of jumped out at me… and I can’t figure out why.

Posted by: tony at September 29, 2006 6:54 AM
Comment #185028

I’m a dumbass and I knew they’d kill each other, and I have 1/100th the resources of a senator. They’ve been at it for one reason or another, aligned one way or another for the history of the US times 10. Any moron could’ve told them there’d be some serious payback coming as well.

They obviously don’t understand the know your enemy theory or we wouldn’t have largely ignored the original enemy just to create new ones.

Posted by: Zebster at September 29, 2006 8:50 AM
Comment #185050

Dennis,

That would funny if it were not such a serious matter. It’s actually par-for-the-course for Trent Lott.

You’re right. We’re in more trouble than we thought.

It’s disgusting watching Bush run around now, just before elections, trying to convince Americans that the Administration didn’t make any mistakes.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 29, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #185054

Sicilianeagle,

When we write about getting to know our enemy and gain an understanding beyond “they want to destroy our way of life” you call us soft. Why now do you agree with this philosophy?
You can not have the “kill em all, let god sort em out attitude, and simultaneously speak of understanding your enemy.It makes about as much sense as attacking another country without provocation to bring peace to the region.
I hope to not offend those Americans who live in the south but their lack of knowledge and understanding of other cultures is quite obvious and has lead to many historic and present day problems.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 29, 2006 11:00 AM
Comment #185065

Dennis,

Senator Lott is simply voicing what we all would like to know. That being…

“Why do we kill each other because of our religions?”

Don’t ALL religions teach peace…love of your neighbor?

He’s voicing the question, “Why can’t we just live together?”

If that’s stupid, then I guess I’m a real dumb-ass.

Ken Strong…

Are you from Mississippi? Nope? That’s something you’ll never understand, then. Mississippians ACT like a dumb box of rocks…so you’ll go back to where you came from and continue to spread the stereotype. You’ll laugh with your buddies and make jokes. Then you’ll go outside in snow up to your ass and freezing weather…meanwhile, we’re swimming in our pools and laughing at ANY dumb-ass living where it snows. Mississippians ACT like a box of rocks so you’ll screw up and believe it…and when you start getting overconfident and superior…then they have you right where they want you. New Yorkers will try to sell Mississippians the Brooklyn Bridge. Mississippians will sell you “beautiful lakefront” property…and it will be…after you drain the swamp and kill all the water moccasins and alligators.

Ken…never…NEVER underestimate the folks in Mississippi. they LIKE playing “possum”.


tony,

“They all look the same to me.”
—- Trent Lott

“That last sentence just sort of jumped out at me… and I can’t figure out why.”


Here’s why.

1). Take 2 Muslims…one Sunni and one Shiite.

2). Have them stand next to each other.

3). Pick out the one that’s Shiite and the one that is Sunni.

Can’t do it?

What was that you said?

“They all look the same to me.”?

Hmmmmmmm…

Posted by: Jim T at September 29, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #185092

Jim T,
I think it’s the last sentence that really stands out … like tony pointed out:

  • “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. ”
    —- Trent Lott

  • “It’s hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what’s wrong with these people,” he said. “Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli’s and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? “

  • How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me.
    —- Trent Lott

Trent Lott has a real knack for putting his foot in his mouth. If you’ve followed Trent Lott over the years, it’s hard to not conclude that this guy surely ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer … and this person is (in part) responsible for sending our U.S. troops into harm’s way?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 29, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #185099

“Then you’ll go outside in snow up to your ass and freezing weather…anwhile, we’re swimming in our pools and laughing at ANY dumb-ass living where it snows. “

You’ve just explained one of the reasons for my love of snow—it keeps Californians, Floridians and Mississippians to an absolute minimum.

I hate swimming pools. They’re an eye-sore that only an extreme egotist could love.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 29, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #185110

Tim…

LOVE IT!!! HA!


d.a.n.

Can you tell the difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims? You can’t? Then you and Trent Lott are a LOTT (ha!) alike.

Posted by: Jim T at September 29, 2006 1:46 PM
Comment #185117

Jim T,

Whether or not anyone can tell Sunnis and Shiites apart, based merely on appearance, is NOT the main point, because:

  • [1] What they look like has little to do with religious intolerance, and that sort of thing has been going on for thousands of years. So, obviously, it is not always about appearance. The fact the Trent Lott does not understand this is revealing, and troublesome. Trent Lott seems totally unaware that the split that came about between Sunnis and Shiites is because of a dispute over who should succeed Muhammad after he died, and who should become the leader of the community, the military, government, religious leader of the community, and how it evolved over the centuries into some very different viewpoints about the Islamic faith. Before sending our troops into harms’ way, should not our leaders be aware of these things?

  • [2] for Trent Lott to say …
    “How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me.”
    … is really stupid, because that is what some racists have said in the past about various races. But, based on some of Trent Lott’s past racist statements, this comes as no surprise, which is one of the points Dennis is getting at. For someone who already has a past track-record of making racist comments, it was at the very least, a very poor choice of words. But, a poor choice of words is the least serious point. The issue of understanding what sort of situation we are sending our troops into is the most important issue.

  • [3] Third, how did someone this stupid, and keeps saying stupid things, ever get into Congress? This is a man that is (in part) responsible for deciding the fate of our U.S. troops. If he has so little understanding of what many people (with less access to information) already know (with regard to the difference between Sunnis and Shiites), then it is highly questionable whether he is qualified to be in congress. Before sending our troops into harms’ way, should not our leaders be aware of these things?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 29, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #185120

Therefore, I’m nothing like Trent Lott.
I see your point, but that is not the main point.
Perhaps it is you and Trent Lott that are unable to see what Trent Lott’s statement revealed? What it reveals is a congress person who is responsible (in part) for deciding to send our troops into a troubled region, without understanding the conflict. But, that is just one of a long, long list of blunders resulting from plain old ordinary negligence by congress.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 29, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #185125

Jim T,
I’m curious. Are you from Mississippi ?
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I’m just trying to understand if there is some sort of bias to want to defend Trent Lott ?
Afterall, studies show that people always complain about other states’ congress persons, but think their own congress persons walk on water.
I can tell you this … none of my congress persons are getting my vote. Especially Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), who flip flops on issues when it suits her politically.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 29, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #185126

d.a.n.

1.) What they look like has everyting to with it, because that’s what Trent was talking about. You can’t tell them apart. But, if you want to get philosophical about it…not only because of outward appearance, but because they are basically the same. As soon as they can, the Shiites will heap the same atrocities on the Sunnis as the Sunnis are heaping upon the Shiites now. They are the same…

2.) No doubt Trent has said some stupid things that he wishes he could take back. Like trying to make the “old guy” (Thurmond) feel good at his birthday party.

3.) How did someone who says stupid things ever get into Congress? The same way that Reid, Pelosi, Boxer, Kerry and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon Byrd (and every other member of Congress who says stupid things) got there. They were VOTED in.

Posted by: Jim T at September 29, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #185127

d.a.n.

Yes, I’m from Mississippi…and that’s why I understand exactly what he was talking about.

Some of what Trent said was to be taken literally, while some was meant to be taken figuratively…and was meant to be thought provoking.

I defend him (conservative), just like I defend our Congressman Bennie Thompson (liberal).

I defend the actions (or inactions) of those that represent us just like any other state would defend their elected representatives. And, just like voters from other states, when I hear of some senator or representative from another state sticking their feet in their mouth I wonder…”How did they EVER get elected”?

Posted by: Jim T at September 29, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #185129

Jim T,

That’s a helluva game of possum MS is playing … intentionally being one of the bottom 3 worst educated states year after year after year. Who’d a thunk it was all just a decoy?

Never in nearly 15 years of active duty, to include many liberal-dominated areas, did I feel as unwelcome as I did in MS.

Now Trent has championed many good causes and I appreciate that, but as a conservative I can tell you that my least favorite red state is indeed Mississippi. It’s the only place I heard the “N” word repeatedly and the only place I felt unwelcome as a serviceman (disclaimer: I never did serve in or around San Francisco.)

By the way, I just cleaned my pool, it’s beautiful, and our 87 degree day SOUTH OF MISSISSIPPI is a fine one. But nice try with the snowy guess.

Posted by: Ken Strong at September 29, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #185153

Ken Strong:

What branch of the service?

I was stationed in Biloxi at Keesler for a while. I heard the N word back then, too. Coming from both blacks and whites. Just a little unnerving, especially for me, Mr. small town central Wisconsin white bread.

My wife and I and some other local businessmen, made a couple trips down there post-hurricane. Incredibly humbling the power of mother nature. Reminded me of the first time I drove through the Rockies. Very humbling.

When not being thouroughly intimidated, I did manage to have a lot of fun in Biloxi. Good golf courses, decent casinos, generally friendly people and miles and miles of beaches (though they were closed while we were there because all the raw sewage was blown back onto shore from their dump pipes 10 miles out).

Posted by: Chi Chi at September 29, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #185156

Jim T,

Do you really know your Senator?
Did you really know about the following?
All voters should try to take some time to look at their congress persons voting records. They may be surprised at what they find. It’s not at all surprising that Trent Lott (R-MS) was removed from being the Senate Majority Leader. Do you support all of that (below)? Just look at the way he votes on gifts, soft money, and donations to incumbent politicians. No wonder incumbent politicians are FOR-SALE.

Trent Lott:

  • Voted YES on allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress. (Mar 2006) (no suprise there)

  • Voted NO on establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity. (Mar 2006) (no suprise there)

  • Voted NO on banning “soft money” contributions and restricting issue ads. (Mar 2002) (no suprise there)

  • Voted NO on banning campaign donations from unions & corporations. (Apr 2001) (no suprise there)

  • Voted NO on favoring 1997 McCain-Feingold overhaul of campaign finance. (Oct 1997) (no suprise there; incumbents won’t allow any common-sense reforms that may possibly reduce their power, opportunites for self-gain, or the security of their cu$hy, coveted incumbent seats)

  • Voted YES on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Apr 2001) (never mind the hundreds of billions of unfunded liabilities and $8.5 trillion National Debt, and $12.8 trillion Social Security debt, and $450 billion PBGC pension debt)

  • Voted NO on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. (Jul 2005) (Fascinating; that one I don’t understand at all)

  • Voted YES on killing an increase in the minimum wage. (Nov 1999) (but Lott voted to let in more immigrant workers; how revealing)

  • Voted YES on permanently repealing the `death tax`. (Jun 2006) (of course he did; he carries the water for his big-money-donor-puppeteers; the tax should not be eliminated; it should merely be taxed at the same income tax rate (e.g. 17% for everyone))

  • Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006) (This is nonsense, but a wonderful distraction from more substantive issues)

  • Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (Dec 1995) (yes, of course; politicians love this wonderful distraction)

  • Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006) (more non-sense; this is not for the federal government to decide)

  • Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996) (more nonsense; haven’t they got anything better to do in D.C. than making stupid laws that try to legislate morality?)

  • Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996) (So, it’s OK to discriminate? That needs some explaining)
    Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001) (more nonsense)

  • Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005) (interesting indeed; he also votes for importing immigrants too; an under-paid, under-class to exploit; politicians want cheap labor and votes)

  • Voted NO on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education. (Mar 2005) (well, maybe education is not important where he comes from? It’s better to give the money to his big-money-donor puppeteers … they need it more)

  • Voted YES on $75M for abstinence education. (Jul 1996) (Is this a responsible use of taxpayers money?)

  • Voted NO on targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010. (Jun 2003) (no surprise there; Lott is in the pocket of his big-money-donor puppeteers; corpocrisy and corporatism is rampant)

  • Voted YES on defunding renewable and solar energy. (Jun 1999) (of course he did; consistent with trying to keep us on oil; just like his big-money-donor-puppeteers want it)

  • Voted NO on do not require ethanol in gasoline. (Aug 1994) (no surprise there; Lott doesn’t want alternative sources)

  • Voted NO on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations. (Sep 2005) (no surprise there; Lott could care less about the environment)

  • Voted NO on reducing funds for road-building in National Forests. (Sep 1997) (again, no surprise there)

  • Voted NO on continuing desert protection in California. (Oct 1994) (Why should he? It’s not his state.)

  • Rated 0% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes. (Dec 2003)

  • When Trent Lott was asked (Oct-2003) whether he favored any policy changes in Iraq, Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) responded: “We need to have a different mix of troops, is the key. We may need to move some troops around.”
    Lott then suggested moving more troops from the relatively stable south closer to the region around Tikrit, where attacks on U.S. forces have been common. He said there was a need for more trained military police, adding that his comments were not a criticism.
    Trent Lott said: “Honestly, it’s a little tougher than I thought it was going to be.” Lott, somewhat frustrated, then offered a very strange military solution: “If we have to, we just mow the whole place down, see what happens. You’re dealing with insane suicide bombers who are killing our people, and we need to be very aggressive in taking them out.” (Well, there you have it. Put Trent Lott in charge. Who can argue with logic like that? Trent Lott is out of his league. The only good thing about Trent Lott is that he isn’t nearly as bad as the polished, cold-blooded, rip-off artist that his replacement is (Bill Frist), who bilked Medicare for almost a billion dollars, and had to agree to pay back about $400 million to $880 million of it). Massive fraud like that is way out of Trent Lott’s league. Or, maybe he’s just playin’ opossum?)
  • Posted by: d.a.n at September 29, 2006 4:40 PM
    Comment #185166

    I just want to state for the record that when my folks named me, no one had ever heard of Trent Lott.

    Stand a liberal and a conservative side by side. How do you tell the difference?

    [Insert your own punch line, have fun.]

    Posted by: Trent at September 29, 2006 5:05 PM
    Comment #185184

    What is irritating about the Senator’s comments is that he is demonstrating how completely he does not understand the Middle East.

    The fact is that people of different culture fight and kill each other, its been going on for centuries. Sometimes, those people look the same (your average American wouldn’t be able to tell an Arab and a Middle Eastern Jew apart), sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the only thing distiguishing them is religion (like Shiites and Sunnis), sometimes it has to do with something more systemic. The establishment of the state of Israel was violent and destructive, and led to a large number of people living in what we now call Palestine homeless. It is this that has led to so much trouble in the Middle East between the Jews and the Muslims. It is not the current Israeli people’s fault, it isn’t a thousand year legacy, its a political problem.

    Posted by: iandanger at September 29, 2006 6:05 PM
    Comment #185189

    Ken Strong…

    It’s the Delta of Mississippi that’s dragging the rest of the state down academically. The Delta (the poorest region of the entire U.S.) always…always performs far, far below norm. One reason is the pay they pay the teachers. No good money…no good teachers. No tax base…no pay. So the Delta gets what’s left over in the teacher market. Dregs.

    d.a.n.

    Are you trying to get me to vote AGAINST Trent? Well, I would…except the guy running against him is a MAJOR j.o. and I can’t stand him.

    You see, d.a.n., I work in radio (Ops Manager for 5 stations) and I get to meet the candidates when they are NOT on the air. Their REAL personalities shine through. You don’t want to know what I really think of Trent’s and Bennie’s opponents. If Trent’s real name was Satan and Bennie Thompson’s real name was Lucifer…I wouldn’t vote for their opponents. What REAL jerks…

    Posted by: Jim T at September 29, 2006 6:30 PM
    Comment #185193

    Trent…

    “Stand a liberal and a conservative side by side. How do you tell the difference?”

    I don’t know. Other than Bush’s horns and pitchfork and the liberal’s prehensile tail, that is….

    Posted by: Jim T at September 29, 2006 6:33 PM
    Comment #185211

    “[Insert your own punch line, have fun.]”

    How many Republicans does it take to change a lightbulb?

    I don’t think the government should be in the business of changing lightbulbs.

    ——

    How many Democrats does it take to change a lightbulb?

    THAT’S NOT FUNNY!!!!

    Posted by: tony at September 29, 2006 7:43 PM
    Comment #185234

    Jim T,

    I’m sorry. The choices really suck.
    No doubt, that is part of the problem in some places.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 29, 2006 9:18 PM
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