Thursday, November 16, 2006

Trent Lott: The Return

What I'm about to say might shock some people:

I'm okay with Trent Lott being the Minority Whip in the Senate.

I say this knowing what he said back in 2002; praising outgoing Senator Strom Thurmond on his 100th birthday. The same Thurmond who was a staunch segregationist back in the day and ran against President Harry Truman on a segregationist presidential ticket.

I'm not raising a big stink because frankly, he can do the job he was gunning for; counting votes. As Slate's John Dickerson reports Lott knows how to get things done and knows how to work with the Democrats. I don't think this is a sign of the GOP "not getting it" as much as it is a sign that the Senate GOP might and I stress, might be moving away from being nothing more than a handmaiden to the President. Under outoging Senator Bill Frist, we saw someone who nothing more than President Bush's man in the Senate who defining point was when he "diagnosed" Terry Schiavo by viewing a videotape. Many people had hoped that in the wake of Lott's racially insenstitive remarks, Frist would be a breath of fresh air. Nope. Frist may not be a racist, but he was inept as a leader and to willing to carry the Bushies water.

Listen, if staunch liberal Ted Kennedy can get along with Lott, then maybe he can do something worthwhile in actually getting work done.

As an African American, I can't forget what he said in 2002. But his record shows he can work with those he doesn't agree with and get things done and so I'm willing to let this pass while not forgetting it, either.

However, Mr. Lott better be careful what he says in public. There are many people with cameras waiting for him to say something stupid again and upload their finds to You Tube. You are on a short leash with me, Mr. Lott, so don't mess up.

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