Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Mississippi Burning

The Note reports:

Six days and three written statements after his remarks at Strom Thurmond's birthday party, Senator Lott's PR problem has escalated from a slow burn to a modest forest fire. Still ... we don't hear a widespread drumbeat. The clubby Senate, including the Democratic wannabes, has been mostly quiet and accepting of Lott's apologies; there hasn't been a critical right-leaning website piece in what seems like a full news cycle; the party's (outgoing) sole African-American member has some good pro-Lott spin going; and this thing might just be lapsing into the more familiar "Democrats (and the media) vs. Republicans" dynamic that will serve to rally core support to Mr. Lott's side, just as Democrats hope it will rally African-Americans to theirs.

"There hasn't been a critical right-leaning website piece in what seems like a full news cycle?"

Well, if the folks at the Note had waited a bit later in the day to publish, they might have noticed the double barrelled blast against Senator Lott by OpinionJournal Best of the Web:

Remember a few weeks ago when Republicans were crowing about the Dems' selection of Nancy Pelosi as House minority leader? She was going to take a more confrontational approach, steering her party hard to the left and thus outside the mainstream. Thanks to Lott, the first issue on which Pelosi is confronting Republicans is . . . the 1948 presidential election. And no, she's not sticking up for Henry Wallace. Pelosi is on the side of Harry Truman and Thomas Dewey and the 97.59% of the 1948 electorate that didn't support then-Democrat Strom Thurmond's segregationist candidacy. You can't get much more mainstream than that. .... Call it Dixiecrat Lite. But it's an embarrassment for the party of Lincoln to have a defender of segregation among its leaders in the 21st century.

There's a lot more (pardon the pun) where that came from. James Taranto's keyboard is probably still smoking!

How could Senator Lott be such a repeat fool?

UPDATE: Note take note! John Fund pours some extra strength detergent into the next news cycle.

FURTHER UPDATE: It's better and smarter to agitate than spin.

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