Thursday, December 12, 2002

Bob Somerby delivers:
LOTT SAYS LITTLE: We try not to evaluate pols, but Josh Marshall’s question cries out for an answer. Over the weekend, Marshall composed an apology for Lott to read, then wondered why Trent wasn’t buying:
MARSHALL: The mystery is why he hasn’t even said something like that. He doesn’t even think it’s a big enough deal that he has to address it publicly.
Marshall isn’t alone on this. Last night on Special Report, the entire panel said that Lott has to toughen his apology. All the pundits, including Hume and Barnes, said that Lott’s current stance isn’t enough. To Josh, Lott’s reticence is a “mystery.” But we can solve this puzzle quite easily. Why hasn’t Lott offered a stronger retraction/apology/clarification/restatement? Almost surely, it’s because he has powerful constituent groups he just doesn’t want to offend. Marshall wanted Lott to say, “Everyone should know that I believe segregation was wrong. And I’m very proud of the progress our nation has made in guaranteeing civil rights and voting rights of all Americans, regardless of race, creed or color.” Why hasn’t Lott said something like that? Almost surely, he doesn’t want to offend key supporters. You may be surprised to think that Lott has supporters who would find that offensive. But if the sky is still blue and the grass is still green, that is almost surely why he has stayed away from such a statement. And why didn’t this obvious explanation occur to Josh? Perhaps it’s because we so rarely see frank discussions of race and GOP party politics. What ever happened to liberal bias when the groups to whom Lott wants to appeal are so rarely discussed in the press.
Read the whole thing. Especially the latter part that deals with the flap during the 2000 election over the salary Gore was paying to his advisor Naomi Wolf. And know that Bob Somerby is a national treasure.


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