Thursday, December 12, 2002

Bush Denounces Lott's Remarks PHILADELPHIA - President Bush, in rare criticism of a fellow Republican, said Thursday it was offensive and wrong for Senate Republican leader Trent Lott to have said a segregationist candidate for president should have won in 1948. "Any suggestion that a segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive and it is wrong," Bush said to loud and long applause in a speech about his faith-based agenda. "Recent comments by Sen. Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country," Bush said. Lott said Wednesday he made "a mistake of the head, not the heart" by saying last week the nation would have been better off if 1948 segregationist candidate Strom Thurmond had been elected president. He admitted the comment, made during a 100th birthday tribute to the South Carolina Republican senator, could be seen as offensive and asked for forgiveness. "He (Lott) has apologized and rightly so. Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals," Bush said. "And the founding ideals of our nation and in fact the founding ideals of the political party I represent was and remains today the equal dignity and equal rights of every American."
You know, I hate it when Bush makes a statement that is both strong and in line with what I believe. He showed Trent how he SHOULD have responded to this situation with his strong condemnation of the evils of segregation. I am not one of those who think that Bush is a closet racist. I'm sure that there are plenty of Republicans who are totally egalitarian. However, there are also plenty of Republicans who are willing to "play the race card" in order to stay in the good graces and get the votes of those who are racist bigots. Bush is one of them. I always remember how Bush responded to the Buchanan situation in 2000. When Pat was thinking of leaving the party I commented that Bush could turn this into his "Sister Souljah moment" by telling Buchanan that he could leave and that he wouldn't be missed. But, instead, Bush's only comment was to say that he "needed the votes" Buchanan represented (yes, he really did say that). Bush, or at least Karl Rove, is smart enough to seen that Lott's situation is a no-brainer and that Dubya needed to get out ahead of it now before people started turning on him as well. I just wish he would stick to these convictions even when it wasn't politically necessary for him to do so.


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