Monday, December 09, 2002

Finally, a Democrat with spine!
Lott under fire for Thurmond comment WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senate Republican leader Trent Lott said Monday he meant no harm by a recent statement that the country would have avoided "all these problems" if voters had, in 1948, elected Strom Thurmond president -- who at that time favored segregation. "This was a lighthearted celebration of the 100th birthday of legendary Sen. Strom Thurmond. My comments were not an endorsement of his positions of over 50 years ago, but of the man and his life," Lott said in a statement. But some Democrats were angry. Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson called for Lott to resign, and former Vice President Al Gore told CNN that the comment was "racist." Issuing one of the harshest rebukes Lott has received to date, even from Democrats, Gore said Monday in an interview on CNN's "Inside Politics with Judy Woodruff" that Lott should apologize for his comments or face censure by the Senate. ... Gore offered no criticism of Thurmond, saying the retiring senator has since "repudiated" those views. But he said Lott's remarks are "divisive" and fit the "definition of a racist comment." "To say that the problems that we have in America today, some of them, stem from not electing a segregationist candidate for president ... is fundamentally racist," Gore said. Asked if he believes Lott is a racist, Gore said, "Trent Lott made a statement that I think is a racist statement, yes. That's why I think he should withdraw those comments or I think the United States Senate should undertake a censure of those comments. "It is not a small thing, Judy, for one of the half dozen most prominent political leaders in America to say that our problems are caused by integration and that we should have had a segregationist candidate. That is divisive and it is divisive along racial lines. That's the definition of a racist comment," Gore said.
And what was Daschle's response to this growing brouhaha?
Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said Monday that he believes Lott did not intend for his comments to be interpreted as racist. "There are a lot of times when he and I go to the mike and would like to say things we meant to say differently, and I'm sure this is one of those cases for him as well," Daschle said.
Tom. Resign. Please. You are a greater threat to the future of the Democratic Party then George W. Bush.

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