Frank Rich repeats a point I've been making all throught his mess:
When Jeb Bush succinctly condemned Mr. Lott for the crime of being "damaging to the Republican Party" — as opposed to, say, being damaging to black people — he was telling the truth. Mr. Lott would not have hurt his party were he an anomaly within it. What made him toxic to the Republican fraternity was his careless revelation of its darkest predilections.He goes on to deride the "minstrel show" quality of Republican photo-ops and the 2000 GOP convention as well as other prominent Republicans who have done as bad, or worse than Mr. Lott did (Ashcroft anyone?) The questions remain: will the establishment media, now that Lott has stepped down, drop this story as they have so often in the past? Will the Democrats continue to be meek on this point? Will they back Clinton in his comments about Lott's tactics being common practice in today's GOP? Speaking of Clinton, notice that his comments got nowhere near the shit-storm level of response that I and many others predicted? Could it be that the word went out in Republican circles to simply not respond to it because, to do otherwise, might bring the issue to light even more? And, of course, the establishment media went along with that directive.
... there are still too many Republican politicians who believe they can pander to whatever racist voters are out there without being called on it. When they are, they cringe — not so much because they care about losing their few black votes but because they care about losing soccer moms who are offended by race-baiting. "Elections are settled in the suburbs nowadays, 43 percent of the vote," said George Will in condemning Mr. Lott. It's that political reality, not any moral imperative, that mandated the majority leader's death sentence. ... I almost feel sorry for Trent Lott. Despite all the hyperbole that preceded his demise, he is no Bull Connor or David Duke or even Jesse Helms. He's just the guy who had to die before anyone looked too closely at other, even more powerful politicians' sins.