Advice to Democrats regarding the Pickering fight: don't make an issue of Bush's own racial feelings. If you do you will lose. Bush and Rove know this and will try their damndest to lead you into that trap. The point of this fight is not Bush's racial disposition. You will have a hard time convincing many people that he is racist or bigotted. The point of this fight is to show that the GOP pays lip-service to civil rights while, at the same time, offering a safe-haven to the cockroach contingent. The Pickering nomination is nothing more than a sop to sheetheads and proves that the southern strategy is alive and well. Remember, the reason the GOP was so quick to jettison Lott was not because they feared he would jeaopardize their standing with blacks. Rove and Bush are smart enough to know that their standing with that constituency is about as bad as it has ever been for the Republican Party. No, what the Republicans are afraid of is that the middle-class, white, suburbanite contingent of the Undecideds will recoil at anything associated with the sheetheads and will start looking around for a more comfortable alternative. The Democrats have to (1) make it clear that southern strategy is alive and well and that the Pickering nomination proves this and that (2) the Democrats can provide a more comfortable fit. To repeat: the issue is not Bush. The issue is the continuing strategy of behind-the-scenes appeals to the cockroaches. Turn on the lights and watch them scatter!