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"It's Not About Lott"

It's Not About Lott

Republicans, from the president on down, are playing right into the hands of the Democrats by failing to defend one of their own - Sen. Trent Lott.

Instead of adopting the old tactic that the best defense is an offense, the GOP has retreated like a pack of frightened rabbits in the face of one of the most shameful and hypercritical attacks on a fellow Republican Washington has yet seen.

Trent Lott, of course, hasn't helped his cause by whining about his civil rights record, by apologizing every day for something he should never have apologized for the first time, and by pandering to a black audience on BET - an audience that will never vote for him or any Republican, and caving in on such politically correct issues as affirmative action - a wrong-headed discriminatory policy which rewards people simply for being minorities at the expense of the white majority regardless of the merits of the case.

What Trent Lott said at the 100th birthday celebration of a genuine war hero and long serving fellow senator may not have been the best choice of words but to brand him and the Republican party as racist is outrageous.

Let it be understood, nobody but the most outrageously prejudiced observer could have read into his statements that the nation would have been better off if Strom Thurmond had been elected in 1948, that Lott was implying that he regretted that segregation has been abolished. Certainly nobody in that crowded room, including a dozen or so journalists present saw in that remark anything other than an attempt to make the old man feel good.

It took a while for those Democrats and members of the leftist media to recognize that Lott's meaning in those few words could be twisted into a racist rant which could be used as a cudgel not only to bludgeon Lott, but the entire Republican party.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the focus of the current firestorm is not Trent Lott, but his party, which is now being characterized by its foes as racist. Republicans, it is being said, are inherently racist. Skin a Republican, these demagogues charge, and you'll find a KKK sympathizer underneath.

That rotten strategy has become increasingly obvious, as Democrat stooges in the media, and even a former president, make the charge. Somebody by the name of Jack White managed to sink low enough in Time magazine to accuse my dad, Ronald Reagan, as being a race baiter.

Even the impeached president Clinton chimed in, saying that it is 'pretty hypocritical' of Republicans to criticize Lott for stating publicly what he charged the GOP does "on the back roads every day."

"How do they think they got a majority in the South anyway?" the disgraced former president told CNN. "I think what they are really upset about is that he made public their strategy. They try to suppress black voting, they ran on the Confederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina, and from top to bottom the Republicans supported it.'"

This is what it's all about - Lott is incidental to the matter. Smarting from their inability to whip the black vote up into a frenzy in the November 5th elections when they got their clocks cleaned, the Democrats plan to use the Lott case to increase their grip on the black vote.

We can expect the Democrats to use the Lott case to reopen the discredited case for

new racial preferences and quotas, especially in college admissions, to push for a new, stricter "hate crimes" bill and tax "cuts" for those low income people who don't now pay taxes instead of for wage earners who actually do pay taxes.

"Actions speak louder than words, and the Republican Party is going to have to show that it cares about these issues through the legislation they support and the legislation they allow to pass," said Ranit Schmelzer, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

"Trent Lott is the cue stick by which we engage in our game of billiards," said the Rev. Joseph Lowery, president of Black Leadership Council.

As reported, a Democrat congressman told the Associated Press he "relished the idea of Lott staying as Senate majority leader, or even as just a senator" because the uproar opened the door for all kinds of Democrat legislation.

And a Democrat staffer told AP that whatever happens to Lott, Democrats would shove "his gaffe into Republicans' faces all year long in Congress, at the Justice Department and even at the White House. All issues are going to be looked at through the 'Lott lens.'"

That's the price the Republicans are going to pay for their cowardly refusal to take on the Democrats for their sleazy and utterly dishonest smearing of Trent Lott.

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