Wednesday, October 04, 2006

mississippi goddamn!

Senator Trent Lott is a racist. He’s not a behind closed doors racist—he’s an out loud and proud one. It’s really that simple—or at least should be.

First, there were the remarks about Strom Thurmond’s Dixiecrat run at the White House—implying that if we’d all just supported the segregationist Thurmond back in ’48, America would be a better place today. That public proclamation cost him his party leadership position.

But that was four years ago, and, at least according to the handicappers, voters have a short memory. So, let’s all thank Trent for reminding us about his worldview.

First, there was this gem, made last week after emerging from a meeting with the President and Vice President:

Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me.

I know, I know—what he really wanted to say was, “Why can’t we all just get along?” Right?

Well, Jon Stewart gave Senator Lott a chance to polish his remarks—a do-over, really. Here’s Lott’s revised assessment of the violence in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East:

STEWART: There was one other thing that you mentioned after your meeting with President Bush that I wanted you to have a chance to address. You mentioned Sunnis and Shiites are fighting each other and we don’t know why they are doing that. And why should they fight each other, and who the hell knows the difference, or something along those lines. Do you want to address that quote in some way. I was trying to be delicate about this.

LOTT: I certainly didn’t mean to offend Muslims, but one of the points that I’ve made –

STEWART: You better not.

LOTT: I never have understood why people kill each other over religion, number one.

STEWART: Nice, I appreciate that, that’s nice.

LOTT: I always had trouble understanding — Iraqis look like Iraqis, and Americans look like Americans. Now I can’t tell –

STEWART: You mean that as unity, not as what the hell, they all look alike to me.

LOTT: Methodist, Baptists, and Catholics live in my hometown. They all look the same to me, they all look like Americans.

It’s amazing, because, as you see, to read or watch it, Stewart actually tries to help Lott out—a couple of times—but the Senator keeps on going in the same direction. He truly doesn’t get it—because deep down, Trent Lott is a racist.

So, why is it that there seems to be no chance in hell that Lott will lose his bid for another term this November? Is it just, well, you know, that it’s Mississippi? I don’t want to engage in my own stereotyping. I’ve gotta think that many registered voters in The Magnolia State are offended by Lott’s vision of a lilywhite paradise. But whom are they going to vote for instead of Trent Lott?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Honorable Erik R. Fleming, Democratic nominee for Senate from Mississippi.

I know very little about Fleming (and a night’s worth of searching hasn’t helped much). I know that he won the nomination after a hard primary battle and a run-off. I know that his website looks like it was designed by a ninth grade computer lab. I know that his Wikipedia page mentions strong ties to Lyndon LaRouche—though, Fleming, to his credit, now calls his support of “Lyn” a mistake. I know that he loves Mississippi. . . and Christ. . . a lot. And I know that he really wants to be on Oprah

Oh, and Fleming has a blog!

. . . which he doesn’t really post on very often.

I know I’m not being fair. Fleming is a Mississippi State Representative, and for all I know, he may be a really great guy. But, from looking at his site and what little else I can find, it doesn’t seem he’s a really great candidate.

So, next time you hear some beltway big shot (Rahm? Paul?) mouthing off about how DNC Chair Howard Dean is wasting Democratic Party money on his 50 State Strategy, point to Mississippi and shout, “Goddamn!”

When effective state organizations and quality candidates are in place for every race, you then have a chance to capitalize on “slips” like Lott’s—and then pick up what was considered a safe Republican seat. That’s what has happened in Rep. Mark "Maf54" Foley’s district (vote for Democrat Tim Mahoney). . . and in Senator George "Macaca" Allen’s state (vote for Democrat James Webb).



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