Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Of course, I've been wrong beforeAndrew Sullivan proclaimed that Lott was done as soon as Don Nickles called for a leadership vote. I wasn't quite as convinced. But now I am. Another Republican senator has publicly come out against him, this time explicitly.
"It's time for a change," said Chafee, a moderate Republican from Rhode Island. "I think the biggest problem has been that his apologies haven't connected," he told WPRO-AM radio.Yes, Lincoln Chaffee is a liberal Republican who may not -- almost certainly doesn't -- reflect the sentiment of the core of the Republican party. But that actually works in his favor, I think; with a near evenly divided Senate, the party can't afford to alienate Chaffee, who may be one Klan rally away from switching to the Democratic Party.
And as further evidence, Colin Powell came out and, while giving the obligatory I-don't-think-he's-a-racist, said, "I deplored the sentiments behind the statement. There was nothing about the 1948 election or the Dixiecrat agenda that should have been acceptable in any way, to any American, at that time or any American now." Does Powell say these things if the White House is standing by Lott? I don't think so. But the real kicker is Jeb Bush:
But his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, said Lott's since recanted endorsement of South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist presidential campaign was "damaging" Republicans.No way does Jeb inject himself into this controversy without his brother's permission and approval.
Lott's toast. The only question is how selfish he is, and how much damage he's willing to do to the party before admitting it.
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