Friday, December 13, 2002
Swing and a missI just watched Trent Lott's press conference, and my reaction is: pretty lame. It would have been an acceptable speech by Lott, had it been given the day this story broke. As a first apology, it might have seemed sincere. But now? Come on. He's learning as he gets older? What's that? He's sixty years old.
It was extremely reminiscent of Bob Torricelli's farewell speech, minus the farewell. When you're admitting you screwed up, and are begging for forgiveness, it's not the appropriate time to demand credit for good things you've done in the past. "I'm sorry I forgot our anniversary, honey. For the fifth year in a row. But, you know, I've worked hard to make sure I take out the trash every week and clean out the gutters."
And he's still "apologizing to those who got that impression," and apologizing for his "word choice," instead of admitting that he actually said something wrong. Now, I don't expect him to say, "I'm racist," whether he is or isn't. But couldn't he acknowledge that the words themselves were? He started off strong, condemning segregation, but then he acted as if he were just a poor, misunderstood individual.
What I find amusing is that Tom Daschle, Paul Simon (the former senator, not the singer), and James Jeffords, liberals, have come out in support of Lott. It seems that the Old Boy's Club is stronger than any ideology. Most Republican/conservative commentators that I've read, particularly online, including but not limited to James Taranto, Andrew Sullivan, Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, David Frum, and Bill Kristol, have come out against Lott, but his buddies are standing by him.
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