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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Drudge: Lottt Said It Before

After a fiery speech by Strom Thurmond at a Mississippi campaign rally in November 1980, Lott, then a congressman, told a crowd: 'You know, if we had elected this man 30 years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess we are today'... MORE... Quotation appeared in an account of the rally on Nov. 3, 1980, in Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss...

Well, I see why the NY Times is placing ads at a real news site.

UPDATE: OK, the Times has this, and delivers the Lott defense: "The mess we are in today", spoken during a campaign that was replete with "Jimmy-bashing", clearly meant the dismal problems in place during the reign of the Peanut Man. Clearly:

A spokesman for Mr. Lott, Ron Bonjean, said the remarks at the 1980 rally did not pertain to race but were made after Mr. Thurmond, then a top draw on the Republican circuit, had complained mightily about President Jimmy Carter, the national debt and federal meddling in state matters.

"We want that federal government to keep their filthy hands off the rights of the states," Mr. Thurmond was quoted as saying.

Mr. Bonjean, when shown the article, said, "Clearly, Senator Lott was praising the policies of Thurmond and Reagan, of smaller government and reducing the federal deficit."

He noted that a campaign rally has a similar celebratory feeling as the party last week.

Well, this defense is worth a shot. Plenty of Republicans who don't like Lott like Carter even less. No, really. And, as much as some on the left would like to imagine otherwise, Republican appeal in the South is based on more than race - a strong national defense, gun rights, a certain anti-union sentiment once popular in the South, a sense that some northern liberals may be partiots, but they are not unabashed patriots - it is all part of the wonderful soup we call American politics.

That said, this latest tidbit does not help Lott. But the clear focus of the "Get Trent" movement must be his latest statement - getting dragged into the briar patch of the 1980 statement would suit Lott perfectly.

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