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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Monday, December 09, 2002



The "Thanks a Lott, Beat It" Coalition Is Coming Together

With a heads-up from the Hammer, I see that, according to Drudge, Al Sharpton is taking the lead:

Reverend Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network, has asked for a meeting with RNC (Republican National Committee) Chair Marc Racicot and has announced he will begin a national campaign calling for the removal of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.

Let's re-visit Joe Conason:

But Lott's conduct is a moral offense as well as a political issue. Which Democrat believes in the party's professed principles of equality? Which Democrat has an iota of the courage demonstrated by Harry Truman and Hubert Humphrey in 1948? Which Democrat will be the first to demand an apology from Trent Lott on the floor of the Senate -- and if he declines, as he will, which Democrat will dare to propose a resolution of censure?

That's the Democrat who should be running for president. The others should hide their faces because they're cowards.


In fact, let's check this from Joe: "If only Drudge had given the Lott story bigger play, maybe Judy Woodruff and the Times editorial board would consider it important. "

When you're hot, you're hot! Joe writes and the world turns! Well, OK, Al is not a Senator - yet.

I argued a while back that Al Sharpton would run a spoiler campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2004. Now, I think he has surveyed the field and intends to run as the voice of left wing Democrats, with no special emphasis on racially divisive issues such as slavery reparations. If this is correct, the challenges Al might pose to the Democratic party could be significant - the telegenic quote machine becomes the voice of the frustrated Left, and away we go! Someday soon, the other Al will announce his intentions for 2004 - then the scope of the "Two Al" situation will become more clear.

UPDATE: Did I mention my "Two Al" theory? Big Al Gore must be a reader of Joe Conason as well - check this from CNN:

Gore said Monday in an interview on CNN's "Inside Politics with Judy Woodruff" that Lott should apologize for his comments or face censure by the Senate.

And Gore is a former Senator! That should move him ahead of Al Sharpton for the Conason endorsement.

Meanwhile, Daschle says " There are a lot of times when he and I go to the mike and would like to say things we meant to say differently, and I'm sure this is one of those cases for him as well.,"

So, Daschle, Gore, and Sharpton - the three wise men have arrived early this year.

The blogosphere revealed a left-right division on this subject - the right generally believed that the comment indicated Lott had poor judgement, the left that it meant he was racist.

Al Sharpton picked the "Lott is racist" theme. Sharpto canadvance this with passion, coherence,amd perhaps even sincerity.

Daschle went wiht the "Misstatement" theme. He has worked with Lott for years, and presumably has his own judgement as to whether Lott is truly a rascist,or simly incompetent to speak in public.

But let's admire the silken touch and subtle skills of Al Gore:

Asked if he believes Lott is a racist, Gore said, "Trent Lott made a statement that I think is a racist statement, yes....

[it] is divisive and it is divisive along racial lines. That's the definition of a racist comment."


Yes, and that is the definition of an evasive answer. Al Gore manages to come across as phony and opportunistic. The question "Do you believe Trent Lott is racist?" is neither difficult nor unexpected - maybe next time, Big Al will have an answer ready.




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