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Breaking NEWS Trent Lott steps down (CNN)(73 posts)

Breaking NEWS Trent Lott steps down (CNN)rollo tommassi
Dec 20, 2002 7:53 AM
now go sit in the back of the bus...nmmohair_chair
Dec 20, 2002 8:07 AM
at least he's staying in the senate nmDougSloan
Dec 20, 2002 8:21 AM
why shouldn't he leave the senate as well? (nm)velocity
Dec 20, 2002 8:30 AM
because he still represents his constituents?mohair_chair
Dec 20, 2002 8:52 AM
Losing his leadership post seems right to me, because he represents the party, and the party can't afford to be tainted by what Lott said.

Losing his seat seems rather drastic to me. Nothing he said or did disqualifies him to represent his constituents. Believe it or not, you're allowed to be a racist in this country. You're allowed freedom of thought. If the people of his state want him out, they'll recall him or elect somebody else next time.
What has been the reaction in Mississippi?velocity
Dec 20, 2002 9:11 AM
Hopefully Lott's remarks do not represent the view of the majority of his constituents. His constituents certainly have the right to make that determination.
Great pointscarnageasada
Dec 20, 2002 10:10 AM
Even obvious racists like David Duke or Farrakan have a right to run for office and speak their thoughts while doing so. And your point about him as a leader, I like too. Even if his comments were not intended to be racist he showed a poor choice in words for a leader of a political party, but they were not so poor he should be forced to resign his senate seat. I hope he faces a recall or another election instead of a resignation.
my viewDougSloan
Dec 20, 2002 9:04 AM
I did not even read the other discussion on this, but this is how I see it.

First, the comment on its face was not even close to being racist. wasn't it something like "the nation would have been better off if you'd (Thurmond) been elected (back in '48)"?

I think the comment was nothing more than trying to make an old man feel good. I have read no evidence that it was anything more than that.

To read more into it than that, you must assume he meant that Thurmond should have been elected, and that if elected, he would have supported segregationalist policies. I just can't believe that that is what he meant. I just don't buy it.

Remember that Thurmond has been a US Senator since 1954. He was originally a Democrat, too. So, where has been all the outrage that Thurmond was racist ever since? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to have called for the resignation of the racist himself, more so than someone simply, but arguably, implying that he supported the so-called racist?

This is nothing more than opportunistic lynching of a conservative figure. It happens all the time. It is manufactured news. Those calling for resignation are so hypocritical that they have no credibility at all. Where were all these attackers when Clinton was lying under oath, interfering with justice, and essentially abusing women? Clinton's proven attitude toward and treatment of women was far, far worse than this comment by Lott. Why wasn't everyone, I mean everyone, calling for Clinton's resignation?

I'll tell you why. First, there is a huge double standard. Democrats are given free rein to say or do whatever they want, as they for the most part champion liberal media causes, they have "good intentions in their hearts" ("I feel your pain"), and attackers are always portrayed as "mean spirited," "petty," or "playing politics." On the other hand, Republicans can't slip in the slightest. Principled Republicans even expect their own to fall on their swords when they do anything even arguably wrong; they are attacked by their own before the media and the liberal left even get a crack at them. Plus, minor gaffs are treated as evidence of a universal conservative "anti-everthing that is good" mentality. They are roasted even before they have as chance to explain. It's a pure, unfair, double standard.

Further, this comment could be inferred to be evidence of prejudice only if, in my view, you can find other evidence that Lott is prejudiced or supported segregationalist policies. I'm not aware of any. I don't think anyone has pointed to even one thing he's done as a public official that smacks of prejudice. So, I think it's a big do about nothing.

If we are going to demand resignations of public officials for any and all gaffs they make, then so be it. Just do it consistently. No double standards.

let me add...DougSloan
Dec 20, 2002 9:28 AM
I hate racists and racism, too. I can't stand it. If I believed he truly were racist, I wouldn't support him for a second.

However, I don't think that means that we "play the race card" in trumped up efforts to attack opponents, primarily because they are the political opposition, especially when the body is closely divided. It seems that we are hypersensitive to race isssue, which is not bad on its face, but it is bad to utilize the race issue in a false attack. It weakens positions on real race issues.

Is racism beauty?jose_Tex_mex
Dec 20, 2002 9:45 AM
I am sure everyone here has said far worse. I think issues like this give rise to the belief that racism is the witch hunt of our time.

Again, I will state that what Lott "thought" was not as bad as the actions and words of some democrats. There's where I have a problem.

Clinton - honored a segregationist (Fullbright) and had Confederate flag day in AK. To those who believe this is a racist symbol, where was the outcry?

Gore - comes from a line of segregationists. Didn't his father and Fullbright go against the 60's Civil Rights Bill?

Sharpton and Jesse - if you do not believe both have made racial comments, actions, or had racist thoughts, I doubt anything I could write here would change your mind.

What's the name of the Demo in the House (or Senate) that made the white "n-word" comment.

Is racism beauty? - It really seems to be in the eye of the beholder.
Doug, you are absolutely correct on all pointsPaulCL
Dec 20, 2002 10:24 AM
There is a clear double standard. I never quite understood how Lott's comments were all that bad - it was the press interpretation of the comments that made them racist.

I understand why all of the Senate republicans and our President had to back away from Lott. I am sure Lott is mad at the world and mad at himself because of politics. Politics is a game and Lott fumbled the ball.

As you point out, how many democrats have done far worse and still hold their office and or committee chair??? Barney Frank getting caught will a male page?? He's lauded for expressing his sexuality! Crap. Clinton ...hell, a laundry list of stuff. Hillary Clinton...perjury, stealing, murder??? If a republican had been accused of even 10% of what the Clintons' have been accused (I wrote 'accused' not convicted) of doing, the republican would have done the right thing, the honorable thing, and resigned.

Screw it. Until moderates get into jounalism. Until moderates heed a "call" to journalism, there will always be a double standard.
Let's see, you just accused Hillary of murder, near asOldEdScott
Dec 27, 2002 8:32 AM
I can tell. OK, you move over to this that side, with the nuts ...
let me add...Jon Billheimer
Dec 20, 2002 11:12 AM

You're awfully thin-skinned about any criticism of a conservative. And need you be reminded that Clinton was damn near impeached for his scurrilous behaviour?
"near" impeached? nmDJB
Dec 20, 2002 11:41 AM
Yes impeached. Impeachment = accusation.Captain Morgan
Dec 20, 2002 11:50 AM
Actually, he WAS impeached. "To make an accusation against" and "To charge (a public official) with improper conduct in office before a proper tribunal."

Its a matter of semantics though.
agreed (nm)DJB
Dec 20, 2002 11:53 AM
Yes impeached. Impeachment = accusation.Captain Morgan
Dec 20, 2002 11:56 AM
Actually, he WAS impeached. "To make an accusation against" and "To charge (a public official) with improper conduct in office before a proper tribunal."

Its a matter of semantics though.
Doug, Doug, Doug. There is no double standard. Hell, Clintonbill
Dec 20, 2002 10:19 AM
was impeached, for heavens sake. Many former supporters left his side. The press was merciless. It didn't stick harder because, I think, no one really believed that the people he was alleged to have abused weren't willing, adult participants in an ancient and time-honored practice of women who are attracted to powerful men. It's a very old story that most people frankly aren't that bothered by. The allegations to the contrary were well-aired. The perjury was WAY overblown, and I think that most people knew that -- no one else ever would have been prosecuted for perjury for lying in a civil deposition. I won't say that it has never happened, but it doesn't much, and it happens only when the deponent lies about the thing that brought them before the Court in the first place -- not an ancillary issue, and this certainly was an ancillary issue. At bottom, it was the people, the constituency who didn't care. Sure, people who hated Clinton, hated him more, and some people who loved him no longer did. An awful lot of people who loved him, though, forgave him for a human frailty.
I'm not trying to apologize for Clinton. I'm just saying that Clinton didn't receive a bye from some cabal. I just don't believe that. To give a little perspective, people around the world, particularly in Europe, thought that the whole thing was nuts, nuts, nuts.
And trying to make Clinton into a racist is a losing proposition. It doesn't hold water. Some pandering to racists, along with the pandering to race-conscious minorities? Perhaps. But Clinton ain't no racist.
Lott, on the other hand, does have a history of racism and racist comments, going back to fighting against the integration of his fraternity. Some are not as blatantly racist as others, but none are inconsistent, and some are quite recent. He fought the renewal of the Voting Acts right in the mid-90's, he has opposed affirmative action consistently, he has opposed honoring Martin Luther King, he has given very sympathetic speeches to that right-wing whatever it is organization, etc., etc., etc.
The vapidity of his 11th hour conversion, giving the lie to his protestations (also 11th hour) that what he said was not racist, was that he repudiated each one of these positions on the BET interview. Well, if these were not racist, why was he repudiating them?
If you have "read no evidence that it was anything more than trying to make an old man feel good," well, you haven't been paying much attention. The reason why all the Southern Democrats became Southern Republicans is because Democrats used to be the party of race repression until FDR, and then, when they weren't any more, racists had to seek out the party that was. That is not to say that all Republicans are racists or all racists are Republican, but the history is there and rather easy to see. "States rights" was code for keeping the darkies out of white schools. It could mean more, but it hasn't. Not in the popular debate, anyway. Entire public school systems dried up overnight because of integration, with private schools springing up like mushrooms. And, oh yeah, all the places where that happened are now heavily Republican. Coincidence? Puhlease.
The irony of this discussion is that the Democrats aren't doing this. The Republicans are doing it. You can't very well accuse liberals and Democrats for hypocrisy, because they'd all have been thrilled for Lott to have remained.
Nope. This was the Republicans eating one of their own for their own purposes.
Right on! (nm)czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 11:00 AM
Republicans eating their own? Democrats innocent?Captain Morgan
Dec 20, 2002 11:23 AM
12/9/02 - Former Vice President Al Gore said Monday that Senate Republican leader Trent Lott should be censured for his "racist statement..."

12/16/02 - "Even if Lott survives, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., said he wants colleagues to consider a resolution condemning the comments by the Mississippi Republican that seem so racially tinged they have ignited a political firestorm that is still raging. The warnings and laments of Nickles, Lieberman and other senators on Sunday's network talk shows..."

12/18/02 - "How can they jump on him when they're out there repressing, trying to run black voters away from the polls and running under the Confederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina?" Clinton said Wednesday in New York. "I mean, look at their whole record. He just embarrassed them by saying in Washington what they do on the backroads every day."
Dems are more than happy to move in after the kill nmDougSloan
Dec 20, 2002 11:28 AM
the rules of the gamemohair_chair
Dec 20, 2002 12:52 PM
Of course! The role of the Democrats is to keep this thing alive, because it's embarrassing to the Republicans. The Republicans dumped Lott to save the party and allow everyone to get back to business. Now is the time when the Democrats make sure everyone remembers it.

There is no way that anyone can tell me that if the parties were reversed, it wouldn't happen exactly the same way. It's absurd to believe otherwise, because it ignores most of recent political history. Politics can be brutal business, but most politicians know this and buy into the game. The rules are simple. Screw up, and you will be pounced on. Screw up big enough and you will lose your job. If your opponent screws up, you are obligated to pounce. Lott is lucky, because he still is a Senator.
Do you really have a problem with these statements?bill
Dec 20, 2002 12:24 PM
And, with the exception of what Clinton said, they seem pretty mild -- nothing worse than what Republicans have been saying (look at your second excerpt -- Nickels is a Republican, isn't he?). Let's also not forget that Lieberman excoriated Clinton from the Senate floor in very harsh terms. Gore didn't as explicitly (I remember words of mild support among words of mild rebuke), but he may as well have in the scheme of things, by distancing himself from Clinton then and probably to his political detriment in the last election.
Lott stepped aside not because of Democratic pressure, but from Republican pressure. The Democrats would have loved to whip the Majority Leader with this every time Lott's shiny head popped up.
And, do you not doubt that what Clinton said is true? There are bastions of Democratic racism, but I can think of Boston and not much else. Compared to the entire South, which is now a bastion of Republican racism, well, there isn't much comparison.
Race is the issue that the Republicans cannot shake. Although they started as the party of Lincoln, the parties changed partners somewhere between Teddy Roosevelt and Nixon. That's why it is such a trenchant issue.
Yes I doCaptain Morgan
Dec 20, 2002 12:59 PM
First, let me say that Lott got what he deserved.

Secondly, I never really considered racism to be a Republican/Democrat thing. Why do you (and Clinton) say that it is? What in the Republican party is considered racist that would attract these biggots?

Lastly, the Republicans put pressure on Lott so as to not give the Democrats any more ammunition against the party. If a Democrat had uttered Lott's comments, I'm sure Clinton and Gore and Lieberman would not have been as active in the press with such statements.
oh, man, get your head out of the sand. Look, I don't thinkbill
Dec 20, 2002 1:24 PM
that every plank of the Republican platform is racist, far from it. But, you're kidding yourself if you don't think that the party of white supremacy is the Republican party. Not everyone is a white supremist, but if you're a white supremist and you want to be in a national party, you are not going to join the Democrats. You're going to be a Republican. And plenty are. Republicans are the party of xenophobia. Of anti-semitism. Look at Pat Buchanan, for heavens sake. This is why an awful lot of blacks and jews and hispanics are Democrats. They know what only you apparently do not. Like I said before, all these places where integration was imposed suddenly experienced massive white flight -- from the neighborhoods, from the schools. Most of the areas that are the product of white flight are now Republican. I can see it all around me in Virginia. It's been this way for the twenty-plus years I've been here.
I do think that the Republican party is changing, but it's not changed. Clinton spoke the truth.
Oddly, this event really may change the Republican party to refocus its agenda on issues other than race-baiting and may end up doing in the Democrats but good. Because the Democrats are mired in their own dance with race, and it's not very healthy, either. The activist core of the Democratic party is to the left of the actual constituency, and abandoning its own brand of racial politics is going to be very difficult.
you're wrongDougSloan
Dec 20, 2002 1:40 PM
You make the same mistake of generalizing from a few extreme examples as any racist would if they said "Muslims are terrorists." No difference.

Democrats make everything they can about race, even if it's arguably only remotely connected. Deny welfare benefits -- well, then you must be racist, as a disproportionate number of welfare recipients are black. Isn't that the way it works? Across the board tax breaks -- racist. Against school lunches -- racist. States' rights -- racist. The Democrats have traditionally appealed to the underprivileged or those who self-righteously sympathize with them (to gain their votes). Therefore, Democrats want to turn disputes into race issues, as it sells to their constituencies.

Don't confuse economic differences with race. There may well be some distinct economic principled differences between the parties. That is not, while the Dems would like to portray it as such, a "code word" for racism.

"Clinton speaks the truth." -- now who's sticking his head in the sand? LOL

Your confusing race-baiting with racist-baiting.czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 2:12 PM
Neither is respectable, but they are completely opposite.

Once again, you are excusing racsim by drawing a moral equivalence. This time you are saying that hating and actively discriminating against people based on race is no worse than accusing someone of doing so, because the latter is occasionally done in bad faith. So, if the GOP promotes neo-confederate white-supremacist pet causes, or quietly profits from the kind of disenfranchisement of Black voters that we saw in the Florida in 2000, that's fine because the Democrats read a racial bias in the tax laws?
who said they were equivalent?DougSloan
Dec 20, 2002 3:41 PM
I never said that. You are soooo good at the strawman argument, aren't you? Put words in my mouth and then attack them. Very effective tactic, if no one challenges you. Typical Democratic tactic. :-)

Racism is bad. Period. Regardless of what others do or say, it is never acceptable.

Using race as an issue when it really isn't is bad, too. I agree, not nearly as bad as racism itself, but in the long run, I think that crying "the sky is falling" and making every issue about race when it isn't probably promotes racism.

I don't accept anything you said, there, as it's all strawman. I never said or even impliedly endorsed any of the so-called evils (even if true) you mention.

but your own tautologywas to rebuff the allegation of racism bybill
Dec 20, 2002 3:59 PM
saying that it's a generalization without support and then to say that it's all about race with you Democrats. Not only doesn't one follow the other, but the second doesn't respond and the first is empty. Because it's a generalization with real bite.
Don't you see that's why the Republicans hung Lott out to dry? Because they really can't retrospectively rebut the allegations of racism without friggin going back to Lincoln, and they realize that Lott is a poster boy for what hampers their efforts to move forward. And I do think that they actually want to move forward.
You, in the comparison. . .czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 4:36 PM
. . .between Republican racism and Democrat racist-baiting. Even now you are saying that "making every issue about race when it isn't probably promotes racism". Am I putting those words in your mouth?
And speaking of effective tactics,czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 4:47 PM
claiming that you are the victim of rhetorical dirty tricks is right up there.

Of course, trying to sell people on the notion that the racism in Lott's statements were put there by a Democratic lynch mob didn't work for Lott. Maybe you'll have better luck.
I don't know. Are we in the same country? Talking aboutbill
Dec 20, 2002 2:46 PM
the same people?
So many former Southern Democrats who were avowedly racist, segregationist, anti-miscegenation, things that most people don't even think about, have become Republican. In some cases, prominent Republicans.
States rights was code for white supremism. It was. It's a fact. These people vote conservative, they vote Republican.
I go back to a very powerful example, and maybe people in other parts of the country don't recognize that this is what occurred. In the South, when it had to be integrated, Southern Democrats fought hard against it. Why were they Democrats? Because Reconstuctionists were Republican. To be a Republican was to be a traitor to your soil. And, let me tell you, Reconstruction sucked. The scars are still felt. And, along with raping the economy, those Republican Reconstructionists put dark folks on judges benches and statehouses. So now your animosity towards Republicans is tied to your racial feelings.
Politics changed, though, some, and the Northern Democrats (e.g., FDR), gained sway. And there was a fairly progressive national Democratic party.
Well, all this hit the fan when, in the nineteen sixties, with some exceptions, integration was basically forced down the throats of the Southern Democratic citizenry by the Justice Department. And then something else happened. The Democrats who fought for integration, and there were some, by and large have remained Democratic. Those that were against it, however, and the constituencies they served, largely have become Republican.
I don't know. What else can I say?
Why is this so persistent? I don't know. I can guess. Conservatives tend to have less patience with people who stand in their way or with people who aren't "pulling themselves up by their bootstraps." This thinking doesn't have to be racist, but it ties in awful well. Conservatives by their very nature seem to have less openness to cultures that are different, to people that are different. Don't change; it's our country. It could just be that they like the same ol' things. But it ties in awfully well with racism.
But that's armchair BS. I think it has a lot more to do with the history than the philosophy really.
As I also alluded to, I think that the Democrats have their own problems with race-pandering. That's different, though, from thinking that, well, why can't they all just speak English and why do they have to come here and why should I help a black person?
But I certainly don't have race relations figured out.
I repeatCaptain Morgan
Dec 20, 2002 1:53 PM
I repeat, what in the Republican platform draws these biggots in? Your agrument that the Republicans are the party of racists because they are the party of racists makes little sense.

I believe people are drawn to the Republican party because of social class, not race. The Republican platform usually favors lower taxes, less wealth redistribution, smaller government (supposedly), and stronger defense. People in favor of the first two tend to be people of higher wealth. Unfortunately, that would include more whites than blacks.

Democrats are anti-business and favor wealth redistribution. More businesses (I am assuming) are run by whites, so many of them would not be attracted to the Democratic party.
Two words: "Confederate Flag" (nm)czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 2:15 PM
Two words: "Mississippi State"Captain Morgan
Dec 20, 2002 5:06 PM
Ever seen them play football? The team is virtually all black the last time I saw them. Their school's symbol is the confederate flag (thousands of them waving in the stands). Must not be too racist to the black players.

Btw, if you are baiting me into defending the confederate flag, you are sadly mistaken. I could care less if I never see one again.
You just did defend the Confederate Flag.czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 6:02 PM
Did you not? By saying that it is not racist because there are black players on the Mississippi State football team?

Correct me if I am wrong.
Dec 20, 2002 11:39 AM
" one really believed that the people he was alleged to have abused weren't willing, adult participants..."

Paula Jones was willing? I don't think so.

"...and it happens only when the deponent lies about the thing that brought them before the Court in the first place..."

If the affair with Lewinsky wasn't relevant to the Jones case, why did Clinton even bother answering the question? You don't have to answer questions that aren't pertinant to the case. Any why did Bill Richardson, then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. travel to Ms. Lewinsky's apartment building with 2 aides to interview her for a job?

""States rights" was code for keeping the darkies out of white schools."

"...because Democrats used to be the party of race repression until FDR, and then, when they weren't any more..."

George Wallace was a ___________. Dwight D. Eisenhower was a __________. Wallace stood in the school doorway in 1963, 18 years after FDR.

"The irony of this discussion is that the Democrats aren't doing this. The Republicans are doing it."

Doing what?

"You can't very well accuse liberals and Democrats for hypocrisy."

The Democrats are hypocrits because they squeal like stuck pigs over Lott's remarks, but when Byrd or Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton make their racist comments, it only takes one apology and then suddenly we're 'a forgiving people'.

(In no way is that an endorsement of segregation or Lott's comments.)
As I said above, the party of Lincoln traded partners with thebill
Dec 20, 2002 12:55 PM
party of Jefferson somewhere between Teddy Roosevelt and Nixon, certainly by Reagan. The transition was not, of course, overnight, nor was it complete for many years. It's still going on. In my state of Virginia, there are still plenty of registered Democrats who vote blue-dog Democrat but who haven't voted for a national Democrat in many years. That is still changing -- blue dog Democrats continue to switch to Republican.
You know, you can't hold up George Wallace as representative of the today's Democratic party any more than you could hold up Teddy Roosevelt as representative of today's Republican party. It's a bit more complicated than that. George Wallace may have run as a Democrat for President, but his policies were solidly Republican -- in line with the "states rights" people that identify as Republican.
Jesse and Al Sharpton? They represent a constituency of the Democratic Party that is hardly mainstream. This doesn't excuse their worst behavior, but I would remind you that Jesse's "Hymietown" thing was almost twenty years ago, and he really has been on the periphery ever since. Sharpton has gone from absolutely a wild-eyed lunatic who was self-described as outside the Democratic fold to something else -- it should be interesting to see what he can make of himself. You don't see, however, national Democratic leaders out there apologizing for these people. You may want to think it, but it's not so.
Let's talk about law and Bill Clinton. Have you read the transcript of the deposition? I think not. I'm the only person I know who's read it, and that's probably a personal problem.
I don't want to pull rank, here, but I guess I will. I'm a lawyer, and I've taken lots and lots of depositions and I've tried cases and I've been to Court on discovery disputes. I've met both Gil Davis and Joe Cammarata, over the years, by the way, and I like them both. I add that they both got out of the case before the sh*t really hit the fan because Jones was both a bit nuts and controlled by that whatever she was Svengali from California. A couple of observations.
It was a sh*tty deposition. Clinton was never pinned down on any essential fact, period (with one exception). He was evasive, some, but mostly it was because the questioners asked lousy questions and then never followed up on anything. Either it was because they knew that the vague, non-responsive answers from Clinton would hang him, or because they were that bad. Probably a little bit of both.
When your client is not being pinned down, you don't object, because all that happens then is that your opposition gets a better deposition. Objections to relevancy rarely go anywhere, by the way, because then to instruct your client not to answer is specifically prohibited.
The one exception is that Clinton said he was never alone with Lewinsky. That he actually said. But for this you're going to find perjury?
No, the stuff wasn't relevant. Trust me. Entering into evidence a "pattern" of abuse is a huge stretch.
I'll tell you what I believe about the Paula Jones thing. I believe that it was not unheard of for Clinton to get a little action in a hotel room. I do not believe that Clinton remembered Paula Jones, but he couldn't rule it out. I also do not believe that he had her escorted in with his thing out. I've known some real pigs, and I've never known anyone to do that. Final score? Paula Jones essentially lied about the event, but probably something happened that Clinton didn't actually remember.
Jones lied?DJB
Dec 20, 2002 1:45 PM
Is that why Clinton paid out a settlement?

Don't forget that Clinton had Bennett submit a false affidavit concerning the affair with Lewinsky. This affidavit was prepared in advance. I did a quick search and found these, among others:

Face it, Clinton know exactly what he was doing.

For you to blame Jones or the prosecution in any way for the Pres. of the U.S. lying under oath is appalling.

By the way, I'm not a Clinton 'hater', I'm a sexual harassment hater.
The second article lays it out more completely, and, no, Ibill
Dec 20, 2002 2:18 PM
don't think that what happened amounted to perjury. It was not admirable, it was misleading, it even may have amounted to civil fraud under the proper circumstances, but criminal perjury requires more than implied acquiescence in what someone else said or possible confusion about what was being corroborated by silence, which is what happened. Bennett properly backed away from what Bennett said about the affidavit. Clinton always has maintained that sexual relations means intercourse, he didn't have intercourse, and that made his obfuscation legitimate. It is very arguable that Clinton did not and never intended to verify Bennett's statement. The circumstances are vague enough.
Actually, I remember a poll that, without reference to Clinton, asked people the meaning of sexual relations and it was either a majority or a heavy minority that agreed with Clinton.
Listen, I think that what Clinton did in this instance was shameful, from top to bottom. I also followed it very closely, and with the one exception of the "being alone" with Lewinsky, he never directly lied (proveably). I've also read the law on perjury prosecutions for statemens made under oath in a civil proceeding, and the law says that the perjury has to be on a material issue, as in, a central issue to the case being litigated. Whether or not Clinton ever was "alone" with Lewinsky was not material to the Paula Jones case. It's technical, it ain't nice, but that's the way it is.
and, yes, I believe that Jones lied. For no reason other thanbill
Dec 20, 2002 2:24 PM
that, as I said above, I have known some real pigs, and I've never known anyone to act as Clinton is alleged to have acted. I thought that her story was stupid. I believe that she probably was in the room, and I believe that she even may have seen Clinton's penis, but I don't believe that it was nonconsensual. Why? Because I believe that if she truly had left in disgust, (but, remember, I don't believe that that's what happened) Clinton would have zipped up his pants and said, oh well, there'll be another one, and that he would not have gone out of his way six inches to make things miserable for her. That would be stupid, and, whatever else you can say about Clinton, he's not stupid. If anything, he would have made sure that she was taken care of.
So, I think she lied. For money, fame, whatever. Which she sort of found.
Trent did much more than just pat ol' Strom on the back....PdxMark
Dec 20, 2002 11:12 AM
Here's Trent's quote:

``I want to say this about my state. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either.''

If Trent had stopped before the last sentence. Fine. A friendly & supportive remark to pat the old man on the back. The problem is the last sentence.

What "troubles" were Trent referring to? Trent briefly offered "defense" as one possiblility, but George Will thoroughly discredited that explanation. Truman was no dove. The only "troubles" that fit Trent's remarks with Strom's presidential platform were race-related troubles associated with the civil rights movement. What else fits?

So, is Trent a racist? Who knows. But does he view the unrest of the civil rights movement as a troublesome nuisance that a good ol' segregationist would have put down? Apparently so.

Many folks belive that the civil rights movement was an important step in getting the reality of the US to match its ideals. Apparently, not everyone thinks that is so. The implication is that things were better back in '48 before we had all these "troubles." That might be an acceptable view for some folks, but it's not for many of us.
Trent did much more than just pat ol' Strom on the back....PdxMark
Dec 20, 2002 11:25 AM
Here's Trent's quote:

``I want to say this about my state. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either.''

If Trent had stopped before the last sentence. Fine. A friendly & supportive remark to pat the old man on the back. The problem is the last sentence.

What "troubles" were Trent referring to? Trent briefly offered "defense" as one possiblility, but George Will thoroughly discredited that explanation. Truman was no dove. The only "troubles" that fit Trent's remarks with Strom's presidential platform were race-related troubles associated with the civil rights movement. What else fits?

So, is Trent a racist? Who knows. But does he view the unrest of the civil rights movement as a troublesome nuisance that a good ol' segregationist would have put down? Apparently so.

Many folks belive that the civil rights movement was an important step in getting the reality of the US to match its ideals. Apparently, not everyone thinks that is so. The implication is that things were better back in '48 before we had all these "troubles." That might be an acceptable view for some folks, but it's not for many of us.
take a deep breath, Dougtarwheel
Dec 20, 2002 11:58 AM
For someone who allegedly is libertarian, neither Republican or Democrat, you sure seem to have a thin skin regarding this issue. It seems to me that much of the criticism of Lott has been from Republicans, not just Democrats. I have seen several op/eds from Conservative pundits calling for Lott's resignation. The Republican party, at long last, finally seems to getting serious about appealing to a broader base. For years, the Republican Party has made subtle (and sometimes overt) racist pitches in its campaigns in the south. If you lived in the south, you would realize this.

Your contention about a double standard baffles me. I cannot recall a single public figure -- including Richard Nixon -- who was villified more than Bill Clinton. Granted, Clinton deserved much of the criticism, but he never really got a fair shake from conservatives -- not from day one. I don't recall the Republicans (or news media) treating Al Gore with kid gloves, either.

The whole point about the Lott affair is that as the leading Republican officer in the House, with his party in control, the speaker has to be someone with a broad base of support. He is not just representing his constituents on Podunk, Miss. What encourages me about this whole issue is that perhaps the Republican Party is finally trying to appeal to a broader base and not just the far right.
that's partly what I saidDougSloan
Dec 20, 2002 12:04 PM
I did say that the Republicans are more than eager to ask their own to resign under such circumstance. The thing is, the Democrats don't operate by the same rules, so that puts the Republicans at a self-imposed disadvantage.

Describe for me any highly visable Democrats who called for Clinton to resign, and I'll shut up permanently on the issue. Voting to impeach is not the same, either, as all that means is put it to a trial. I mean someone who came out publicly, decried what Clinton did, and demanded his resignation. Anyone?

Oh please...mohair_chair
Dec 20, 2002 2:52 PM
No one was going to call for his resignation because of marital infidelties. Democrats correctly saw the Starr investigation as a witch hunt based on years and years of made up stories that never panned out. It would go against the oath that Congressmen take for anyone to suggest resignation. For what? Throw the country into crisis to make conservatives happy? Give me a break.

That doesn't mean Democrats weren't angry with some of the President's actions. Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a longtime Clinton ally, declared on the Senate floor that the president's actions demanded a formal "public rebuke." And read this:
Dems were kind to Bush and Quayle, right?Captain Morgan
Dec 20, 2002 12:31 PM
Common, really. BOTH parties play the game EQUALLY. Bush and Quayle got about as much of a fair shake from the Dems that Clinton got from the Repubs. To say that this is merely a Republican phenomenom is awefully short-sighted.
Bottom line, both are idiots.czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 6:08 PM
Its hard to say aything about an idiot without sounding harsh.
Gingrich, Livingson, D'Amato, Faircolth, Lottcritmass
Dec 20, 2002 12:47 PM
Clinton acquitted, making millions and enjoying life.

It's not rationale to think that Lott hasn't said racist remarks and associated with racist organizations.
There is absolutely no question that Lott is a racist.czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 12:56 PM
None. Personally, I agree that his endorsement of Thurmond was simply a pat on the back to an elderly collegue in his waning years. Nonetheless, between his multitude of like minded statements, his association with white supremacist organizations, and his agitation agains civil rights, you'd have to be blind or an idiot to claim that Lott is not a racist.

True, Thurmonds own campaign was the genesis of this incident. But there is a big difference between running as a segregationist in 1948, and idealizing those same racist policies in 2002. There is no outrage towards Thurmond because he has either seen the error of his ways, or has the sense to keep his mouth shut about them. Lott's behavior, even excluding this incident, proves that he has not.

There is no double standard on the part of the Democrats here. Just as most Democrats accepted apologies for indescretions among their own, most were also ready to accept Lott's qualification of his statement. Few on the Democratic side was screaming for Lott's head. Lott is backing down because of Republican pressure, not Democratic.

As for Democrats never falling on their swords for the good of the party, I submit Richard Gephardt resignation as minority leader for the sin of losing the mid-term election. And as for Democrats getting a free reign to do or say whatever they want, explain how Gore is still getting roasted for boasting about his role in the creation of the internet.

The GOP is the party of choice for racists, and has been since the likes of Lott abandoned the Democratic party for its support of civil rights. Not all Republicans are racist, but I'll wager that a disproportionate number of racists are Republicans. And the fact that the GOP platform appeals to this scum ought to give "principled Republicans" pause. (It cetainly gives me pause with respect to their "principles".) Instead, we hear a bunch of specious nonesense about how this or that Democrat was a racist 40 years ago, without mention of the fact that those that remained in the party reformed their views, and those who persisted in their racism joined the GOP, where they remain to this day.

Your comparison of Clinton's lie about an affair that was itself neither illegal nor injurious to either party, with Lott's support for policies that would deny millions their basic constitutional rights is absolutely pathetic in its moral equivalence.
RacismCaptain Morgan
Dec 20, 2002 1:21 PM
"...but I'll wager that a disproportionate number of racists are Republicans."

Bull crap. I would think an agnostic freethinker would look for concrete evidence as opposed to just heresay.

Btw, I can think of numerous places in the U.S. where you (if you are a white male) could not walk alone at night without encountering serious physical injury due to racism, primarily by people who are not Republicans.

I'll give one thing to Tricky Bill. He did make oral sex more widely accepted among the female populace. :)
Sorry. I should have said "White Supremacy".czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 1:46 PM
And I take their pandering to pro-confederate throwbacks and obstruction of Black's right to vote as evidence.

In these same places that you claim "white males" are singled out, the fact is that nobody is safe if they are alone or in unfamiliar territory. (I can speak to this from personal experience.)
Good interval training, though. nmCaptain Morgan
Dec 20, 2002 1:55 PM
Are you talking about bad 'hoods or Clinton's "legacy"? (nm)czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 2:17 PM
tricky BillDougSloan
Dec 20, 2002 1:48 PM
>I'll give one thing to Tricky Bill. He did make oral sex more widely accepted among the female populace. :)

...another thing he may have accomplished is to make adultry, sexual harrassment, and lying more acceptable among the populace, too.
Oh, yeah, blame Clinton for that too...eyebob
Dec 20, 2002 6:50 PM
Give it a rest. That's too far of a stretch to defend.

Don't Forget Clinton Boosting the sales of AltoidsAlpedhuez55
Dec 24, 2002 9:16 AM
THe girl I was seeing at the time heard about the Monica having some Altoids before giving a hummer and tried it on me. That trick works pretty well. It is a nice little extra tingle.

You have too many Clinton Appologists out there. Many of them, like Bill, look past his faults which includes sexual harrassment, bigotry and racism. Remember, he did plead guilty to perjury and accept a plea bargain. He tried to say Monica was a crazy and imagined the affair until the dress turned up. He was a disgrace to the office and should have resigned.

Paula Jones has more credibility than Bill Clinton. I had to wait 8 years for a middle class tax cut. Pauls has been truthful about everything. She did not bring it up until a state trooper said she had an affair with Clinton in the hotel. She wanted to clear her name. If this is a he said she said deal, she is the more trustworthy of the parties.

I remember the Vast Conservative Conspiracy Hillary was trying to blame the whole impeachement on. I cannot wait for her to be exposed for the Crook she is if she tries to run for President.

Lott did the right thing. Let the democtas gloat if they weant. It just shows how stupid they really are when they let their own party icons (Kennedy, Clinton, Byrd) get away with a lot worse.

Mike Y.
I think that you're overlooking a biggie, Doug.Spoke Wrench
Dec 20, 2002 12:58 PM
Lott just resigned as Majority Leader. I assume that he did so because he knew that he didn't have the votes to withstand a challenge. The Democrats don't get to vote on that. If there's a double standard, its a totally Republican double standard.
Great post DougNo_sprint
Dec 20, 2002 1:04 PM
I feel identical.
"no one called for clintons' resignation"?????rollo tommassi
Dec 20, 2002 1:27 PM
WHAT? are you kidding? people were absolutely howling for his resignation/impeachment/hang lead weights from his testicles!!!

Rightfully so, too, imho.

Double standard? The fact is that BOTH parties are full of malingering, felonious liars and cheats. So shine the light on them and watch them scurry. Do a Google search on "Lott Voting Record", read every hit, and decide for yourself.

Why couldn't Lott say something like "I renounce all forms of segregation and I regret that I didn't support the Civil Rights act in my voting record?" The only way we as voters can know what a politician believes in is to hear him/her say it.
any known Democrats, though? nmDougSloan
Dec 20, 2002 1:41 PM
Did Bush call for Lott's resignation?czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 1:56 PM
Or is he not among the "principled" Republicans?
Did Gore call for Clinton's? (nm)Captain Morgan
Dec 20, 2002 5:08 PM
How is that relevant? (nm)czardonic
Dec 20, 2002 6:06 PM
Doug, no kidding, you put fear and despair in my heart.cory
Dec 20, 2002 3:57 PM
I don't mean to be personal about this--you have a right to your opinion. But you're a smart guy, at least smart enough to get a law degree, yet you overlook so much in the interest of your ideology that it's just scary. If an intelligent person, trained in the rules of evidence, can think as selectively as you do, what chance does reason have among the unwashed?
I don't want to pick at this item by item, but consider just one thing: Lott has a documented history of membership and participation in, attendance at and support of white supremacist and segregationist groups and activities going back more than 40 years. His votes in the Senate reflect AT BEST a lack of interest in promoting equality. And now he's made a stupid statement and he has to answer for it.
That's got nothing to do with Bill Clinton, nothing to do with Robert Byrd, nothing to do with anything but him: His beliefs are plain fact, well-known in the Senate and to journalists who cover it. If anything, the media have laid off him, by not reporting his actions as aggressively as they should: Compare the coverage of his 1992 statements with, say, the savaging of Hillary Clinton a year later; Newt Gingrich got similarly delicate treatment when he was cheating on his wife. These same examples debunk your claim that there's a double standard, as does the Teflon coverage of Ronald Reagan and the free ride Bush has gotten since Sept. 11 on things like his use of executive orders to jam through things he could never get past even a Republican Senate. He's effectively set up an executive-branch dictatorship, pushing the legislative arm aside. Take a few minutes and read the Patriot Act--it will send even you screaming to the ACLU.
good pointDuane Gran
Dec 23, 2002 6:04 AM
Remember that Thurmond has been a US Senator since 1954. He was originally a Democrat, too. So, where has been all the outrage that Thurmond was racist ever since? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to have called for the resignation of the racist himself, more so than someone simply, but arguably, implying that he supported the so-called racist?

Excellent point. I have been saying the same thing for two weeks, but I suppose once a person reaches 100 years of age they deserve a little slack. I suppose if I reach 80+ I'll regret my stance on a few political issues.

That said, I believe Lott stepped down for the good of his party. Undoubtedly the Democrats would have leveraged this issue at every opportunity (just as Republicans would if the shoe were on the other foot) so he had to get out of the line of fire. Personally I think more outrageous things have been said and ignored by politicians.
Doug, I'm shocked.Len J
Dec 23, 2002 8:10 AM
Read what Lott said, and remember it in the context of the Platform that Thurmond ran on, segregation. Every issue inb the Thurmond campaign was addressed based on segregation. When Lott say "We would have been better off if you (Thurmond) won." what else could he possibly mean except that segregation would have been the order of the day & the country would be better for it?

As Rollo Said, read his voting record, it's clear that he does not embrace equality.

How can you not see racism in his comments?

Truly shocking. Wow.OldEdScott
Dec 27, 2002 8:29 AM
Not just blinkers, not just blinders, but both those things and a blindfold too. I'm seeing this a week late, but Doug's statement on Lott is the most stunning poltical statement I've ever seen on this board, from someone who's not an obvious nut. Wow.
Yeah, right--we NEED more racists in government (nm)Silverback
Dec 20, 2002 8:33 AM
re:Yeah, right--we NEED more racists in government (nm)gregario
Dec 20, 2002 8:48 AM
did you know that Robert Byrd was at one time a member of the KKK? I just don't get that....
Re Byrd--at least he QUIT. Lott made his remarks in 2002Silverback
Dec 20, 2002 11:18 AM
I've heard that Byrd argument used a lot lately, as though it somehow excuses Lott's statement. I've also read unconfirmed (but presumably true) statements about allegedly racist behavior by Clinton years ago.
I spent a lot of time in the South in the mid-'60s, and it's a sad fact that that behavior was very normal in that time and place. First time I was in Georgia, I stopped for gas at a station that had a drinking fountain out front labeled WHITES ONLY, and a hose lying on the ground with a sign that said COLORED--and this was in 1965, not a century ago.
The whole Black/watermelon/fried chicken/picaninny/Earl Butz mentality, hateful as it was and is, was very widely accepted in the South less than 40 years ago. The Democrats' push for civil rights in the '60s is what drove Southerners to the Republican party and what accounts for GOP successes there today (see this week's Newsweek for the history). It would be sad, but not at all surprising, if Clinton and Byrd and many other people their ages bought into it.
The difference, to me, is that they QUIT thinking that way. Lott has given plenty of well-documented evidence that he never did.
Byrd made his latest comment in 2001. (nm)DJB
Dec 20, 2002 12:15 PM
True Partisan ParityJon Billheimer
Dec 20, 2002 1:03 PM
When it comes to the Hypocrisy/Mudslinging Sweepstakes no party has an advantage. It's a dead heat, folks.

If you guys think Lott's remarks are worth getting exercised about you should tune in to the latest Canadian political firestorm. One of our prominent Indian politicans/chiefs in a public address and again in remarks to a reporter right afterward went on one of the most virulent anti-Semitic tirades I've ever heard this side of the Aryan Nations' annual general meeting. He justified Hitler's actions in "frying 6 million of those guys," etc., etc. This coming from a group which alleges racist discrimination against themselves on a daily basis made Jesse Jackson look bland by comparison. The upshot? There are ignorant, bigoted people everywhere. In that respect Lott is a minor leaguer. At the same time, given his position he should've known better.