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Wednesday, December 11, 2002


Talk Radio’s Pathetic Apologia for Trent Lott’s Neo-Confederate Ideology
I heard Sean Hannity doing his best to explain away Trent Lott’s comments endorsing Strom’s 1948 presidental candidacy. Here are main points in Hannity’s spin (which also were some of the same thoughts expressed on Michael Savage’s show yesterday):
1. What about former klansman Robert Byrd who recently used the term “white nigger”?
2. Lott is not a racist and he was just saluting a man who turned 100 (Bob Novak’s explanation).
3. Al Gore’s father voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
4. Bill Clinton recently saluted his former mentor Senator William Fulbright who opposed various pieces of civil rights legislation.

Here’s how to answer these talking points:

1. Senator Byrd was criticized for his language.
2. Lott has a long pattern of neo-Confederate thought (largely ignored by lazy and/or willing press). Trent Lott’s worldview is revealed in the pages of the Southern Partisan magazine where one finds numerous images of the romanticized view of the antebellum South. This is Lott’s view of paradise and, according to John Ashcroft, if you have a problem with that, then you represent “a perverted agenda.” Trent Lott is a neo-Confederate.
3. Gore’s father did vote against it but he later supported various pieces of civil rights legislation. Lott, on the other hand, pointed to a presidential candidacy specifically intended to thwart the civil right movement and claimed that had it succeeded, then problems would be diminished.
4. Fulbright is best known for his scholarship program and his foreign policy work. Clinton never brought up Fulbright’s opposition to civil rights legislation and praised it. In fact, the news story Hannity cited acknowledged that Clinton disagreed with Fulbright on many issues—and certainly civil rights was one of them. That’s one thing about Clinton that scared the right: Clinton’s appeals to bread-and-butter issues appealed to both African-Americans and working-class whites.

I hope Lott keeps his job in the Senate; now that Strom and Jesse are leaving, we need someone in a leadership position who reminds all Americans that the Party of Lincoln is now the Party of Jefferson Davis.

Addendum: FAIR on Rush's 1993 comments about Strom Thurmond:

LIMBAUGH: Praising Strom Thurmond for calling a gay soldier "not normal": "He's not encumbered by being politically correct.... If you want to know what America used to be--and a lot of people wish it still were--then you listen to Strom Thurmond." (TV show, 9/1/93)

REALITY: In the America that "used to be," Strom Thurmond was one of the country's strongest voices for racism, running for president in 1948 on the slogan, "Segregation Forever."


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