Thursday, December 12, 2002

The window is closing. If no Republican Senator has broken ranks by Friday; if Republican Senators don't hear enough from angry constituents (especially Republican constituents!) by the end of the week; then we're going to be stuck with Confederatista Lott for two more years. Attention Republicans: even if you think that Lott's apology has been adequate, it is not in your party's interest to keep this wounded, tainted figure as one of its most prominent spokesmen, to create such an obvious (and IMO legitimate!) target for charges of GOP racism. See David Frum, Deroy Murdock, Robert George, Dan Drezner. (See also Josh Marshall on the lies Lott is telling at this point, or Michelle Cottle's sketch of Lott's history, in case you actually do think Lott is repentant and are tempted to accept his pseudo-apology at face value.)

Find your Republican Senator's e-mail address and let 'em know-- civilly but firmly and clearly!-- that Lott as Majority Leader is unacceptable.

I'm intrigued and persuaded by Andrew Sullivan's take on the generation gap here, on the degree of anger among young conservatives and libertarians at what some older Republicans still think is acceptable... though there's something, too, to Tapped's condescending observation:

In a way, this all makes Tapped feel bad for younger conservatives,
especially the cosmopolitan-intellectual types who talk a good game
about the virtues of Red America but live in places like Washington,
New York and Cape Cod. Guys like McCain
[not the Senator-- JTL]
and Lott are throwbacks, a dying breed, and clearly it legitimately
pains the younger guys that they have to play on the same team as
these jackasses. It's tough being the Blue-state intellectual arm of
an Old South-led political movement.

This is a big part of why I'm more skeptical of the GOP than are many other blue-state libertarians my age. (Of course, the constant betrayals on trade, taxes, and spending don't help either.) A show of Republican spine in getting rid of Lott would certainly help to allay my worries that the troglodytes have a stranglehold on the party's conscience.

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