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Selective Moral Outrage, Part II: Why only be outraged at Lott’s remarks?
National Review Online ^ | 12/11/02 | Mark R. Levin

Posted on 12/11/2002 11:55:55 AM PST by wcdukenfield

On September 24, 2002, the Senate Democrats set aside time during morning business to pay tribute to Strom Thurmond. What's remarkable about every one of these statements is that they were effusive in their praise of Thurmond, and none contained any negative reference to Thurmond's 1948 presidential bid as a Dixiecrat, let alone any reference to his segregationist past.

What are we to make of this? Are these senators sympathetic to segregation? Of course not. Clearly, it would have been inappropriate to use the occasion to disparage Thurmond. Their purpose that day was to honor him. And they did.

Some have argued that their grievance with Trent Lott is more particularized. During Thurmond's 100th-birthday celebration, Lott said, "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."

Lott says he was not referring to Thurmond's segregationist views. Many Democrats aren't buying this explanation. While refusing to label Lott a racist — who, in fact, is a cautious legislator who tends to seek comity rather than confrontation — they apparently insist that his comment was intended to be racist.

Well, then, what are we to make of Democrat Senator Carl Levin's September 24th praise of Thurmond? Among other things, Levin said, " ... I am pleased to join my colleagues in paying tribute to Senator Strom Thurmond and honoring him for his unparalleled record of public service to this Nation." And then a few sentences later, Levin says, "In 1948, while he was still Governor, [Thurmond] ran for President as a State's Right Democrat and received 39 electoral votes, the third best showing by an independent candidate in U.S. history."

Are we to conclude that Levin was honoring Thurmond for, among other things, his historic showing as a segregationist candidate in 1948? If not, why else would Levin have mentioned it in the context of praising Thurmond's career?

Of course, Levin's not a racist, either. He made this statement in the same vein as Lott did. Yet, there's no condemnation of Levin — either from Democrats or Republicans. And so goes the politics of selective moral outrage.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: levin; lott; media; racism; thurmond
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1 posted on 12/11/2002 11:55:59 AM PST by wcdukenfield
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To: wcdukenfield
I love Mark Levin. The Great One rules. I wished I agreed with him here. I do wish, but I can't. But what Sen. Levin said wasn't that "we wouldn't have had all these problems." He didn't say that. And that's the problem with what Sen. Lott said.

The only explanation I'd buy is that he was just thinking outloud of saying something to please Sen. Thurmond, something he didn't believe but said anyway.

But what Sen. Lott *did* say is very troubling -- I can't buy an explanation that indicates it's not troubling.
2 posted on 12/11/2002 12:01:45 PM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: wcdukenfield
The media should refer to Robert Byrd as:

Robert Byrd, former KKK Clansman.....



3 posted on 12/11/2002 12:03:45 PM PST by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
True.

And Kissinger, former mass-murderer.

And Clinton, known rapist.
4 posted on 12/11/2002 12:06:07 PM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: wcdukenfield
It was ALWAYS about state's rights with Thurmond and that was his goal throughout his entire career. He spoke often on the topic and never wavered from his beliefs.

That said, not being a mind reader I have no idea what Lott could have been thinking. Too bad it didn't stay a thought rather than words.

However, I am not about to be yanked around by the commie/libs in the media. The more they protest the more I am in support of Lott staying Majority Leader. Perhaps, like with Dick Army who was roasted for an unfortunate remark, Lott will learn who his real friends are on both sides of the aisle and this will give him the backbone he's been missing.

5 posted on 12/11/2002 12:08:37 PM PST by OldFriend
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To: wcdukenfield
Well, then, what are we to make of Democrat Senator Carl Levin's September 24th praise of Thurmond? Among other things, Levin said, " ... I am pleased to join my colleagues in paying tribute to Senator Strom Thurmond and honoring him for his unparalleled record of public service to this Nation." And then a few sentences later, Levin says, "In 1948, while he was still Governor, [Thurmond] ran for President as a State's Right Democrat and received 39 electoral votes, the third best showing by an independent candidate in U.S. history."

Hmmmmm .. interesting

6 posted on 12/11/2002 12:09:11 PM PST by Mo1
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To: FreeTheHostages
"we wouldn't have had all these problems."

Is a cliche...it is filler...it is dunder head drivel...it was a dumb thing to say to make contact with a 100 year olds few brain cells...it was a stooopid compliment that has given BOTOX BITCH Nancy Pelosi permission to set her BLACK RABID THIN BLACK SKIN step and fetchers out to attack Trent Lott...it is a "relief valve" for the blacks to act upon...because they are REALLY REALLY pissed that their black leader Maynard Jackson was spit on by Clinton/McAuliffe, and that McCall was SPIT on by Clinton/McAuliffe, that Alan Paige was SPIT on by Clinton/McAuliffe and that Harold Ford was SPIT on by Clinton/McAuliffe/Nancy Pelosi....

What we have here is a bunch of unhappy blacks...who can't speak out against WHO they ARE really angry with...

Look...Lott can and has been a DOLT...but he is OUR DOLT...and it is up to OUR party to decide...NOT Nancy. NOT the segregationists BLACK Caucus to TELL US what to do with OUR DOLT!

7 posted on 12/11/2002 12:10:37 PM PST by Caliban
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To: Mo1
Remove Carl Levin!
8 posted on 12/11/2002 12:11:59 PM PST by Howlin
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To: wcdukenfield
Mark does it again. This article is 100% DEAD ON.
9 posted on 12/11/2002 12:15:12 PM PST by rintense
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To: wcdukenfield
The Great One is again Great. My wife and I are huge fans of his. I love when he rips Colmes.
10 posted on 12/11/2002 12:16:46 PM PST by Phantom Lord
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To: Caliban
I guess that's true. The "I was just blathering and not thinking" defense is the only one I'd buy.
11 posted on 12/11/2002 12:18:38 PM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: wcdukenfield
Uh, Mark, there is a double standard in the media and politics. Dems get a pass on race, Pubbies don't. But you knew that.
12 posted on 12/11/2002 12:21:30 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: Howlin
HA! .. works for me .. but I don't think the Dems will ask him to leave
13 posted on 12/11/2002 12:21:36 PM PST by Mo1
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To: FreeTheHostages
something he didn't believe but said anyway Gee, d'ya think a politician would do a thing like that?!
14 posted on 12/11/2002 12:23:05 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: colorado tanker
On a bad day. Yes.
15 posted on 12/11/2002 12:27:19 PM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: colorado tanker
oops, lol, that was sarcasm. sorry. sheesh -- having a busy day here.
16 posted on 12/11/2002 12:27:42 PM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: FreeTheHostages
Exactly. Mark Levin is trying to do damage control by defending the defensible. But he totally ignores the elephant-sized gaffe of Lott's. Exactly what "problems" does Lott think we would have avoided if Strom, running on the Dixiecrat platform, had won the presidency.

And frankly, I expect better analysis from Mark Levin.

The only explanation I'd buy is that he was just thinking outloud of saying something to please Sen. Thurmond, something he didn't believe but said anyway.

I agree with that - there are many times I've said something stupid...but didn't really even mean it anyway. But, we can't afford these kinds of goofs from our Senate leader. Lott needs to go.

17 posted on 12/11/2002 12:30:53 PM PST by Diverdogz
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To: FreeTheHostages
The 2004 election has begun.
18 posted on 12/11/2002 12:34:31 PM PST by bybybill
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To: Diverdogz
But, we can't afford these kinds of goofs from our Senate leader. Lott needs to go.

I'm listening to that. I'm also listening to other posts here that say don't let the Dems push us around and Lott is *our* leader and stay loyal to the Republicans. Hmmm. I don't know what I think. I guess, I'm definitely loyal to the *party* but the question is whether Sen. Lott is what's best for the party. And as to the Dems pushing us around -- well, if Sen. Lott's a liability, I'd be happy for the party's sake to push him over. He's just one guy. The Republican party, to make it in the 21st century, *has* to be able to relate to all types of people. And I'm definitely not buying Mark Levin's point taht this was no worse that what Sen. Carl Levin said.

So I'm all about party loyalty, but that's not the same thing as loyalty to an individual. And I'm all about circling the wagons when a Republican innocent is being hunted by the Pelosi sharks. But is he an innocent?

I guess I really want to hear what he has to say today. If he can persuade me he's an innocent on this, I'm behind him. But the Republican party's interests, not Sen. Lott's, come first. And for the majority leader in the Senate, I have high expectations. Minor gaffes are OK. Major ones aren't. We have to win in 2004. This is all bigger than Sen. Lott.
19 posted on 12/11/2002 12:36:35 PM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: wcdukenfield
If a case can be made that the Democrats selective outrage is on par with their selective mourning and selective positions on international matters, then Lott's snafu might get blurred in the noise. If the public believes that Democrats stand for nothing except political expediency and saying and doing anything to win, even hyping Lott's gaffe while ignoring their own, then this could blow over by 2002.

Lott should step down as Majority Leader, though, just to put the issue at rest. His rush to call a vote on it last month was a mistake, too.

-PJ

20 posted on 12/11/2002 12:37:28 PM PST by Political Junkie Too
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To: bybybill
True. The 2004 election has begun. But what does that mean, in terms of what's the best tactical move here?
21 posted on 12/11/2002 12:37:37 PM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: FreeTheHostages
Here's a site that has a copy of the Mississippi Dixiecrat's "Sample" ballot from 1948, that explains who to vote for and why. It's pretty ugly. This could be incorporated into the attack ad in 2004:

Sample Ballot

22 posted on 12/11/2002 12:40:10 PM PST by Defiant
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To: wcdukenfield
Trent Lott could cut out his tongue with a rusty razor blade, take a public flogging, butt nekkid on the Capital steps, and it wouldn't satisfy the democrats, led like sheep, by the black caucus. Maxine Waters has wet dreams about missteps like this!

But this isn't Trent Lott's first blunder. He made one right after the election, announcing he wouldn't try to get anything done during senate's lame duck session. President Bush straightened him out on that one, and the next day Lott changed his tune.

I remember back before the election, Don Nickles announced he would challenge Lott for Leadership...and many of us were real glad to hear it... but for some reason, Nickles changed his mind. Let's hope Nickles, or even better, Bill Frist, decide to challenge Lott.

But the best thing that could happen, is for Trent Lott to realize what a weapon he has handed the DNC, and for the good of the Republicans, decide that he must step aside and let someone else lead senate republicans.

Ask yourself....what has Trent Lott accomplished... As either majority or minority leader? I can't think of a thing.

and he's blowing this interview with Sean....big time!!! The man should say, "I AM NOT A RACIST. I AM NOT A BIGOT.!"

23 posted on 12/11/2002 12:40:59 PM PST by YaYa123
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To: wcdukenfield
"ran for President as a State's Right Democrat"

Good point....Thurmond was a DEMOCRAT at the time.

24 posted on 12/11/2002 12:42:02 PM PST by what's up
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To: FreeTheHostages
The quicker Lott is dealt with, the better. Quicker means that we get rid of him because his statement offend our principles and sensibilities. Dragging it out means we are only dumping him based on political calculation.
25 posted on 12/11/2002 12:43:37 PM PST by Diverdogz
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To: Defiant
oh my gosh!! owwww

I just made up my mind on this issue.

Sen. Lott is a huge election liability. "the way of the life of the South" associated with fighting "anti-lynching and anti-segregation" proposals? BLECH!!

Democrats defended errant idiots like Clinton no matter what they did. That's one of the reasons they lost in 2000.

We have to be loyal to the party, not to people. No one, not even the majority leader, is sacred if they become a liability.
26 posted on 12/11/2002 12:44:01 PM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: Diverdogz
Sounds like a lot of people think they are qualified to be thought police or can interpret hate crimes. Lott never mentioned blacks, race, segregation or anything that might be considered racist. For all we know, he may have been referring to States Rights and that thing called the 10th Ammendment, you know, the one that says the Federal Government should stick to only those things strictly enumerated in the Constitution. The point is we can't know what he was thinking and based on the evidence presented, there isn't a court in the land that would convict him.

I am one of those who would like to see him go for his "no evidence" impeachment rules and his "power sharing" but this isn't the time for that. We're violating Reagan's 11th commandment and no good can come of it
27 posted on 12/11/2002 12:49:30 PM PST by anoldafvet
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To: FreeTheHostages
Did you notice this, on the same page, from the Dixiecrat Platform, regarding their opposition to the repeal of the poll tax:

The negro is a native of tropical climate where fruits and nuts are plentiful and where clothing is not required for protection against the weather ... The essentials of society in the jungle are few and do not include the production, transportation and marketing of goods. [Thus] his racial constitution has been fashioned to exclude any idea of voluntary cooperation on his part.

We need to focus on that this was the DEMOCRAT party, and one branch of it. The GOP was more supportive of civil rights laws than the Democrats were, but the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, and when it was passed in 1965, the Democrats got most of the credit.

28 posted on 12/11/2002 12:52:29 PM PST by Defiant
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To: anoldafvet
I am sure Lott did not mean to say that he supported segregation, but the point is that like it or not the Democrats can spin this in their favor, and Lott should have been more cognizant of that fact. It showed a lack of judgement, and we cannot have that in our majority leader. Politics is not a fair game.
29 posted on 12/11/2002 12:53:13 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Defiant
Everything you said is correct, but let's face it. 95% of our population pays absolutely no attention to politics save for a few 10-second sound-bites on the evening news. As Republicans we have to understand that the majority of people are political rubes who don't understand the inner workings of the beltway.
30 posted on 12/11/2002 12:55:38 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: anoldafvet
If only you understood Strom Thurmond's dixicrat platform. Preserving segregation, lynching and poll taxes were the ONLY thing he ran on.


31 posted on 12/11/2002 12:56:02 PM PST by Diverdogz
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To: Defiant
Agreed. We're the party of Lincoln. We're the party of meritocracy.
32 posted on 12/11/2002 12:56:22 PM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: Diverdogz
Exactly what "problems" does Lott think we would have avoided if Strom, running on the Dixiecrat platform, had won the presidency.

It seemed pretty clear to me that he was referring to the issues we would not be dealing with had a real States Rights President ever been elected. He was stupid not to make it very clear as soooo many people like to take a mans words and use them against him.

I mean come on here, we all know that Lott is not a racist. That assumed, what was the platform of the Dixiecrate outside segregation. Pretty simple, but people just have to get themselves riled up.

33 posted on 12/11/2002 12:58:39 PM PST by CyberCowboy777
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To: FreeTheHostages
Agreed. We're the party of Lincoln. We're the party of meritocracy.

...and we have no place for a Leader of the Party of Lincoln who thinks we would have avoided "all these problems over the years" if a segregationist DEMOCRAT had been elected. Lott must go.

34 posted on 12/11/2002 1:00:32 PM PST by Diverdogz
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To: wcdukenfield
Has Lott seen this video ad the Dims just produced?:

Look at Anti-Bush Ad Featuring Trent Lott

35 posted on 12/11/2002 1:08:26 PM PST by ex-Texan
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To: Diverdogz
What I want to know is why Lott would want to remain an embattled Majority Leader anyway. The guy can't love power, he doesn't exercise it. He's really just a back- slappin' buffoon who backed into the job when the nation reared up and surprised everyone with the '94 revolt.

He couldn't keep Jeffords on the reservation, he ran from impeachment like a frightened schoolgirl, and now he's got diarrhea of the mouth at a time when it's crucial for the visible members of the party to watch their friggin' step. I don't need to see him leave the Senate, but it would be real nice to see him serve his term as simply the senior senator from Mississippi.

36 posted on 12/11/2002 1:09:45 PM PST by Mr. Bird
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To: FreeTheHostages
Absolutely. Whining about the double standard of the media and referring to Sen. Byrd won't change what Lott said and the resulting fallout.The man is a fool, and, as everyone knows, is no kind of leader. But The Stupid Party TM will now embrace Lott like never before because "we don't want anyone telling us who will be our leader." Well, keep it up, and enjoy the next two years, fellas. 'Cause then your ride will be over.
37 posted on 12/11/2002 1:13:38 PM PST by stands2reason
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To: wcdukenfield
This whole subject gives me the buckwheats.
38 posted on 12/11/2002 1:15:38 PM PST by stylin19a
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To: CyberCowboy777
"He was stupid not to make it very clear"

Perhaps it's just that. Like I said, I'm not 100 percent certain of my position here. But it sure sounded pretty clear to me.
39 posted on 12/11/2002 1:18:12 PM PST by FreeTheHostages
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: Diverdogz
Hmmm...an article from Human Events states that Thurmond fought against and successfully got rid of the poll tax as Governor:

Because of his "Dixiecrat" race for President in 1948 and his steadfast opposition to civil rights legislation that included speaking for 24 hours and 18 minutes on the Senate floor (the record for filibusters) in opposition to the 1957 Civil Rights Act, it has been easy for the national media to characterize Thurmond as a racist. In truth, just like more liberal Southern senators such as J. William Fulbright (D.-Ark) and John Sparkman (D.-Ala), Thurmond did defend the segregationist practices of Southern states against what he deemed "a new kind of police state centered in Washington." But he was not a hater of the Bilbo stripe and, while governor from 1946-50, successfully sought the abolition of the poll tax and more funds for black, albeit segregated, schools. Link.

He also fought at Normandy (Bronze Star, Purple Heart...15 other medals), was a judge, governor, state and fed. Senator...the only U.S. Senator in American history to win a write-in vote - and helped elect S. Carolina's very first Republican Senator - Phil Gramm - many years later.

Those S. Carolinians who loved Strom Thurmond, sent him to the statehouse and Washington, were mostly Democrats. Strom spoke at the Dem. convention in 1948. Trent's early Mississippi political upbringing was typical of the south - Democratic and racist. Let's talk party and race and American history....the real story. The "Radical Republicans" were murdered along with the freed slaves they helped defend in the pre-Civil War south. The Republican Party was formed to help fight slavery and prevent its expansion westward.

Or let's talk perspective and priorities of a nation. The press ignores the serious work Sen. Thurmond did to strengthen our national defenses in the 80s, or his mentoring of young leaders, his humility, his servant heart. If Strom, like Sen. Byrd, had remained a Democrat, there would be an annual "Thurmond week" on the History Channel and every American child would learn about this American hero...apology long since accepted.

42 posted on 12/11/2002 1:29:27 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Caliban
Right on. Thank you very much.
43 posted on 12/11/2002 1:32:45 PM PST by Rummyfan
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To: wcdukenfield
bump
44 posted on 12/11/2002 1:40:49 PM PST by Outraged
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To: wcdukenfield
Bump for later reference.
45 posted on 12/11/2002 1:42:06 PM PST by k2blader
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Bump
46 posted on 12/11/2002 1:48:30 PM PST by CyberCowboy777
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; FreeTheHostages
If you look at real History and not revised history you will see many who fought against the federal government on the segregation issue were not necessarily racist.

They were fighting not to keep the black man down but to insure a limited Federal Government and to maintain States Rights.

That intention was not wrong (States Rights), it may have been poor timing and may not applied to segregation (I think the Constitution in plain in this regard and the States have no right to limit the rights of certain races), but you cannot say all of those fighting were racist.
47 posted on 12/11/2002 1:55:14 PM PST by CyberCowboy777
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To: CyberCowboy777
Hello. Um, everyone knows that. That's not what anyone is talking about. No one in this thread is suggesting that Sen. Lott is a racist. That's a given here.
48 posted on 12/11/2002 1:59:07 PM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: wcdukenfield
I say to all the 'Rat critics of Lott: Define a standard to judge him by. But just remember the synchronistic coincidence in this context, that "standard" also means "petard".

Because we're going to hoist you mothers up on that standard as soon as you finish doing to Lott what we've been trying to do since Impeachment. Now don't be bashful, have at it.
49 posted on 12/11/2002 2:04:22 PM PST by guitfiddlist
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To: Rummyfan
You are very welcome! Hey, and if I don't say it enough to fellow FReepers...have a great Holiday Season and I wish you the BEST - SAFE and HEALTHY New Year!
50 posted on 12/11/2002 2:06:17 PM PST by Caliban
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