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The Implosion of the Republican Party
[December 11, 2002]

By Nicholas Provenzo

It’s been six days since Trent Lott got all misty for Strom Thurmond’s 1948 segregationist campaign for president, and yet not one of his peers in the Senate has called for his ouster as Majority leader. Not one Senator has demanded the Senate censure Lott for his remarks.

This is cause for pause. Just what would one have to say in nostalgia of the government’s role in perpetuating the viciousness of racism to earn censure?

More than a few voices have noted that if the Republicans keep Lott, they lose almost all credibility with the electorate. On Sean Hannity’s radio show today, struggling to show his anti-racist credentials, Lott all but accepted the Democratic Party’s agenda. This includes more government money for education, including funding for "historical black universities" and more transfer of wealth payments to ensure economic opportunity for “all races.”

This is a disaster. One’s credentials as an anti-racist are not earned by one’s willingness to redistribute wealth. Yet this is precisely the tack Lott has taken to mollify his critics. So now Republicans are being put in an even tighter box: its leader in the Senate speaks as if he regrets the demise of segregation, (which will certainly be remembered come election time), while he considers the redistribution of wealth on racial grounds to be wholly acceptable (which will be remembered as soon as Congress goes back in session).

I find it interesting that the first people to condemn Lott for his remarks were on the right, but outside of blog-land, it’s the Black left (and Lott’s apparent willingness to accede to it) that is now setting the moral tone.

This is unacceptable. Every minute of delay in outing Lott puts the Republicans deeper and deeper into a corner. The Center has created a letter that visitors to our website can send to their Senators. The letter calls for Lott’s ouster as majority leader and his censure before the Senate.

It’s this simple: Either Republicans need to police their ranks and do so now or people of principle need to leave the Republican Party.


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