Whole Lotta Love

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Memo to Gordon Smith, Orrin Hatch, and Arlen Specter: YOU ARE DUMB.

We are gathered here today to mourn the passing of a great man. Senator Trent Lott may have been leaving the Senate for lucrative lobbying jobs, but now he's headed to the great K Street in the sky. Wait, what? Trent Lott's not dead? Then why the SWEET FUCK are we starting in on the revisionist history? There's a time and a place to whitewash Lott's record, and that's when his racist fucking corpse is in the racist fucking Mississippi ground. Until then, shut your ancient white yaps.

I don't know why the Senate decided yesterday would be a great day to start pretending in earnest that Trent Lott was the victim of, if you'll pardon the expression, a political lynching when he got in trouble back in '02 for some kind remarks he made to Strom Thurmond at Thurmond's big pre-mummification bash. ACTUAL RETRO QUOTE TIME!

"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." - Which sounds nice as long as you ignore that Strom Thurmond's presidential run was based on segregation the way Rudy Giuliani's is based on 9/11.

Now, you can revise a lot of history, but there's no denying the fact that Strom Thurmond took segregation seriously. He even had separate* penises - one for his white mistresses, and one for his black mistresses. Now, given that Lott's own civil rights record is, shall we say, a few scales short of a Grand Dragon, some extremists interpreted Lott's statement as a little "you scratch my hood, I'll scratch yours" back-patting from one hick to another. Thank goodness, five years later, the United States Senate has stepped forward to set the record straight.

"I watched over international news as his words were misconstrued, words which we had heard him utter many times in his big warm-heartedness trying to make one of our colleagues, Strom Thurmond, feel good at 100 years old. We knew what he meant. But the wolfpack of the press circled around him, sensed blood in the water, and the exigencies of politics caused a great injustice..." - Gordon Smith, R-Oregon.

I can only assume the injustice, caused by political exigencies, to which Smith refers were when Smith was forced, against his will, to condemn Lott openly in interviews at the time. Also, "trying to make Strom Thurmond feel good" is not a defense. It's arguably a more serious crime than just being overly fond of segregation. It's like getting out of your manslaughter charge by plea-bargaining to second-degree murder. In the annals of people who arguably should have felt lousy on their 100th birthday, Strom Thurmond stands proud.

"It was really wrong, and it was really hitting below the belt." - Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who could be talking about any number of actual injustices that have taken place in the past half-decade, but instead chose to use these words on poor, beleaguered, unjustly-vilified Trent Fucking Lott.

"I have seen many comments blown vastly out of proportion during my tenure in the Senate and before, but never have I seen one blown as much out of proportion as that one was... what Senator Lott said was in no means out of line." - Arlen Specter, R-PA, who is, in this case, technically accurate. Well, not about the amount the comments were blown out of proportion. That's complete bullshit. But Lott's comments weren't out of line... for Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party.

It's all about context. I mean, within the context of Thurmond's birthday party, they could have brought out a cake with 100 tiny burning crosses on it, and it wouldn't have been "out of line". Possibly in violation of the local fire code, but not out of line. The comments were just out of line for civilized society, where we pretend that some of Trent Lott's best friends are black, even when a lot MORE of his best friends are white Senators who will defend his besmirched honor as he rides off into a sunset just before lobbying reform laws make that sunset a lot less lucrative.

*...but equal!