Trent Lott comes out of the closet

Now that he’s safely in power, the former president of the Ole Miss student body tells us what he really thinks. And Bill Kristol, evidently hoping to be the next Claude Raines award winner, pretends to be surprised. “Party of Lincoln”? Right.


Glenn Reynolds can barely contain his disgust.

Meanwhile, Ari Fleischer pretends not to have heard about it and refuses to distance the President from it. Remember that the next time someone tries to tell you Bush is a decent human being. Thurmond was running against an anti-lynching bill, among other things. Atrios has the official Dixiecrat ballot from Mississippi in 1948.


The blogosphere is pretty upset, but this story doesn’t have much mainstream legs, at least not yet. P. 6 in the WaPo, nothing in the NYT, nothing on the wires. The Voice of America covers the party, but doesn’t mention the Lott comment.

Republican Senator Trent Lott, who is to become majority leader when a new Congress is sworn in next month, alluded to the weather as he paid tribute to Senator Thurmond’s Senate career.

“I always knew that Strom Thurmond would never leave the Senate until the Capitol froze over,” said Mr. Lott.

Senator Thurmond began his political career as a Democrat but left the party in 1964 and became a leading conservative in the Republican Party. He came to the Senate as an opponent of the civil rights movement, but his views moderated over time.


Where is the New York Times story on this? Has Howell Raines been so mau-maued by Mickey Kaus and Andrew Sullivan that he’s lost his nerve, and his news judgment, entirely? The Majority Leader of the United States Senate just said that it would have been better for the country if the segregationist candidate for President had beaten Harry Truman, and hasn’t taken it back. The President of the United States, through his spokesman, declines to comment. This is news.


Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: