Thursday, November 16, 2006

More: More Of The Same

Yesterday, the story was John Murtha and his bid to become House Majority Leader. My thought was (and still is), the Dems seem pretty content to give us more of the same ethical (or shall I say, lack of) leadership. Basically, it's more of the same.

Today, we see that the GOP is not immune from falling into the same ethical decisional lapses, evidenced by the return of Trent Lott to the Republican leadership.

Now, Lott was not shown to be involved in any real scandal, mind you. And that's not to say that he wasn't and just hadn't been discovered. No, his offense was one of the tongue and attitudinal in nature.

Lott, for his part, might have survived his tasteless tribute to Thurmond, offered at the former Dixiecrat's 100th birthday, if he didn't already have a credibility problem on issues of race. For example, when the Internal Revenue Service moved in 1981 to yank the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University because it prohibited interracial dating, Lott defended the school's position on religious freedom grounds. Other than the posthumous election of Thurmond as minority leader, it's hard to imagine a worse signal for the Republican Party to send minorities.

As we see from the snippet, it wasn't just the tongue but what was gathered from it. Put together with the "so-called" slip, his past actions made a good case for establishing Sen. Lott, as a good old Mississippi bigot.

Therefore, the best decision that could have been made and for the GOP to salvage the situation, was for Lott to step down. And he did.

But now we read that he has returned.

So, am I missing something here? When is it a good decision to reverse a good one, when the good one was a good one?

At a time when the GOP's image was not particularly good in the area of race relations, Lott did step down and the GOP gained a measure of credibility that helped gain some black voters, in 2004. It wasn't much mind you, but it was a start. But, this move has now negated any future gains and may very well set the GOP backward.

If you are are going to re-tool or re-invent. You must do just that. You must not return to the same things that tarnished your political image, to start with. More importantly in this case, is the GOP's bid to become the big tent party. You cannot do that by re-elevating someone that gives the impression of prejudice towards a group of people you want to attract.

To all Dems and Republicans I would say one thing here: Learn.

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