Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Casting the Final Stone

If Trent Lott in any way believes in what he said regarding Strom Thurmond's quixotic bid for the Presidency in 1948, the man deserves exile from any leadership post within the Republican party. Generally speaking, I believe even "jokes" of this nature tend to reveal the truth of one's opinion. Since every man burns with the desire to reveal their own self held truths (no matter how contrary they are to popular opinion) a convenient mechanism for doing so is under the auspices of humor. For then one can always retreat to the high ground of "I was just joking!" once the justifiable throwing of brickbats and mudslinging commences.

However, I watched the entirety of Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party. No I'm joking - I really didn't! Actually I did, and Lott's comments, in context of the entire event struck me as nothing more than "let's be nice to grandpa". Lott was there paying tribute to a 100-year-old man sitting in a wheel chair next to him. And sitting next to Thurmond was the other guest of honor, the Grim Reaper - who had his arms casually slung around Thurmond's shoulders. Everyone in the room knew this and the emotion previously expressed by Thurmond's family at their patriarch's imminent demise was apparent to all viewers. I think this led Lott to the conclusion that he really needed to say overwhelmingly positive and pleasant things. So I believe he chose to address what may have been Thurmond's greatest failure and tried to put a positive shine on it. It was the rhetorical equivalent of giving your drunken, abusive, foul mouthed grandfather a t-shirt on his birthday that says "World's Greatest Grandpa." And this sort of thing happens every day in traditional Democratic strongholds such as public housing complexes, trailer parks, and throughout the city of Hopkins. So my friends on the Left, let’s have a little more understanding here, shall we? Or not and let’s all get together and run Lott out of the political marketplace. Either way I’m happy.

One more Lott related comment. A few years ago I was given an all access, behind the scene’s Capitol tour, via the good graces of then U.S. Senator Rod Grams’ office. It was thrilling to be able to peer into the various cloak rooms and to sit in the seats of the House Chamber and to stand on the Senate floor and peer into Senator Kennedy’s spittoon. (Yes it’s true, by Senate tradition, each desk has a spittoon next to it. And to Kennedy’s credit, his appeared to be immaculate, which is an accomplishment for one as full of the juices of life as he). But perhaps the highlight was walking past Trent Lott’s office and through a door that was slightly ajar, I spied what was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. A stunning, 6-foot-tall blond, with legs up to her chin, wearing a red business suit with a tight wrap around short, short skirt. I don’t know who she was or what her role was with that office, but I would caution Lott’s critics on Capital Hill that the departure of the Senator from Mississippi might result in her departure as well. And then all your lives will be that much more grim.