Trent Lott

Let him keep his job, even though his longstanding racist agenda is coming to light. He represents a significant constituency of the Republican party.

Yes, Bush publically scolded Lott for what he said (that Strom Thurmond, a segregationist, should have been President). But the Republicans need a guy like Lott around, hinting to the more racist wing of their constituency that nothing has changed.

Are Republicans like Bush really racist? I don’t think they even know or care. What they do know is that to maintain power (and continue strengthening the oil industry’s grip on American government) they need to maintain the support of one of their constituencies: the minority of southerners who are racists. And keeping people around who make the occasional ‘off-color’ remark serves that purpose.

The reason why such people need to stay in power is that gives those who oppose racism a clear and visible target. Trent Lott is their man. The left should reckon with that, rather than seek to replace him with a more skillful prevaricator.