Bill Clinton says
that it's "pretty hypocritical" for Republicans to ditch Trent Lott for stating publicly what they say "on the back roads every day."
Here's the full quote he gave CNN yesterday ...
"How do they think they got a majority in the South anyway?" Clinton told CNN outside a business luncheon he was attending. "I think what they are really upset about is that he made public their strategy."
He added: "They try to suppress black voting, they ran on the Confederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina, and from top to bottom the Republicans supported it."
No one compares to Bill Clinton when it comes to cutting to the chase and telling truths in a way sure to make
Republicans howl. And howl they will. Because this statement is undeniably true. An RNC flack named Jim Dyke gets off a feeble reply in the CNN piece (see this piece
for more on Jim Dyke and his ... well, just read the article
). But this really gets us into the bigger story, the bigger picture.
One needn't think that the Republican party itself is racist. I don't. (In any case, that's too big a word, too general a question.) What the Republican party does have is a history -- not by accident, but by design -- of playing to and benefiting from the votes of racist and crypto-racist constituencies in certain parts of the country -- particularly, though not exclusively, in the South. They built the Republican party in the South on the foundation of racial resentment and civil rights rejectionism. Since then they've built a whole house on top of it. But the foundation's still there.
To deny this is to deny the obvious. There's just been a prohibition on saying it. And a good deal of the Republican displeasure with Lott -- though mixed with a lot of genuine outrage at his retrograde views -- is tied to his having brought this all into the open.
More later on bogus Republican outreach to African-Americans, voter suppression, and comic relief from the ridiculous Conrad Burns.