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Defending Principles


Over the weekend, when Trent Lott’s 49 other colleagues were linking
their arms and holding their breath to see how his latest serial apology
played out, Senator Don Nickles did the right thing. This was not an
act of ambition. One would have to think that he is a singularly
stupid man to imagine that he saw this as a ticket to the top of the
pile. Of course his statement of the obvious – that Trent Lott has to
step aside for the good of conservative policy and the Republican party
– would be seen as opportunistic. To Senator Nickles’ credit, he said
it anyway. Aside from the fact that he is clearly the most experienced
possible replacement for Lott, Don Nickles’ voting record, which the
NAACP condemns as too similar to Lott’s, also recommends him. In
contrast with Lott, he is able and willing to defend it. The sooner
conservatives can defend principled votes at odds with the NAACP’s
agenda without Trent Lott’s self-imposed baggage the better. The
media’s line on why sophomore Senator Bill Frist would be such a swell
Majority Leader includes the fact that he doesn’t have Lott’s (racist)
voting record.


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