The Corner

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Sloppy At Best


Charles Krauthammer and Peter Beinart are both smart guys. They are both nice guys (I used to work for Charles). They both also attack NR’s editorial last week on Lott. I don’t have time to get into it at length at the moment (Jonah does an excellent job on Charles today), but I think both of them let their arguments get in the way of the facts. Both ignore utterly a passage in the editorial that inconveniently doesn’t fit their respective cases. In any case, just for the record, here are the lines apparently unfit to be mentioned by writers carefully scouring our editorial position for signs of moral lapses: “Minority leader Tom Daschle’s initial reaction (prior to his mauling by the Congressional Black Caucus) to Lott’s remarks was essentially sound — Lott misspoke. But Lott misspoke in a particular way, one freighted with symbolic significance. Many southern whites of a certain generation have a shameful past on civil-rights issues. This doesn’t necessarily make them reprehensible people, or mean that they are racists today. But, when they are public figures, it is reasonable to expect from them an honest reckoning with their past, and, of course, an awareness that a reckoning is necessary.”