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What Hath Trent Wrought?



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“I Want My Vdh”



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Several readers have emailed me upset they did not get their regular Friday dose of Victor Davis Hanson. Have no fear! He is coming to NRO real soon. Tomorrow (Sat.) we’ll be posting our “Christmas site” around midday. It’ll be packed with regulars like Hanson and Derb. And familiar faces like Bill Bennett and Jeff Hart. I think you’ll like. On the 27th, we’ll post another site, all new content—another Hanson, and predictions from the likes of Mark Steyn, Kate O’Beirne, Jonah Goldberg, and many more. Good stuff. And, of course, The Corner will be fully operating throughout the remainder of the year.

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Good News, Bad News, Good News



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Now that Senator Lott has stepped down as Majority Leader, Republicans are actually in a stronger position to oppose racial and ethnic preferences – a.k.a. “affirmative action” – than they were before. They have proved that they take a commitment to nondiscrimination seriously, having gotten rid of a Majority Leader whose credibility on the issue had been seriously compromised, and can point out that it is the nondiscrimination principle that dictates their opposition to preferences. It doesn’t matter whose ox is being gored: Discrimination in wrong. So that’s the good news. The bad news is that the current frontrunner to replace Lott, Bill Frist, was a key architect of a 1998 bill that pushed quotas onto nursing schools in exchange for federal funding. But there’s also the good news that Senator Frist supported as well Senator Mitch McConnell’s legislation in 1998 that would have stripped racial and ethnic preferences out of the federal highway program. Maybe it would be safer, though, for the Republicans just to pick McConnell as their leader instead.

Web Briefing: April 17, 2014

Honesty On McKinney



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I’m Down



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Instapundit
suggests that Republicans should prove they’re not-racist by abandoning all race-based policies. Sounds like the Ward Connerly plan, but I’m game.

Amazing News....



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…it turns out Santa Claus writes for NRO. Listen to Sean Hannity right NOW and you’ll understand. (Santa’s last name rhymes with “Come In,” fyi.)

Everybody Talks About The Weather, But...



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Steady rain all day here on Lawn-Guy Land. Just what I needed. I have
recently had a new cesspool system installed, which involved digging up the
entire front lawn. The guys did a great job, a _terrific_ job actually. I
watched the whole thing–it was like a well-rehearsed military operation.
(This was Antorino’s, a local family-owned business here in Huntington.
Great work, fellas–thanks!) Afterwards they cleaned up, re-planted one of
my wife’s trees they’d had to move, and leveled off the lawn. Re-seeding
the lawn is none of their business, though. Oh, we said, we’ll wait till
spring to do that, we can live with bare soil for a few weeks. Then came
the rain. Now my front lawn looks like the Ypres Salient. The kids are
guaranteed to traverse it in such a way as to accumulate the maximum amount
of mud on their shoes. Perhaps I should lay down duckboards.

Conservatives: The Next Generation



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I’ve been hearing from a bunch of younger conservatives who take issue with my column today (which was written rapidly in the immediate aftermath of the Lott announcement). They complain that they shouldn’t have to feel any guilt or shame about what conservative did or didn’t do forty years ago, since they weren’t born. They are simply taking the colorblind position, as they would have in the 1960s, and therefor they have nothing to apologize for. It’s certainly a fair point and I pretty much agree with it. That’s certainly how I feel most of the time. I was born in 1969, but I’m supposed to be responsible for what people did or didn’t do in 1964?

I guess my answer to my own rhetorical question is yes and no. Shelby Steele made the case more eloquently than I could about why this is so. But I will make one point he didn’t. Conservatives need to be forthright on race because of the paranoia and silliness of so many liberals. Racial liberals are so quick to assume racism on the part of their opponents conservatives have to work extra hard to show that we’re not. Why should we care about the misconceptions or obtuseness of liberals? Well, because politics is about persuading people. And if conservatives are right about race — and I think they are — they need to persuade liberals why they’re wrong. It’s really as simple as that. Is it unfair? Of course it is. But conservatism is the philosophy which recognizes life isn’t fair.

Reader Christmas Cards



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I have been getting Christmas cards from readers. This is wonderful
(especially considering that I am weeks behind on e-mail). Thank you all.
Bless you all.

Alas



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Alaska’s Frank Murkowski has picked his daughter to serve out his Senate term, not Jonah’s bride, NRO’s favorite Alaskan. The worst part, of course, if Jonah won’t be harassing Ms. Rodham in the Senate cafeteria.

War On Terror, Up Close



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For those who want the sights and sounds of our war on terrorism, check out the AC-130 gunship footage here. Note the cool professional demeanor of the participants. Note also our determination not to destroy the local mosque. But it’s the only thing our guys leave intact.

Black and White



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From a reader. Southerners know well how authentic this paradox is. Northerners, in my experience, can’t wrap their minds around it. But it’s true:

“When my parents were married, my great-grandfather gave them the family
maid as a wedding present. Can you believe that…1960, and the man was
giving my parents another human being. Her name was Emma — Aunt Emma,
and she raised me to be what I hope is a good person.

“This is the same great-grandfather who would leap out of his easy chair
in apoplexy when Family Feud’s Richard Dawson would kiss the black women…and then kiss the white ones.

“Yet every evening, until the day he died, he and an elderly black
gentleman, who lived next door, would meet out in the tool shed, listen
to the ballgame or whatever on the radio, talk over the events of the
day, and drink Jack Daniels and Mountain Dew (Mountain Jacks).

“When he died, he left quite a sum of money to his next door neighbor.
Why? Well, because they were best friends.

“He was a strange man. But aren’t we all.

Thanks for your story and for reminding us that none of us are black and
white, so to speak.”

Not Cricket



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I don’t expect that cricket’s world cup (which is due to be held next year) is a subject that would normally be of interest to most Corner readers, but on this occasion it should be. Unbelievably, the ICC (the International Cricket Council rather than the equally obnoxious International Criminal ‘Court’) has just confirmed its decision to stage six of the matches in Zimbabwe, home of the Mugabe dictatorship. The country’s embattled opposition is, unsurprisingly, appalled. Today’s London Times reports some comments by Themba Nyathi, a spokesman for the MDC (Mugabe’s main opponents):

“By agreeing to stage the World Cup in Zimbabwe, despite the humanitarian crisis and unprecedented levels of institutionalized violence, the ICC are sending a callous message to the people of Zimbabwe. Not only have they demonstrated indifference to the pain and suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, they are also, albeit inadvertently, sending a message of hope to the despotic Mugabe regime.”

Inadvertently?

Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph correspondent, Simon Briggs, skewers ICC chief executive, Malcolm Speed, who is maintaining the position that the cricket can be divorced from the politics:

“Asked whether the ICC would have been happy to stage matches in Nazi Germany, Speed stared glassily ahead and replied: “That is a hypothetical question. We simply don’t make political judgements, they’re for politicians.”

No word on what Speed thinks about moral judgements.

Lott May Be Out…



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…but it’s important to realize that certain verities still hold–like that fact that the Saudis are bastards. Check out Mowbray’s piece today on the report to the UN on how the Saudis fund terror, important stuff.

Robert George—Thank You



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I haven’t always agreed with Robert on race-related controversies (I remember arguments about New York City police shootings in particular), but he deserves a lot of credit on this one—he has been out front, relentless, and (with a few quibbles that will be pursued over beers sometime soon) right.

Beinart, Cont.



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One last quick thought on Peter’s TRB. In the piece, he takes one of Mark Levin’s signed NRO pieces to represent NR’s corporate opinion. We love Mark, but this is not the case. People make this understandable mistake all the time (thinking by-lined NRO pieces must necessarily be NR’s position), but what’s notable about this instance is that Peter cites positively pieces by Robert George and David Frum, without even noting that they also were signed pieces appearing on NRO, just like Levin’s, let alone taking them to represent our editorial line. Kind of curious…

Why Conservatives Wanted Lott to Go



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From the AP: “The remarks drew immediate criticism from black leaders and Democrats. They
were quickly joined by conservatives worried that the comments would create
a distracting firestorm that would harm the White House’s and GOP’s efforts
to advance their legislative agenda.”


Yep, ’bout sums up our editorial. Sure.

Sen. Murray...



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…should get some heat for this, dontcha think?

Miss Trixie and Thee



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Lots of interesting and very moving mail this morning, off my Miss Trixie column. I’m hearing from white Southerners of my generation, who remember trying to deal with the paradox of white folks of previous generations who were kind and fair in their dealings with blacks, but nevertheless called black folks “nigger,” and supported segregation. And then there are letters that testify to why Trent Lott’s offhanded comment sympathizing for the segregated South really is a big deal. Check out this letter from a reader recounting something that he witnessed in Virginia in the late 1980s:

“I worked on a trash truck during the summers in high school. It was a
pretty rough caliber of guys working on the truck, and one, a ‘bear of a man’
named Leon, used to brag about his treatment of blacks, in the
unambiguously colorful patois of sanitation engineers. This was pretty
startling stuff for me, a middle-class white kid from the suburbs. It
was also a heady education.

Leon was born and raised in Virginia, maybe an hour outside DC. He was
probably in his mid-fifties at the time, and had gone to high school in
the still-segregated commonwealth. He tells it best, and I could sense at
the time that it was the gospel truth:

’One time, I was driving along in my convertible. I’d just gone to
McDonalds, and got a burger and a chocolate milkshake. This was when we
still had segregated schools. I saw this nigger boy walking along the
side of the road, in a white tux, to his school’s prom. Me, I unloaded that
milkshake, hit him right in the chest. You should’ve seen the look on
that young buck’s face!’

With not much effort, the tableau is compelling — the amount of work
that black boy must’ve had to do to afford the rent for a tuxedo, about his
probable excitement at meeting his date at an unlikely – and probably
singular – event in his life. You can imagine the absolute shock to his
mind of realizing that a special affair has just been irrevocably crushed, and the long walk home.

I know that Leon’s hatred was more than racism – he was just a ‘hateful
soul,’ as my grandmother would say, and blacks weren’t the only victim
of his anger. I should’ve told him that I thought it was an awful story,
tried to square the circle, but he was big and rough, and I was a scrawny high
school kid – I’m not alone in failing at moral courage now and then, and
I’m sure stories like this aren’t hard to find.”

Lott’s Statement



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In the interest of pursuing the best possible agenda for the
future of our country, I will not seek to remain as Majority Leader of
the United States Senate for the 108th Congress, effective January 6,
2003. To all those who offered me their friendship, support and
prayers, I will be eternally grateful. I will continue to serve the
people of Mississippi in the United States Senate.

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