Today’s NYTimes reports that some conservatives are criticizing other conservatives for Trent-bashing. Robert Novak tells the Times, speaking of Lott: “He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. The same people were saying, `We can’t have a racist,’ then he comes out and says, `I’m for affirmative action,’ and they say, `Oh, we can’t have that.’” This makes sense only if you believe that the opposite of racism is affirmative action. In fact, most conservatives believe that affirmative action is a form of racism, and that it makes no sense for Trent Lott to trade in rusticated racism for its socially acceptable form. Novak knows this, so what is he getting at? (By the way, ABC News has Lott on tape from 2000 saying that Ol’ Strom should’ve been president in 1948. So his remark at the 100th birthday party wasn’t spontaneous).