December 20, 2002
Turning Point?

Lott's out. We hardly knew ye, and that was enough. Questions:

1. Do the Dems now have a clear strategy: the anti-racist party? Some argue that with Lott out the Dems have no target to bust on during the next election, but I'm sure others can be dug up, a case can be made, but how politically viable is that? Pretty serious implication to make. Guilt by party association. Unlikely in my book. Clinton did have a killer quote on the matter thoough: "He just embarrassed them by saying in Washington what they do on the back roads every day." He makes the bold assertion that there was a concerted Republican effort in the South to scare/intimidate/mislead black voters during the last round of elections.

2. What impact did blogs, TPM to name names, have in shaking the GOP tree?

Posted by tmonkey at December 20, 2002 01:05 PM

with both parties so lethargic and overstuffed with self-importance (coming perhaps from 99% reelection rates?) it is difficult to imagine any senator on either side -- with a few exceptions, Jeffords, McCain, add your own faves -- being mean/hungry enough to do jack shit about making real changes, in this country or in the Senate. Clinton et al. are/were right, Lott is just the tippy tip of an ugly iceberg of intolerance, racism, and in general intellecual and ideological corruption (verging, at times, into more concrete types). Which is to say, it is very close to impossible to believe in any thing and be a U.S. Senator; exceptions, such as supporting the "right" of Israel to exist, only prove the rule. Daschle is a good/bad example of all of this (though I don't where he stands on Israel); he, along with most of the country's leaders, was caught like a deer in the headlights by Lott's ill-timed repartée. It seems clear that only those without immediate stakes -- in this case Gore and Clinton -- can actually call a spade a spade. (ha! that's kind of a joke.)

Where does that leave us? Or, as Kio once asked, sorta, long ago, what can we do about it? I dunno. Josh Marshall's blog may have actually helped this process along. But that gets into the question/issue of how much the media sucks these days. As you have all noticed, I'm sure, no one (except the NYTimes, the Post and the LA Times, in general) is allowed to report anything anymore; everything must be sourced ("According to the CDC, the cold is a very common virus...") which has been the death knell (along with lots of other factors) for investigative journalism that does not focus on SUV rollovers or dangerous toys. So when bloggers (and Andrew Sullivan, I think, was key here, too) report something, and have backup, reporters can use that without getting hinky about it. This is, in general, a good thing. (props also to memoryhole, smokinggun, etc etc, for their insistence on primary sources) It goes only a little way, though.

Posted by: dbrown on December 20, 2002 04:22 PM

If anything the way this was handled could cause some internal disruption in the GOP, perhaps creating a fissure between the White House and the rest of the party. But the Democrats cannot just sit back and watch the implosion, if there is one (I doubt the Republicans will let it get there). Who will steer the Democrats?

At least it's not about the war (on Iraq or terrorism) anymore. Which leads me to believe the administration will do something stupid like bomb Iraq.

Posted by: tmonkey on December 20, 2002 05:29 PM

Slate has been keeping a "war-o-meter" or something measuring the chances of war. Which is completely moot. 100% from the get-go. Just ask Kio, she knows.

Posted by: dbrown on December 20, 2002 05:41 PM

Well, you may note that Fox News supers are not "Whither Iraq" or "Decision Iraq" but, rather, "Countdown Iraq."

And given the bed that that Fox sleeps in, I'd take that as a pretty safe barometric indicator.

Posted by: Kevin Slavin on December 20, 2002 06:55 PM

Whither Iraq as a [what do you call those?], that is the world I want to be living in.

Posted by: dbrown on December 20, 2002 08:06 PM
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