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Friday December 13, 2002
Lott's Choice
An American Tragedy
By Howard Hobbs PhD Editor & Publisher

   WASHINGTON -- President Bush on Thursday openly denounced Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, for intemperate comments that shocked and may have cost the Republican majority in Congress the goodwill of the nation.
     Bush's censure came as calls for the Mississippi senator to resign his congressional leadership post rang out at the Capitol.
    President Bush angrily told reporters at a Philadelphia news conference on Thursday, "Any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive, and it is wrong. Recent comments by Senator Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country. He has apologized, and rightly so. Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals."
     Political analysts are recommending that Mr. Bush hold a public forum on the situation within the week after Lott reportedly made derisive comments at Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday celebration in the Capitol last week. Sen. Thurmond was the segregationist candidate for the presidency in 1948. That year Harry Truman (D) won on a pro-civil rights platform. Lott has apologized for the comments made in private during the spirit of Thurmond's birthday celebration.
     The New York Times disclosed some gossip about Trent Lott's college days at Bob Jones University, As the story goes, Bob Jones U. "...banned interracial dating in the 1950's." Time magazine piled-on with its own accusations on Thursday that Lott reportedly helped lead a successful effort while a student at the University of Mississippi to prevent Sigma Nu  fraternity from admitting minorities to any of its campus chapters.
    By Friday, these critics appear to have started an increasing drum-beat calling on Sen. Lott to resign his Senate leadership.
   
    [Editor's Note: The incoming Senate Majority Leadership team members for the 108th Congress which convenes on Tuesday, January 7, are, left to right, Senator George Allen of Virginia, Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee; Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Chairman of the Republican Conference; Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, President Pro Tempore; Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, Majority Leader; Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Majority Whip; Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Vice Chair of the Republican Conference; and Senator Jon Kyle of Arizona, Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. The leaders were elected by the Republican caucus on November 13. ]

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