The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

forgiveness please
In a move that was a question of "when" rather than "if", Mississippi Senator Trent Lott resigned yesterday as U.S. Senate Majority Leader. Meanwhile, the GOP is gearing up to elect Tennessee's Bill Frist as the replacement, all the while checking his credentials and potential chinks in his armor.

There's been plenty said about the whole maelstrom surrounding Lott's offending remarks. They've been sliced and diced and analyzed and denounced and reputiated many times over. So I don't feel like going over them again.

I think what it basically boils down to this: When Lott embarked upon his multiple-apology tour, what exactly was he apologizing for? Was he apologizing for having said what he said, or for having meant what he said? Or, was he apologizing for the fallout? That's the overriding reaction I had, and I suspect most people (at least in my generation) had. This was especially so with each follow-up apology, which, by the way, tended to diminish his credibility even further.

In any case, since this may be the only Trent Lott reference I make here now that he's (somewhat) out of the limelight, I'll conclude it with a trivial pop culture reference. No matter what becomes of Lott and his career from this point on, he's forever a part of the Star Wars movie mythology (along with Senator Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut).