NR’s editors today call for Lott to step aside and allow someone else to take the position of majority leader. Because some reader’s of NLT have suggested that we need to "screw our courage to the sticking place" and support Lott because times are tough and the accusations are at times overstated, I offer NR’s conclusion:
Many conservatives will be tempted to defend Lott because of the nature of some of the attacks on him. It’s an understandable impulse. But it is possible for someone simultaneously to suffer unfair attacks, handle himself and his predicament poorly, and be an underwhelming political figure. Trent Lott has managed a trifecta. For NR to rally to his side now would amount to defending him because he is being accused of racism. We usually pride ourselves on being fair-weather critics of, and foul-weather friends to, conservative politicians. Lott is in for a long bout of foul weather. But we can’t be loyal to a Majority Leader who we didn’t support in the first place.
I would simply add that not all the attacks appear to be unfair, and fair or not, these attacks will continue as long as Lott remains in a position that makes him a leader in the party. The continuing presence of these attacks is not necessarily a reason to abandon Lott as Majority Leader--but his lackluster support for the principles of the party of Lincoln is.