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Come Home, Trent Lott: All is Forgiven

"Pretending to be mortally offended by some ancient remark or another continues to be an excellent strategy for getting people fired," laments Kevin Drum of Mother Jones. He expresses real outrage about the "faux outrage" that forced Al Armendariz to resign from the Environmental Protection Agency. The ancient remark that undid his public career was made in a speech two years ago, when Armendariz said that regulators should treat polluters "kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years."

It's good to see this sign that enlightened thinkers are reaching a consensus: Pretending to be offended by some public figure's ancient remark in order to end that figure's career is a contemptible tactic. We can be confident this judgment will be made universally and equitably going forward. Otherwise, we'll be forced to consider the absurd idea that actions which are admirable when done by liberals are appalling when done to liberals.

Discussions - 7 Comments

Why would anyone find this unusual? Democratics/Liberals don't play by the rules - they make them up as they go along to benefit the temper tantrum they are having at the moment.

Again. Liberalism is a mental illness.

Wait a second, how does this count as liberalism?

Isn't that simply a variation on "it is better to be feared than loved"?

I mean it counts as original expression for U.S. Copyright standards that more or less simply require a modicum of creativity fixed in a tangible medium of expression, but wouldn't a professor tend to expect some sort of citation to Machiavelli, in order for it not to be plagerism? (maybe not, some professors would want a cite to whatever historical account actually detailed/supported the practice in the mediterranian.) i.e. did the romans actually do this? or did they just talk about doing it and this was enough of a deterent? (an important detail of roman administrative law)

Also isn't anything said or suggested by Machiavelli conservative for all eternity? i.e. Harvey Mansfield quoting Machiavelli, Stephen Hayward quoting Machiavelli?

i.e. it seems like a John Yoo, Article II energetic executive principle.

I am pretty sure the outrage is liberal outrage. i.e. this jokingly suggests the implementation of a standard that is both arbitrary and capricious and is thus a violation of deep seated principles of american administrative law which is against all that the American Bureaucracy stands for, for all eternity.

On the other hand liberal principles would have afforded him due process rights to argue that the comment was bared by the statute of limitations (maybe only 1 year?), or otherwise not admissible against him, under the terms of his contract as interpreted by the FLRA.

Of course since he actually resigned he didn't go thru a legal process. If you don't go thru a legal process then there is no guarantee that the judgement will be made universally and equitably.

Indeed if "faux outrage" is enough to get folks to resign, it will likely continue, because it is being encouraged.

If "faux outrage" is unreasonable on liberal grounds then it should not be rewarded by resignation.

The act of resignation was thus conservative. He had a duty to make use the FLRA and other Public Sector Labor Law principles, whatever collective bargaining safe guards exist to ensure due process in keeping with all the principles liberals have fought long and hard to sustain, and instead he took the Nixon way out.

So I am outraged that a so called "liberal" writting in Mother Jones would have any sympathy for an official who made a conservative statement that if universalized would undermine due process then followed it up with a conservative action which also undermined due process.

If I am not mistaken, Trent Lott was a Capitol Hill fixture of the most thoroughgoing sort: from the age of 25 to the age of 65, the United States Congress was his only employer (after which he was employed by a lobbying firm). Qualifications for seats in the legislative body should be set such that we have no more careers like that.

And the two cases are not equivalent. Trent Lott was run out of public life for saying (at someone's retirement party) that that the political order would be in better condition if some of the counsels of Southern segregationists had been heeded. It is not permissible to admit that James Byrnes understood anything about race relations or the distribution of powers between the center and the provinces better than did Eleanor Roosevelt. This fellow Armendariz was removed for counseling others to enforce the law in a partial and abusive manner and admitting he was doing the same.

Funny how Trent Lott was run out of public life for saying at someone's retirement party that the political order would be in better condition if some of the Southern' segregationists had been heeded, but Robert "Grand Keagle of the KKK" Byrd was never voted out of office or run out of public life for being the best racists ever to hold a Senate seat. The democrats just loved the guy and voted him to office time and time again (he also lobbied for days against the Civil RIghts Act of 1964) . The democrats also voted for funding on projects that named things like buildings and bridges after, again, the most racist Senator ever to hold a seat in the US Congress.

Very few of those who were members of Congress in the post-war period were as deep into it as Byrd. The 2d incarnation of the Klan was what you might call a fad organization. It grew with stupefying rapidity during the period running from 1915 to 1924 and then evaporated with almost equal rapidity. It formally dissolved in 1944. At the time Byrd took over as its principal organizer in West Virginia, it could not have had more than a few hundred nominal members. West Virginia is 25% Rustbelt and 75% upland South. The black population there is small (3.5% of the total) and the color bar was just not the sort of motor of local politics the way it was in the rest of the South. Running a Klan recruitment campaign in West Virginia in 1942 was quite simply a very odd thing to do, and the contentions of Democratic eulogists that he did so to get elected an asinine piece of fiction (his predecessor Chapman Revercomb favored 'civil rights' laws, as did his colleague Jennings Randolph).

Stop making excuses. Byrd was a Democratic Senator and as racists as the sky is blue. Just because the KKK only had a few members when Byrd ran it as the Grand Keagle or that there was a small black population in West Virginia at the time, does excuse racists Democratic Senator Byrd from being a racist. And I don't care that Byrd's predecessors favored civil rights - none of this is an excuse for what Byrd said and believed in - he was elected time and time again by democrats in West Virginia. No one in the democratic party ever got their panties into a was on the level of the reactions that the democrats had to Strom Thurman.

If George W. Bush or any other Republican for that matter at that time had filibuster the Senate for days to block the Civil Rights Act, we would have heard about it ad nauseum to this day.

I am not making excuses for anyone. Cool down and re-read my post.

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