Michael Barone goes through some of it again, and mentions that bloggers had to more to do with catching the meaning of the comments, and keeping it in play, than others. Diana West beat up Lott’s unprincipled ways in the Washington Timesthat I originally missed. And, I should say that judging by the way the talking heads chattered on about Frist on this Sunday morning, I don’t think The New York Times and its supporters will have any success in doing harm to Frist. The other thing made clear by the talk shows (and news surrounding the Frist victory) is that the White House is being given credit for pulling off, as David Broder said, a "coup." I think this this true and, yet, significant that their fingerprints are not all over it; very artful, very prudent. The results will give a huge opportunity for the President and the GOP to create a new majority on deeper principles than heretofore. Part of the judgment on that will be how they talk about affirmative action; if they take a principled stance on their ancient faith than we are off and running; if not, they’ll be even higher mountain to climb. I’m an optimist. See this good piece by Rogert George and also see Bill Bennett’s fine piece in yesterday’s NRO. I have my own stories from my first teaching job at Arkansas State, but that’s for another time. But I should mention to Bill that I have never been a Democrat!
Frist is probably the best man for the job. There isnt an abundance of well-spoken principled conservatives in the Senate.
What the leader needs to be able to do, which Lott could not, is articulate the Republican position and get it across to people. It seems that race is one of the last threads Democrats are hanging by, and it doesnt help to give them ammunition such as Lott did, inadvertantly or not.
Republicans cannot allow Democrats to slander them by calling them racists. They need to do all they can to separate advocacy for limited government and colorblindness from race, and make it clear that whites, blacks, hispanics, etc. are all Americans and should not be "hyphenated" and treated as different classes of people as the Democrats actually do.