Group Labels Lott Criticism 'Political Correctness Run Amok'
(CNSNews.com) - Amid the many calls for Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott to resign, one conservative grassroots organization is defending Lott, arguing that the Mississippi senator is a victim of "political correctness run amok."
Lott still intends to take over as Senate majority leader when the 108th Congress convenes in January, but is still experiencing the fallout from comments he made at the recent birthday party for retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).
While complimenting Thurmond on his 100th birthday, Lott said the nation would have been better off if it had elected Thurmond, then a segregationist, for president in 1948. The comments triggered a firestorm of criticism that has not abated.
But, among the groups supporting the embattled Lott is Public Advocate of the United States. Spokesman Jesse Binnall says "politically correct" Christmas cards are being sent to Senate offices on Capitol Hill to mock the "spirit of political correctness that has swept the nation's capital this Christmas Season."
The front of the card has "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" crossed out while "Season's Greetings" is underlined above the phrase: "and a politically correct new year!"
Inside the card, senators receive this greeting: "We at Public Advocate would like to offer you this conditional Christmas (crossed out) Holiday (crossed out) seasonal greeting, but, first, in accordance with the PCEA (Political Correctness Enforcement Agency), we will need to verify the following.
Senators are asked seven questions.
Among them are: "Do you know and like Trent Lott or Strom Thurmond? Did you live in an unpopular period of American history? Did you ever serve in an unpopular war? Could any of your current political positions be politically unacceptable in 54 years?"
The card also poses these questions: "Have you ever done or said anything that would offend Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Barney Frank or Jack Kemp? Will you oppose legislation supported by the PCEA such as the Thought Control Bill, and the Gay Bill of Rights and instead support bills that protect the American Family?"
If senators answer yes to any of the questions, they are promised an "official Bah-Humbug card and a lump of coal from the PCEA within five working days."
Binnall said the cards "show the silliness of attacking a man for positive remarks he made towards a friend who ran for president when Trent [Lott] was a seven-year-old."
"This is political correctness run amok, and we should never have to apologize for saying nice things about our friends when we are honoring them," he said.
The Senate is in recess until Jan. 7, so Binnall said his group has not received any reaction thus far from senators. But, he said the reaction of many Senate office staffers ranged from "chuckles" to "dark stares" when the cards were delivered.
"But some said, 'Well, hey, we're glad somebody is willing to go out there and call things like they are right now, the hypocrisy of the media and the left that are trying to chastise him because he said something nice about this guy [Thurmond] in the first place,'" Binnall said.
The NAACP, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Black Leadership Forum and Rainbow-PUSH coalition, all of whom have called for Lott's resignation as incoming majority leader, did not return several phone calls Monday for further comment on the story.
The next move in the group's defense of Lott will be asking people why former Vice President Al Gore has not been chastised for "saying that his father was the greatest man he ever knew," Binnall added.
"We're talking about someone [Albert Gore, Sr.] who stood up vehemently against the civil rights bill and other things that are socially unacceptable in modern times."
While hosting Saturday Night Live over the weekend, the younger Gore impersonated Lott and made fun of Lott's comments at Thurmond's party.
Binnall said the group would begin a campaign publicizing Gore's "hypocrisy" and other unfair remarks directed at Lott.
"We're going to try to get the message out that this is hypocrisy personified," Binnall concluded.
Albert Gore, Sr., a longtime Tennessee Democratic senator, voted against the civil rights bill of 1964, as did Robert Byrd, who is still a Democratic senator from West Virginia.
Other southern Democrats voting against the 1964 bill were: William Fulbright, a longtime liberal Arkansas Democratic senator and political mentor of former President Bill Clinton; Sam Ervin, a North Carolina Democratic senator and chairman of the famed Senate Watergate Committee; and Richard Russell, the legendary Georgia Democratic senator and close friend of former President Lyndon B. Johnson.
E-mail a news tip to Jim Burns.
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