Saturday, August 27, 2005

On the Road with the Trent Lott Machine

Trent Lott, ever-lovable racist Senator, kicked off his book tour Thursday night in Reston, Virginia. We received a report from a local activist who went to see the Senator and ask him a question or two. Thanks to “George” for sharing with us:

“The event was scheduled for 7pm, but he showed up about 15 minutes early, went down the rows of seats, introduced himself, and shook hands with the people sitting in the chairs waiting (me included ). I told him my name and that I was from Texas, so I figured he would call on me later during the discussion period. I decided not to mention I was from Austin, because it’s liberal. A couple of real photographers were there as soon as he showed up, taking pictures of him shaking hands, and talking to people. Apparently some people he knew, or had worked with associates of his, were there. He talked to one guy about being on the Daily Show, with Lott commenting on how “quick” John Stewart was, and how tough that show is- “It has sacrilegious stuff on there”.

George said that the event drew somewhere around forty people, and that, unlike Santorum and his recent appearances, Lott didn’t appear to really have a “machine” in place, though he did, of course, have security, for any “threats” that might appear:

”Security was very visible, at least 10 guys in suits were standing all around the area. One black security guy stood about 10 feet from him the whole time, the others were on the other side of the book stands, mostly big white guys.”

Lott then went on to speak for about 30 minutes while the crowd listened, respectful, “laughing occasionally at his quips, but no applause. He talked about the partisan atmosphere that has infected the Congress, but didn’t really point fingers. He said that the medicare bill was one of his two biggest mistakes on voting, that it was passed under deceptive numbers.”

Then came the kicker. George got a chance to speak, and he called him on his stances. Here’s what he said:

“I heard you mention that this is your first such event like this, congratulations, so let me start it off with the first question- I noticed in your book you describe how Frist and Bush “betrayed” you over your Strom Thurmond comments, but you gloss over your long record of voting against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the MLK Holiday, and you being the keynote speaker in 1992 for the Council of Conservative Citizens ( at which point he slightly nodded ), an overtly racist group which published your articles throughout the 90’s, isn’t the truth more like they wanted to distance themselves from your long record during an election year?”

He replied, almost dismissively - “I wasn’t a senator in 1968…”

To which I aggressively interrupted him, while pulling out a piece of paper and said “This is in the 90’s, I can go over your record if you’d like..”
He said “well I don’t think that legislation shouldn’t be in 11 states, and since then I’ve helped a black woman get elected in my state, but I support equal rights for all, etc, etc.” I kinda tuned out after the I support equal rights honestly. It was political b.s after that.

The next question started with “I’m a college student and I support all of your past record, are you running for president?”

In other words, the typical kissing up.

"He answered questions for about 20 minutes more. One guy asked a very valid question about why nothing that matters to the people is getting passed in Congress. He gave a non-answer. He also, as compared to Rove’s inflammatory suggestion, stated that the Democrats and Republicans came together after 9-11 to pass legislation."

Lott will be hitting up bookstores in the South that will include stops in Atlanta, Ga., Birmingham, Ala., and Jackson, Miss., for anyone else who'd like to ask him a few questions about civil rights. Here are the only two confirmed dates and appearances that I could dig up:

8/31: Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS
9/10 (3:00 PM): Barnes and Noble 5501 West Broad St., Richmond, VA 23230

Get out there and have at it!

Posted by crimnos @ 11:24 AM