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Thanks a Lott

Trent Lott's comments might hurt the Republican party's efforts to defend the Declaration's principles of true equality before the law.

11:00 PM, Dec 9, 2002 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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Americans today, more than a year after the September 11 attacks, are still most concerned about issues that unite us--national security, the war on terror, weapons of mass destruction. The timing for a cross-racial, cross-party appeal for a realization of the principles of the Declaration of Independence--that all men are created equal--could hardly be better.

Lott's comments, however they were intended, complicate that effort. Every two years, Democrats and their friends spend millions of dollars to convince black voters that Republicans are little more than unreconstructed segregationists. Al Gore says Republicans use "colorblind" as hunters use a "duck blind." The DNC tells blacks that a vote for a Republican is a vote for "church-burnings." State Democratic parties evoke images of rabid dogs and Bull Connor. Jesse Jackson warns that the GOP will "take us back to 1896"--the year the Supreme Court endorsed segregation. The NAACP hints that Republicans favor lynchings. And on and on it goes.

Republicans are right to speak up about such heinous distortions of their positions. And they are right to speak out against race-conscious law.

Even with Lott's apology, they shouldn't be silent now.

Stephen F. Hayes is a staff writer at The Weekly Standard.