Mississippi Senator Trent Lott has taken another stab at apologizing for his remarks that fondly recalled the good ol' days of segregation, adding that he won't step down from his Senate leadership position. As I've said, I don't think Lott's racist remarks are a reflection of the Republican Party at large, but I do think that if he's retained as his party's leader in the Senate, such action would imply tolerance of Lott's attitude at the very least. Getting rid of Lott--as a leader, mind, not from the Senate entriely--is a happy concurrence of the politically wise and the right thing to do.
As for his apology, this one is only a bit less L4m3 than his previous one. Lot simply doesn't get it. It isn't about "getting carried away" at a ceremony, it's about making scripted remarks that echoed sentiments he'd expressed before. CNN quoted Lott as saying "Those words were insensitive, and I shouldn't have said them. I regret it and I apologize for it." That's a little better, but nothing in that statement implies a rejection of the segregationist philosophy. Lott needs to echo his betters in the Republican Party and once and for all denounce the concept of segregation as an affront to the prinicples this nation stands for. Every time Lott weasels away from such a statement lends credit to the inference that Lott could really believe in it, after all.
Update: As you'd expect, Talking Points Memo is all over Lott's case. Especially interesting is this comment: "This little snippet gets at what is really almost the bigger scandal of this whole Trent Lott affair. I didn't dig this fact up in some dusty vault. I didn't get put onto it by some secret source. It's in a Washington Post article from three years ago. The truth is that everyone who's sentient and even remotely keeps up on politics has known about this stuff for years -- at least since the last Trent Lott-segregation scandal broke back in late 1998. Sad to say, everyone just agreed not to pay attention, not to care."
Update 2: Wow! Even Charles Krauthammer tees off!