Rich Galen

You have to wonder what Sen. Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) thinks about all this. At the 100th Birthday Party for Strom Thurmond, Lott said about Strom's Presidential campaign as the candidate of the States Rights Party in 1948: [Mississippi] voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either.

The controversy over the "we wouldn't have had all these problems" line forced Lott to resign as Senate Majority Leader.

Al Gore said at the time, according to CNN, that "Lott should apologize for his comments or face censure by the Senate."

Large Al has not weighed in on the Biden slur, nor has any other Senator demanded Biden step down from his position as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Senator Robert C. Byrd, a former pooh-bah in the KKK, used the N-word in an interview taped for Fox by Tony Snow. Byrd's staff pleaded with Fox not to use the expletive, but Fox did the journalistically appropriate thing and ran the interview unedited.

"There are white n*****s. I've seen a lot of white n*****s in my time; I'm going to use that word."

Senator Byrd's use of the N-word on Fox caused the thunderous sound of one eyebrow being briefly raised by the Washington press corps.

"Well, it was way back in the 40's," was how it was explained away by the Popular Press. So was Thurmond's Presidential campaign, but that didn't matter.

Joe Biden has been a Senator for 30-something years. He will be a Senator until he retires or expires.

For some Senators their time comes and goes. For Joe Biden, his time will never be.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the actual interview in the New York Observer, to a clip of Byrd's interview on Fox, and to CNN's coverage of the Trent Lott affair, and to an explanation of the "in the Jeffersonian sense" line. Also a Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day from Boston.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at