Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gordon Smith is a big flip-flopper, and everyone knows it

The news today is that Oregon senator Gordon "weathervane" Smith has decided to throw caution and political sensibilities to the wind and defend departing GOP senator Trent Lott's inane comments about Strom Thurmond. You remember that moment from a few year's back, when Lott said that had the rest of the country followed Mississippi's lead in voting for Thurmond for president in 1948, "we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years." (Those problems, presumably, having something to do with uppity members of certain races getting uppity and thinking they deserved certain rights under our Constitution.)

Today, however, Gordon Smith got up on the Senate floor and said the following about his good buddy Trent's racist comments:

"I watched over international news as his words were misconstrued, words which we had heard him utter many times in his big warm-heartedness trying to make one of our colleagues, Strom Thurmond, feel good at 100 years old. We knew what he meant. But the wolfpack of the press circled around him, sensed blood in the water, and the exigencies of politics caused a great injustice..."
The only problem here is that Gordo's got himself a teeny tiny memory, forgetting that his initial response back in 2002 was not so generous:
"However they were intended, Senator Lott's words were offensive and I was deeply dismayed to hear of them," Smith said in a brief statement. "His statement goes against everything I and the people of Oregon believe in."
Oh yeah, and then three days later, when Lott stepped down as majority leader, Smith said he was glad that he had resigned. Sigh. It's become quite the pattern for Smith. Say one thing one day, get a bucket of praise from The Oregonian and other naiive media outlets, and then turn around and say/do the opposite. Let's see if someone in the local media actually has the guts to call him on it this time.