JACK BALKIN HAS SOME SUGGESTED LESSONS from the Trent Lott affair. I’m not sure I agree with all of his legislative suggestions, but it’s an interesting perspective.
Meanwhile, here’s a suggested lesson of my own. It’s clear that people knew for a long time that Lott had, to put it charitably, issues: issues of racism, and issues of the tin-eared, foot-in-mouth sort. Put those together, and he was a disaster waiting to happen. Some people even said that before the elections. Yet somehow he would up as Majority Leader anyway.
Pick the wrong people for important jobs, and you have problems every time. That’s a lesson worth remembering.