THE LOTT CONTRAST: Reader Tom Wright emails:

This may not be a widely held view but I think the Trent Lott episode is a huge plus for the Republican Party. It may gain them nothing at the polls but at least they have proved that they are capable of embarrassment and shame when on of their number demonstrates an unfitness for his office.

Tardy though it may have been, the disgust and outrage shown by Republicans over Sen. Lott’s remarks contrasted with the Democrats’ studied indifference to the past comments by Sen. Byrd or the vileness spewed by Rep. McKinney shows that while both parties may have bigots, at least the Republicans are ashamed or theirs.

Yes, I think that’s how it will play. And I wonder, now, if more will be made of the Bonior/McDermott trip to Baghdad?

UPDATE: Eric Alterman sort of agrees:

Actually, this is the worst possible solution for the Democrats, who won’t have Trent Lott to kick around anymore as leader, but also won’t be getting a Democratic replacement in his seat.

I think that’s right, too.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Virginia Postrel compares Trent Lott and Mary Landrieu. It’s a comparision to which a lot of other members of the Senate are subject.

And Daniel Drezner congratulates Josh Marshall — who I think really started the ball rolling — and says this will be good for the Republicans in the long term.