The legend of Strom's Remorse.

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Dec. 16 2002 12:09 PM

The Legend of Strom's Remorse

A Washington lie is laid to rest.

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Thurmond's refusal to treat segregationism as anything worse than an outdated fashion may have helped convince Lott that he, too, would never have to make a similar accounting for his own (far milder) segregationist past. Conceivably Lott could have dodged that bullet just as easily as Thurmond did. But Lott wasn't smart enough to grasp something Strom understood even in his dotage: If you don't want to apologize for something you did that was truly awful, try not to discuss it at all.

Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His  book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.

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