"As many commentators have noticed, Trent Lott is not alone in his shady connections to the crypto-racist Southern Partisan magazine and the racist Council of Conservative Citizens. Attorney General John Ashcroft also praised Southern Partisan in a 1998 interview with the magazine and has ties to the Missouri chapter of the CCC. As with Lott, these connections have long been known but never received quite the attention they deserved. Here's Ashcroft's SP quote:
"'Your magazine also helps set the record straight. You've got a heritage of doing that, of defending Southern patriots like [Robert E.] Lee, [Stonewall] Jackson and [Confederate President Jefferson] Davis. Traditionalists must do more. I've got to do more. We've all got to stand up and speak in this respect, or else we'll be taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda.'
"It seems to us that Ashcroft's phrase 'perverted agenda' deserves at least as much attention - and explanation - as Lott's 'all those problems' bit.
"For the last two years, conservatives often enjoyed mocking liberals for our dislike of Ashcroft, but perhaps, now that Lott has awakened their ire at the old racist tradition in the Republican Party, they'll understand just how infuriating it is for a guy with Ashcroft's history to run the federal agency chiefly responsible for enforcing civil rights. Is it really so hard to find a conservative Republican who hasn't praised a racist magazine to be attorney general, guys?"
-The American Prospect, http://www.prospect.org/weblog/ (courtesy Howard Kurtz)