Back to the political stuff.
Trent Lott must step aside. If he won't move without being pushed, Bush should give him a shove. Speaking as a former Democrat and current Republican, the Republican party is really a coalition party. I could never have voted for Strom Thurmond for president. For one thing, my African-American, Asian-American, and mixed-race relatives would never forgive me, besides its being flat wrong. I voted for McGovern over Nixon, whom I considered to be crooked enough to hide behind a spiral staircase (and don't get me started on Clinton). I voted for Reagan over the feckless Carter, and never looked back. Call me a Reagan Democrat, but never call me a Dixiecrat. The current Republican party is a coalition of classical liberals (me, for one) tending toward libertarianism and, on the other hand, traditionalists. I can sort of appreciate the traditionalist argument, which is that if something has been shown to work, let's consider it workable unless proven otherwise. It's like a political expression of the scientific method -- try it, see if it works, try something else if it doesn't.
The Republican party has, I think, transformed itself from what it was when I was a baby (these things take time -- I'm an old man). Anti-semitism was at one time a characteristic of the Right. Now, positions are reversed to the extent that the Left can't do more than clear their throats and scuff their feet when a Palestinian kills himself and a dozen Jewish children in a pizza parlor at lunch time. Another part of the ancient Right was racism. If they can't put that behind them, they are going to lose the classical liberals. The whole "states' rights" bit really was a cover for the majority to oppress the minority. This is always the danger of democracy, but it is really a specific instance of the State asserting its predominance over the individual. The Republicans must renounce this, now and forever, or lose those whe truly trace their politics back to the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. A substantial part of the Republican party is anti-statist, and in favor of individual rights. If Lott really thinks that treating people impartially is a cause of "all these problems," whatever they might be, then he is going to split the Republican party, and I'll race you to the door.