I'm going to go contrarion on the Trent Lott furor and say that I think this whole thing is pretty overblown... especially in light of the fact he apparently has a history of this sort of thing.
The remarks that may cost him his career were made at a birthday party for a hundred year old senator. I take them with exactly the same level of seriousness as I take remarks at an funeral. There's an old saying to the effect of "Where the devil himself to die, we would sing his praises at the funeral." Same for birthday parties; overblown positive statements are de rigueur.
Now, if Trent Lott has a history of racism, etc., fine, but nail him for the history, not for being excessively complimentary to a man celebrating his hundredth birthday. It may be with the best of intentions, and it may be against a worthy target, but this still feels like a railroading to me, and I don't think that's ever really a good thing.