When Loyalty Trumps Truth

The House of Bush is a feudal operation, except when it's an Oedipal one

As House Speaker Dennis Hastert twisted briskly in the hurricane-force winds of the Foley scandal last week, my thoughts turned to Mississippi Senator Trent Lott, the former leader of Senate Republicans. Lott, you may recall, found himself in a similar fix in December 2002, after he offered a rather too enthusiastic toast at Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party, in which he suggested that if Thurmond's segregationist presidential campaign had succeeded in 1948, "we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years." Lott was jettisoned posthaste, with an ample assist from President George W. Bush, who called Lott's comments "offensive"...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!