HEY, IT'S NOT AS IF BARBOUR SAID ANYTHING REALLY TROUBLING, RIGHT?
To judge from the Trent Lott and George Allen incidents, I assume that the press will not give Haley Barbour a pass for saying that the civil rights era in his Mississippi hometown was not that bad and for his praise of the undeniably racist White Citizens Councils.
But this will pass relatively quickly, and it will pass whether or not Barbour ever shows genuine contrition or evidence of soul-searching.
We know this because, four years after his "macaca" moment, George Allen is preparing to run for the Senate again, and will probably be the favorite in the Republican race to take on Jim Webb two years from now.
We know this because while the revelation of GOP operative Fred Malek's role as "Jew counter" in the Nixon White House cost him a prominent position in the 1988 campaign of George H.W. Bush, Malek was back working for Bush two years later as coordinator of plans for an economic summit. He subsequently became Bush's '92 campaign manager; more recently, he's been a top advisor to John McCain's 2008 campaign, the chair of a government reform commission for Virginia governor Bob O'Donnell, and a top advisor to Sarah Palin.
Oh, and after making racially charged remarks, Trent Lott didn't become a Beltway pariah -- he became a lobbyist, within weeks of resigning his Senate seat, and there isn't a shred of evidence that his remarks have hurt his new career.
So Haley'll be back in the Beltway's good graces before you know it, even if this causes him a bit of bother.