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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Harry and the Negro

That's how Drudge calls the explosive new revelation in the upcoming book, Game Changer. Apparently, Harry Reid, when commenting on the candidacy of then Senator Barack Obama said this.

light skinned" and "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.

Reid has since apologized. Obama has since accepted his apology but there is now a growing controversy surrounding this statement, the apology, and the acceptance. There should be one. Here's what then State Senator Barack Obama said about Trent Lott in 2002.

Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D-13th), who hosted WVON's Cliff Kelley Show, challenged the Republican Party to repudiate Lott's remarks and to call for his resignation as senate leader.

"It seems to be that we can forgive a 100-year-old senator for some of the indiscretion of his youth, but, what is more difficult to forgive is the current president of the U.S. Senate (Lott) suggesting we had been better off if we had followed a segregationist path in this country after all of the battles and fights for civil rights and all the work that we still have to do," said Obama.

He said: "The Republican Party itself has to drive out Trent Lott. If they have to stand for something, they have to stand up and say this is not the person we want representing our party."

Of course, when Trent Lott suggested that the country would have been better off if then Segregationist Strom Thurmond would have won the presidency, at a birthday party for Thurmond, he was run out of the leadership.

Democrats, like Al Sharpton, are now claiming that the two comments are not comparable. Of course, they're comparable. They're roughly as insensitive as the other. The only difference is that one was said by a Democrat and the other by a Republican.

You see we have this image that Democrats care more about minorities so when one says something this insensitive, it is seen as out of the ordinary. When Trent Lott said it, it, in the minds of the MSM, merely reaffirmed that Lott was a racist. Reid's comments are seen as an aberration while Lott's merely verify his behavior.

Now, Michael Steele is calling for Harry Reid to resign.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., should step down because of racial comments about U.S. President Barack Obama, a Republican leader said Sunday.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, when asked on "Fox News Sunday" if Reid should resign as majority leader because of comments made in 2008 regarding then-candidate Obama, responded, "I think he should."

I don't think that Harry Reid should resign but I also didn't think that Trent Lott should have resigned. In a situation, one long press conference dedicated to nothing but the subject is the sort of punishment that a politician should receive. At such a press conference, you should be able to tell if this was a slip of the tongue or if said politician meant it.

What is clear is that this has turned into a growing scandal at the worst time. Harry Reid will need all the strength he can get to keep his coalition together. He would have needed to run a perfect campaign to get reelected. It's now assured he's losing in 2010.


Anonymous said...

These two comments are in no way comparable. Lott stated that "we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either" if Thurmond, then a segregationist, had been elected to the presidency in 1948. Reid effectively stated that appearance and speech count for a lot in American politics, particularly as they pertain to ethnicity. While poorly phrased and doubtlessly lifted out of context, these observations had the benefits of being both perfectly true and patently obvious. Mike, would you care to present a rational argument that Reid's remarks were in some way erroneous?

mike volpe said...

Reid said that a real black person can't be elected president but that someone white enough can. What is that?

Lott was trying to say something nice at someone bday. I doubt he put two and two together. Even if he did, it was insensitive but so was Reid's comment. Anyone that sees something more vicious in Reid's comments is fooling themselves.

AG said...

That's ridiculous. Trent Lott had a long history of support for and membership in white supremacist organizations like the Council of Conservative Citizens. He made an overt statement in support of segregation and considering his background most likely knew exactly what he was saying. The controversy with Lott wasn't so much that Lott was too confederate as it was that everybody knew it and tolerated his presence in the Republican leadership for so long.

The two statements are "similar" in the same way that a SuperSoaker and a Howitzer are both shaped like guns. All you're doing is demonstrating the Republicans tone-deafness on race.

That being said, you're essentially doing the Democrats job for them: manufacturing a reason for Reid to step aside and let a more capable Democrat like Dick Durbin or Charles Schumer become Majority Leader. Its high time the Democrats stopped putting Red-State Democrats in positions of leadership.

And if you think that sounds ridiculous I'd like to remind you that just the other day you claimed it would be a victory for the Republicans to *only* lose Massachusetts by 9 points.

mike volpe said...

First off, I said neither should resign. If you think that the Majority leader stepping down now is good for the Dems, that's your problem.

I don't know any of the groups and I don't know that much about Lott, but you're basically saying what I said. When a Republican says something racial it confirms what we already know about them but when Dems do it,it must be a mistake.