December 9, 2021

Harry Reid and Liberal Hypocrisy on Racism

I thought twice about doing this post, mainly because I am sure most of the conservative bloggers out there are doing a post on this subject in one manner or another.  But I thought it was important to point out a couple of salient points.

First, the quote.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada described in private then-Sen. Barack Obama as “light skinned” and “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.

But the comments were not all that private.  There were rumors about such quotes floating around last year, especially when Reid was loosely supporting Obama’s challenger, Hillary Clinton.  But the media conveniently kept it quiet for one year, until Mark Halperin of ABC felt he could make money off of the quote.

And there is more in this book.  Bill Clinton, in a conversation to recently deceased Ted Kennedy, tried to belittle Obama.  Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.

Now, this is nothing new.  Democrats of all racial backgrounds have been making racist comments for decades, and getting a pass because of the political side of the aisle they sit on.  Heck, it was a few months ago that Reid compared the Health Care debate to slavery; clear evidence of Reid’s ignorance on the subject.  But what makes this ultimately different is that we have a ‘post-racial’ President in the White House, don’t we?

Let us go back to the most used comparison, then Majority Leader Trent Lott’s comments at Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party:

“I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either,” Lott said at last week’s party.

This was at a birthday party.  Not a campaign stop, and certainly not in respect to the African-American candidate for President, as Harry Reid’s comment was referring to.

But here is the arrow in the heart.  Here is Barack Obama, our post-racial President, on 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.”

Now, compare this to Obama’s comments on Harry Reid:

“Harry Reid called me today and apologized for an unfortunate comment reported today. I accepted Harry’s apology without question because I’ve known him for years, I’ve seen the passionate leadership he’s shown on issues of social justice and I know what’s in his heart. As far as I am concerned, the book is closed.”

This is precisely the point, clearly illustrated in the most transparent way possible.  Mr. Obama used Trent Lott’s comments as a political tool in 2002.  And now, he defends Reid because he needs him politically.  Obama has clearly shown himself not as a post-partisan President, but as possibley the most racially influenced President in a generation.  Can you imagine if George Bush had accepted Trent Lott’s apology for the Strom Thurmond comments?  The left would still be calling Bush a racist.

I am sure many will call for Reid to resign.  I won’t.  Why?  Because I don’t care anymore.  I have called for Reid to resign previously, feel it is a waste of time, and ultimately the Democrats don’t care if they are hypocritical or not.  Clearly, Republicans must be held to a higher standard.  Fine by me:  I have long known we are superior, though not perfect, when it comes to these issues.  And frankly, I would rather have Reid as the face of the hypocrite Democrats for the 2010 election anyway.

If Obama truly wants to be a post-racial President, he would call for Reid to resign as majority leader.  But Obama wants nothing of the sort.  He wants his cake and to eat it too; he wants to proclaim that he is post-racial, while at the same time using the race card when he sees fit.  And in that way, Barack Obama has disappointed me in the one last vestige of hope I had in him:  as a man that could bring the races together, and possibly advance the cause of racial understanding.  I guess, even in this perfectly prepackaged role for Obama, he will ultimately fail.  And that simply just saddens me.