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As someone who holds mostly fiscal conservative/Libertarian political belefs, and as someone who has been falsely slandered as a racist by liberals more times than I can count because of it, I am keenly aware of the double standard that exists regarding the topic of race. The Harry Reid incident is another example of it.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) made a stupid racial remark about Barack Obama. In 2008, Reid said Obama could be elected president because he is “light skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Not at all good (and who even uses the term 'Negro' these days ?). Reid's remarks just came to light in a new book called Game Change. If I was Obama and Reid said those words to my face, I'd want to punch him in the mouth. It's like telling a Jew that he could become President because he doesn't look or act too Jew-y.
This isn't the first time a Senate Majority Leader has gotten himself in hot water over perceived racist remarks. In 2002, Trent Lott (R-MS) said the following about endorsing late Senator Strom Thurmond's 1948 Dixiecrat presidential bid, "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 the years, either." Lott didn't explicitly mention race, but because Thurmond's 1948 campaign platform included racial segregation, Lott was cast as a racist.
Now, I don't know if either Reid or Lott is a racist. Maybe they both are, maybe neither of them are. I can't look into their hearts and judge them, so I won't. Both Lott and Reid apologized for their remarks, but what is instructive here is what happened after the racially insensitive remarks were made and the apologies given.
After Reid's remarks, Obama accepted his apology and declared the matter closed. Democrats rushed to Reid's defense as GOP'ers called for Reid to step down. Reid said he has no intention of stepping down.
After Lott's remarks, according to Politico:
President George W. Bush, by contrast, said in 2002 that Lott's comments did "not reflect the spirit of our country," explaining that "any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive, and it is wrong." Lott later wrote in his book, “Herding Cats,” that Bush’s public comments about the matter were “devastating” and that many on his staff had “grown certain that some powerful Bush staffers had launched a power play to replace me as Senate majority leader.”
Democrats attacked Lott, and the Republicans forced Trent Lott out as Senate Majority Leader.
So I ask, why the double standard ? If these types of racially insensitive remarks are wrong and call for punishment, then they are ALWAYS wrong and call for punishment. It shouldn't matter to which political party the offender belongs.
We can also add hypocrisy to Reid's offenses. When others have made racially insensitive remarks, none other than Harry Reid leapt to judge them racist (as long as they were Republicans).
Unlike the Republicans, I am not saying Reid should step down over this, even though I pretty much despise him. The man couldn't tell the truth if there was a gun held to his head. He's been lying for so long that I doubt he'd even recognize the truth if he heard it. In my opinion, Harry Reid is a 100% pure political creature in the very worst sense of the word. He will say or do anything for political advantage.
But I know how the Democrats and Republicans play their political cat-and-mouse games, and frankly, it makes me a little sick. Both parties have entirely self-serving situational ethics at best. I'm tired of it.
All I want to know is, why is it okay when Harry Reid makes racial remarks, and not okay when Trent Lott or other non-Democrats do it ?