Sunday, January 10, 2010

7433: Rating Reid’s Remarks.

From The Chicago Tribune…

What Negro Problem?

By Clarence Page

What’s the big deal with Harry Reid’s comments about Obama?

President Obama says “the book is closed” on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s newly disclosed problematic praise of Obama in 2008. But Republican Chairman Michael Steele and a host of conservative pundits are not about to let it go.

“He said what? Harry and the Negro” blares a Drudge Report headline.

The conservative Weekly Standard quotes a 2002 Chicago Defender account of Obama’s criticism of former Republican Senate Leader Trent Lott on WVON — and notes ominously “If Mitch McConnell had said it…”

In other words, if current Senate GOP leader McConnell had said what Reid said, Dems would want his head.

GOP Chairman Steele, a gaffe-bag in his own right, called Reid’s remarks racist on Sunday’s Meet the Press on NBC and claimed a “double standard” by Dems to give Reid a pass for “anachronistic language” that is “out of step with where America is today.”

Really, Mr. Chairman? Let us remember the context of Reid’s remarks. However blunt he may have been, he was praising Obama. Lott was praising Sen. Strom Thurmond’s defense of racial segregation laws.

And if Mitch McConnell had praised Obama the way Reid did? That would not be a gaffe; It would be a political miracle.

Elsewhere, some conservatives are comparing Obama’s defense of Reid to his call for radio host Don Imus to be fired for describing Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.” Yes, Obamaphobes can be that tone deaf.

Ed Morrissey at the Hot Air blog says Reid questioned Obama’s “authenticity.” No, but Reid’s conservative critics appear to think complexion and “Negro accent” are marks of “authenticity,” when such standards are convenient to their cause.

Not to say that liberals don’t do the same thing when it is convenient. Witness the questions during the early Democratic primaries about whether Obama was “black enough.” All’s fair in mudball politics.

One thing for which conservatives should thank Obama: After years of being called racist, rightly or wrongly, by prominent liberal black leaders, he’s given them opportunities to turn the tables, whether it is deserved or not.

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