Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Harry Reid looks foolish without our help

Published 1.11.2010 at

Wanted: Substance in media, substance in political dialogue. Will pay top dollar for content that matters. Attention-seeking primadonnas need not apply.
Harry Reid, Wikipedia

That's how one might phrase a classified ad these days, if only one could choose newsmakers and the news outlets that cover them. Today instead, we were subjected to a flow of faux racial outrage (from the right and the left), more play-by-play accounts of NBC Tonight show negotiations with Jay and Conan and a baseball player's admission of steroid use - while our nation continues to whither on almost every front imaginable.

The racial outrage is aimed at Harry Reid and his Obama quote released in a new book. But before this gaffe surfaced, think back to the storm du jour, when just over a month ago Leader Reid dropped these gems:

"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, 'slow down, stop everything, let's start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right,"

Then Mr. Reid continued...

"When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said 'slow down, it's too early, things aren't bad enough.'"

Republicans were justifiably outraged at those statements. Mr. Reid had the temerity to liken the GOP to slavery sympathizers, simply because they oppose his deeply-flawed health insurance bill. His dumb-tongued indictment was almost enough grist for a formal rebuke, and yet the man wonders why bipartisanship is a bygone relic.

Now, consider the newly-outed Reid comment made during the 2008 election season that Obama possessed advantages, among them that he did not speak with a “Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

Sensing wounded prey, some Republicans are now asking for Reid's resignation. Ridiculous. Of course there is a double standard. Of course we ought to remind everyone within earshot of that fact, but the Republican party is supposed to be the party that does not play the race card, the party that rises above silly diatribes by race card professionals found on the other side of the aisle. You know the type, that blamed Hurricane Katrina on Conservatives - I don't mean the federal rescue efforts - I mean the hurricane itself.

One can only cry wolf so often. And Joe Wilson rants don't help us, but measured, well-reasoned political rejoinders do. Neighboring Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty got it right today. When asked about the Reid bomb, Mr. Pawlenty replied plainly,

"The remarks were obviously inappropriate. They were unwise. They were dumb. Whether that rises to the level of his fellow Democratic Senators throwing him out as Senate leader is up to them."