Monday, January 11, 2010

Hearts of Darkness

The moral sewers that are the minds of the likes of Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, and Senate majority leader, were revealed this week with the report that Reid has apologized to President Barack Obama (and to other black civil rights leaders) for having said privately in 2008 that Obama was “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.”

Reid’s remark was made public in a new book, Game Change, by political reporters John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. The book chronicles the sludge and sleaze behind the Democratic contest for presidential nomination and the race against John McCain and Sarah Palin. The publisher’s website describes what can only be characterized as a chronicle of dirt:

Game Change answers those questions and more, laying bare the secret history of the 2008 campaign. Heilemann and Halperin take us inside the Obama machine, where staffers referred to the candidate as "Black Jesus." They unearth the quiet conspiracy in the U.S. Senate to prod Obama into the race, driven in part by the fears of senior Democrats that Bill Clinton's personal life might cripple Hillary's presidential prospects….And they reveal how, in an emotional late-night phone call, Obama succeeded in wooing Clinton, despite her staunch resistance, to become his secretary of state.


Reid has apologized for the remark but sounded more like he was campaigning for reelection.

In a statement, Reid confirmed his remarks and apologized for them. “I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments,” he said today, “I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obama’s legislative agenda. Moreover, throughout my career, from efforts to integrate the Las Vegas strip and the gaming industry to opposing radical judges and promoting diversity in the Senate, I have worked hard to advance issues important to the African American community.”


He was forgiven by Obama. Well, of course. Reid, together with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, has the principal task of getting the socialist health-care bill passed by Congress.

President Barack Obama released a statement this afternoon stating that Reid called him to apologize “for an unfortunate comment.” The president said he accepted the apology. “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.”


Why would he castigate Reid over a mere slip of tongue and unguarded moment, when more important things are at stake than Obama’s own self-respect, such as vanquishing America? But, the book is not closed. Game Change goes on sale in a few days, and the guided tour by Heilemann and Halperin of the cesspools of Beltway politics should make the authors millionaires.

This is all very revealing about Harry Reid. It should not be surprising that a man who “advances Obama’s legislative agenda” of nationalizing the economy and abridging American freedoms would also harbor the same knee-jerk racist premises as Vice-President Joe Biden and former Senate majority leader Trent Lott. All the minds party to this legislation are vessels of malignity. In public, these creatures appear well-groomed in pressed suits and are on good conduct. Behind the scenes, they are, as Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota suggested, manipulative, foul-mouthed gangsters.

If the Republicans wished to “bring down” Harry Reid as a means of defeating the health-care legislation, they ought to be challenging his political career, premises, and political agenda. They ought to be screaming their heads off about the Marx/Alinsky/Ayers number Reid and his ilk in Congress and the White House are about to pull on the country.

Instead, they are calling for his resignation over a comparatively unimportant racial remark. If Reid is guilty of anything, which is his greater offense? Saying something uncouth, or advocating and working hard to bring about the destruction of American liberty?

The Republican ruse to defeat the health-care legislation is intellectually vacuous. The Republican strategy is as ludicrous and futile as if the Romans accused the Huns of being bad dressers, and so they should just go away, instead of pillaging Rome. Harry Reid may be, in the core substance of his existence, a rotten, hypocritical creature. But in the hearts of Republican leadership, there is only the hollow darkness of moral bankruptcy.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I note here, because it wasn't important to the piece, that doubtless Republicans received advance copies of "Game Change," which is how they were able to learn about Reid's slip of tongue.

Ed

madmax said...

Ed,

I can't stand Reid, but was what he said really racist? All he said was that Obama was a light skinned and didn't speak ethnic black english, ie 'Ebonics'. This is true. Obama is not an ethnic black with inner city mannerisms. He was raised with whites and this is obviously evident in his level of articulation and his comportment.

I don't think it is racist to point this out. The only thing you can get on Reid about for this is the use of the word 'negro'. But Reid is an old-timer after all. Reid should be ousted for his socialism not for this. His comments about Obama were not racist.

Anonymous said...

It was racist. Why remark on Obama's "light-skin" and advanced language skills unless Reid saw him primarily as a "black man" who was an exception to what Reid regarded as a "rule"? That's what I meant when I noted that his remarks were "revealing." I could be accused of making a patronizing ethnic slur if I differeniated between the varieties of red-headed Scotsmen. "Well, most Scotsmen are filthy beasts you can't understand at all, but McDougal there is okay, his hair is not too red and there's not a trace of that damned lilting burr when he speaks."

Ed

Teresa said...

You put it in perspective, Ed, with your red headed, non burring Scotsman. I heard Limbaugh ranting today about Reid's slur. The emphasis was all on the reaction to the insult. Nothing about socialism. A pity!

Teresa

madmax said...

Ed,

I see what you are saying but I still don't think that making a distinction between ethnic blacks and non-ethnic blacks is racist. The ideas is not that black men are incapable of higher intelligence and articulation but that today's inner-city blacks are in large part the product of a certain cultural disintegration and it shows in many ways. I guess you could have made this distinction about other ethnicities at the turn of the century but today it mostly applies to blacks and hispanics. I'm not defending Reid, he likely is a closet racist but identifying a distinction in social class is not racist. Pointing to the fact that Obama is a non-ethnic black man who does not speak jive or ebonics is a rational observation not racism.

Anonymous said...

I still contend that Reid made a racist remark (he admits it himself), but that this is not his gravest offense. The point of my commentary is that the Republicans are so bereft of a moral compass and any kind of spine that they can't think of anything better to accuse him of, and that's what should be the focus of any concern. Note that the Republicans wish to exploit the Tea Party phenomenon to make gains in Congress this year but are hesitant to adopt the moral outrage of that phenomenon. That's partly because they're also responsible for the sorry state of the country. Ed