I've often said that when it comes to scandals, the GOP likes to clean up the mess as quickly as possible (sometimes a bit too quickly). When it comes to Democrats, they like to leave the garbage in the living room and let it stink.
We're seeing another example of that with the Harry Reid scandal where the Senate Majority Leader spoke of then candidate Obama as appealing because he was "light skinned" and spoke "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
Harry Reid did a quick round of phone calls apologizing to every African-American leader in sight, including President Obama who "accepted Harry’s apology without question."
As a warning that there is perhaps more to Reid's comment than a slip of the tongue we have the Senator's own words from 2002 after Lott was forced to resign:
Asked if the episode would serve as a warning to weigh his own words carefully, Reid said: "You play how you practice...If you tell ethnic jokes in the backroom, it's that much easier to say ethnic things publicly. I've always practiced how I play."Contrast Reid's quickee apologies with the apology tour that Trent Lott undertook when he made a casual remark praising Strom Thurmond on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Lott apologized over and over and over and yet the perpetually offended grievance mongers in the Democrat Party refused to accept his apology. You would have thought Lott wanted to bring back the Jim Crow era of segregation which he clearly did not.
Lott was eventually driven from office by Senate Republicans with a big push from the White House. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer called Lott's remarks "offensive and repugnant." President Bush called Lott's comments "offensive" and "wrong."
Obama Called on GOP to Dump Lott in 2002
Just a State Senator in 2002, Barack Obama had this opinion on Lott: "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."
Funny how less than 8 years later a Democrat can be caught saying something as inflammatory as Lott and all he has to do is make a few phone calls and it's no longer a big deal.
Voters of Nevada Will Have Final Say on Reid
Obama may not want to hold Reid accountable, but from the very latest polling in Nevada any of the three Republicans considering a run for Reid's seat in 2010 would likely beat him. Disapproval of Reid by Nevada numbers is above toxic:
The polling was done long before Reid's latest bombshell, but it may be that previous remarks such as these are starting to catch up with him:
- On the Iraq war: “This war is lost.” (April 2007)
- On Alan Greenspan: “One of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington.” (March 2005)
- On the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.): “I think it’s going to help us.” (August 2009)
- “You know, Joe, I can’t stand John McCain.” (August 2008)
- On President George W. Bush: “I think this guy is a loser.” (May 2005)
- On Capitol tourists: “You can always tell when it is summertime because you can smell the visitors. The visitors stand out in the high humidity, heat, and they sweat.” (December 2008)
- To a Las Vegas Review-Journal executive: “I hope you go out of business.” (August 2009)
- On Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “Incompetent.” (June 2007)
- On town hall protesters and agitators: “Evil-mongers.” (August 2009)
- On Senate opponent John Ensign: Ensign “shouldn’t be interpreting the Constitution,” because he’s a veterinarian. (1998)
It seems Reid's mouth is finally catching up with him!