An Excerpt from a brand new political book “Game Changer” by Mark Halpren and John Heileman has Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid embarrassed, President Barack Obama forgiving him and Republican Party National Committee Chairman Micheal Steele outraged seeking Reid’s ouster as Majority Leader.
It was an awkward backhand compliment about then Senator Obama “light-skinned” black man “with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.” Over the weekend Senator Reid called the White House to apologized to the President about what said.
For his part President Obama accepted his apology. But on Sunday asked by Tom Brokaw of NBC’s “Meet the Press” RNC Chairman Michael Steele was calling for Harry Reid to Resign his Majority Leader place. Calling it hypocrisy if a Republican said what Senator Reid there would be hell to pay.
Oh yeah, there’s a big double standard here,” Steele, who is black, said on the NBC program “Meet the Press.” “There is this standard where the Democrats feel that they can say these things and they can apologize when it … comes from the mouths of their own. But if it comes from anyone else, it’s racism,” Steele added on “Fox News Sunday.”
Democratic National Committee Tim Kaine said “the comments were unfortunate and they were insensitive,” but he said there is no reason for Reid to step down as majority leader.
“I think the case is closed because President Obama has spoken directly with the leader (Reid) and accepted his apology. … We’re moving on,” Kaine told “Meet the Press.””Harry Reid made a misstatement. He owned up to it. He apologized. I think he is mortified by the statement he’s made. And I don’t think he should step down,” Democratic Senator Jack Reed told “Fox News Sunday.”
However, Republican are screaming foul and are not satisfied. Republicans and conservative bloggers were outrage about the hypocrasy. In 2002 then Senate Majority Trent Lott(R-MS) was ousted a majority leader because he made a joke about the late Senator Strom Thurman (R-SC) say American should elected Thurman was a controversial “Dixiecrat” who ran for President in 1948 against then Democratic incumbent President Harry Truman. Lott was immediately removed from the Majority Leader position.
“If he (Lott) should resign, then Harry Reid should,” Republican Senator Jon Kyl told “Fox News Sunday.
While I do understand it was a backhanded compliment many in the black community would indeed be outraged if let say Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY) said something similar about let say former Representative JC Watts(R-OK) if he was running Democrats would call for McConnell removal as majority leader.
I am glad Steele spoke up while I admit may see as harmless to some blacks many others like Steele did not. As a black man speaking proper we criticized by some in the black community for trying to be white. But if we occasionally use slang in the community outside like Steele did for a improve Republicans image he excoriated by black leaders the same one that are coming to Reid defense.
The hypocrisy is so blatant it’s not funny. Remember folks Americans do not like double standards and they will remember on Election Day Senator Reid.
Reuters AlertNet service.