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This Isn’t Reid’s First Racial Rodeo

Patterico points out [1] that this most recent incident of what Democrats would unquestionably call racist comments if they were uttered by a Republican, isn’t Dingy Harry’s only offense:

Amidst the brouhaha over Harry Reid’s comments, some people are defending Reid by saying that he told the truth, however . . . awkwardly. See, for example, Robert Stacy McCain, who declares [2]: “Harry Reid is no more a racist than I am.” (Did Reid hit McCain’s tip jar [3]?) And indeed, I fully support the principle that people need to be able to tell the truth, even if doing so might be perceived as politically incorrect.

But I’m not sure why Harry Reid, of all people, should benefit from that principle.  He sure as hell hasn’t given others the benefit of the doubt when it comes to racial matters.

When Bill Bennett made an arguably true but racially controversial statement, Reid rushed to call Bennett a racist [4]:

Washington, DC — The following is a statement by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid on William Bennett’s recent comments:

Yesterday, on his radio call-in show, former Reagan Secretary of Education, William Bennett made the following comment, “… you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.

“I am appalled by Mr. Bennett’s remarks and call on him to issue an immediate apology not only to African Americans but to the nation. At a time when so many Americans are struggling to recover from two devastating Hurricanes, now is the time to help one another, not feed the fires of racism. America can do better. The Republican Party has recently taken great pains to reach out to the African American community, and I hope that they will be swift in condemning Mr. Bennett’s comments as nothing short of callous and ignorant. They are reminiscent of a time our nation is still struggling to overcome.

Again, I call on him to issue an immediate apology to the nation for his insensitive remarks.”

One could attempt to defend Bennett on the same grounds that Stacy McCain uses to defend Reid: that Bennett was simply telling the truth, albeit in an “insensitive” way that was certain to inflame the crowd that makes a living profiting off racial grievances.

But Sen. Reid really didn’t care whether Bennett was telling the truth, did he? Sen. Reid saw an opportunity to make some political hay, and he took it.

Well, no Duh. And again, I point with more than a little annoyance, at the Trent Lott story I spoke to David about in comments over the weekend. [5] And look, both Jim and Stacy are correct in this; I see no conflict here. Stacy is correct; Reid is no racist by any reasonable definition. But Jim is also correct, however, in that neither were Lott and Bennett. Most times when racism gets charged anymore particularly by Democrats, it’s an utterly bogus charge on it’s face. But we have elevated race to the holiest of leftist dogma, to the point where any mention of it silences any debate on any given issue. The fact is when Democrats pull out the race card, it’s to bludgeon a political opponent with… to use as one would use any other weapon…. against an enemy. I dare suggest this stuff isn’t going to make any sense at all to anyone unless and until we come to grips with that fact.