Remember back in 2002, when Senator Trent Lott said this at a birthday celebration for Strom Thurmond? —
I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.
Mr. Lott eventually lost his position as Senate Minority Leader as a result of his comments. No need to rehash that whole controversy, but it’s clear that Lott was just engaging in some empty flattery of an old man on his birthday, not making a policy statement. But most important, there was nothing malicious about his comments. They weren’t directed at anyone with the intent to harm them.
Now contrast Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In August, Reid had an interview with The Huffington Post —
“His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” Reid said, in reference to George Romney’s standard-setting decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in the late 1960s.
Saying he had “no problem with somebody being really, really wealthy,” Reid sat up in his chair a bit before stirring the pot further. A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.
“Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years,” Reid recounted the person as saying.
“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” said Reid. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?
“You guys have said his wealth is $250 million,” Reid went on. “Not a chance in the world. It’s a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don’t pay taxes for 10 years when you’re making millions and millions of dollars.”
This is obviously not at all like some happy talk at a birthday party. It’s far worse than what Lott said, because it is a deliberately malicious attack, a slander designed to harm another person’s reputation.
So this raises the question, when is Harry Reid going to give up his leadership position in the U.S. Senate? Surely all the senators who called for Lott’s head cannot stand idly by and let this slander go without any cost. If Republican Senators had some brass, and some political skill, they would make an issue of it.
And surely the mainstream media, that bastion of objectivity, cannot let such a blatant double standard go unreported. When does the media feeding frenzy against Harry Reid, demanding his resignation, begin? We didn’t see anything of the kind on the Sunday shows this morning. Maybe next week…