Hey, Harry Reid, if two Wongs don’t make a right, do they...

Hey, Harry Reid, if two Wongs don’t make a right, do they make a Negro?

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Harry Reid speaks his mind
Harry Reid speaks his mind

WASHINGTON, August 24, 2014 – In July, after the Supreme Court issued its opinion on Hobby Lobby, Senator Harry Reid announced, “The one thing we are going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men.”

One of those “white men” was Justice Clarence Thomas. Reid, who once said of President Obama that he was a “light-skinned” African American who speaks “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one” was understandably confused about Thomas’s race; Thomas speaks without a Negro dialect unless he wants to have one.

Obama, who according to his supporters is routinely attacked because of his race, is in fact sadly accustomed to racist comments like Reid’s. Consider this one: Obama is “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

Michelle will be gratified to know that Joe Biden considers her husband clean, with none of that unpleasant, mmm, ethnic smell. And he talks good, too. Demonstrating that he takes this sort of comment with good humor, Obama proceeded to choose Biden as his running-mate in 2008.

Reid and Biden don’t just josh around with Negroes (gentlemen, that word is no longer considered entirely polite). They also think highly of Asians – Indians, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, it doesn’t matter.

They are, after all, all the same.

The “Asian population is so productive … I don’t think you’re smarter than everybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are,” Reid told the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce last week. He also admitted as he introduced a man named Harry Wong to the assembly, “One problem I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.”

Biden doesn’t have the problem of confusing all Asians. He does, after all, know that most common habitat of Indians is convenience stores. “In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”

Reid and Biden have traded in some of the most outrageous racial stereotypes around. To put them in their crudest terms, they find it remarkable when a black man “talks white,” isn’t too dark, and doesn’t smell funny. They can’t tell one Wong from another, and probably don’t know their sushi from their kimchi, or their Nakamuras from their Kims.

Asians may not be smarter than the rest of us, but they’re undoubtedly clever.

If these clowns weren’t Democrats in high office, they’d have to be publically shamed in a ritual of self-criticism, then exiled or shot. Reid has apologized for his ill-chosen words, and that will be the end of it. One of his Republican predecessors, Trent Lott, wasn’t so lucky.

“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 the years, either.”

That was Trent Lott at a birthday celebration in honor of Strom Thurmond, who turned 100 that year.

When Thurmond ran for president in 1948, it was as a segregationist, racist candidate. Lott’s comments were the sort of mindless nonsense one utters at a hundredth birthday party. You say nice things; you don’t tell the honoree, “you were a terrible person, I hate all you stood for, but you’ve changed into sort of a good guy, so happy birthday.” But Lott’s comments were horrible all the same.

So were Reid’s and Biden’s. Biden’s were probably made without any thought – the man is clearly demented, and choosing him as a running mate was the surest sign of Obama’s lack of qualification for the presidency – not maliciously, but that has never been an excuse for horrible comments in Washington. Reid’s, on the other hand, seem more premeditated. Biden doesn’t know what he’s saying and we should just be glad he doesn’t drop his pants and eat his feces in public; we can’t make that excuse for Reid.

Biden has become inoculated from public loathing by the sheer number of stupid things that he says. Now it’s just, “that’s just Joe,” as people affectionately look at him like the crazy uncle at the wedding. Reid is following suit, the feisty former prosecutor and boxer who might have taken one too many blows to the head.

Politicians in unguarded moments say stupid things. We all do. No one should be crucified for briefly channeling Lindsey Lohan. That doesn’t mean that Reid and Lott don’t deserve the same treatment, though. The question is, what should that treatment be?

This being politics, we expect the treatment to be hypocritical. It will always be thus. We can still regard Harry Reid as the vicious man that he is – a product of Nevada politics – and recognize the nastiness that issues from his mouth on a regular basis. If Nevadans don’t have the taste or sense to retire him, his Democratic colleagues in the Senate never will.

Republicans will have to take the chamber before we can bid a relieved “good riddance” to Harry Reid.

(and just for fun, Skeletor gets angry..)

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Jim Picht
James Picht is the Senior Editor for Communities Politics. He teaches economics and Russian at the Louisiana Scholars' College in Natchitoches, La. After earning his doctorate in economics, he spent several years doing economic development work in Moscow and the new independent states of the former Soviet Union for the U.S. government, the Asian Development Bank, and as a private contractor. He has also worked in Latin America, the former USSR and the Balkans as an educator, teaching courses in economics and law at universities in Ukraine and at finance ministries throughout the region. He has been writing at the Communities since 2009.