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       Monday, May 22, 2006

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Harry Reid has yet another attack of foot-in-mouth

"This amendment is racist. I think it's directed basically to people who speak Spanish." So said Democratic Senator Harry Reid about a proposed amendment to immigration legislation that would make English the official language of the United States. It's hardly surprising that a Democrat would toss around loose charges of racism with careless abandon, but apparently the good senator forgot to read the poll numbers on this one.

According to a Zogby International poll earlier this year, 84% of Americans, 82% of Democrats and even 77% of Hispanics said that English should be the official language of government operations. So, the searing question of the day is, to what constituency was Senator Reid pandering? If you searched the country high and low you'd only be able to find a small percentage of people, mainly radical leftists, who would agree with his statement.

His charge was made during floor debate on immigration reform and caused quite a stir in the Senate chamber and gallery. Senator James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who offered the "racist" amendment, was said to be clearly offended.

Moments later, a savvy aid passed Reid a note, who, after reading it, commenced to laying on the weasel words: "Even though I feel this amendment is unfair, I don't in any way suggest that Jim Inhofe is a racist. I don't believe that at all. I just believe that this amendment has, to some people, that connotation -- not that he's a racist, but that the amendment is."

But the senator's lame attempt to differentiate between an amendment and its creator doesn't quite wash. An amendment is just a piece of paper, an inanimate object. How can it be racist, but not the person who thought it up and proposed it?

I'd like to be able to say that Reid's "clarification" of his original statement simply involved a mistake in logic, but it's far more likely that it was instead a collosal case of disingenuousness. That he even made his original statement to begin with probably sprung from a core belief that Democrats are morally superior, Republicans are innately racist, and the natural order of things is for Democrats to chastise Republicans for their racism.

Gee, could such a belief system itself be prejudicial?

Greg Strange provides conservative commentary with plenty of acerbic wit on the people, politics, events and absurdities of our time. See more at his website:

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posted by Greg Strange at 7:18 AM  


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