Sometimes, logic wins the argument

Let’s delve into a grab bag of news coverage regarding what must laughably be called the recent Harry Reid-’em-and-weep week.

Some see Sen. Harry Reid as saddled with a huge gaffe after it was revealed he had called presidential candidate Barack Obama a light-skinned Negro in 2008. Gaffe my arse, says I, though it didn’t help him.

Among Senate Majority Leader Reid’s prospective GOP opponents, only one made sense of this. State Sen. Mark Amodei, despite still struggling in the polls, in effect took a pass on Nevada Newsmakers when given an opening.

Amodei basically said Reid’s remarks weren’t real news and instead criticized the Democrat for not bringing home more than 65 cents worth of services on each dollar of federal income taxes that Nevadans send to Washington.

He is right on both counts—particularly the ineffectiveness of a Senate power who secures such puny rewards for home state constituents. As for the revelation, the newsmen who wrote it didn’t treat it as news when they first heard it. It’s little more than an anecdote in a book released recently.

A recap for anyone news-deprived of late: Reid in 2008 said privately the nation’s citizenry might elect Barack Obama president because he is a “light-skinned African-American” who doesn’t speak with a Negro dialect unless he so chooses. Duh!

It isn’t my job to defend Reid, but integrity demands it. Reid’s comments turned out to be an accurate handicapper’s analysis. It wasn’t racist in any classic sense. If there was any racism, it inadvertently stereotyped his own kind. Say what?

Think about it. Reid acknowledged numbers of white folks wouldn’t vote for a smart, dark black man with a funky dialect. It’s just factual that 143 years after the (un)Civil War, Obama could capture the presidency while someone like Eddie Murphy must settle for headlining comedy clubs.

Some other wannabe Reid replacements in the GOP didn’t take the high ground like Amodei.

Former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle said Reid’s remarks were offensive to all Americans and expressed disgust. Former basketball star Danny Tarkanian called them embarrassing and another indication the senator disgraces himself. Sue Lowden, formerly a state senator and state GOP chair, on a Fox TV talk show also played the “embarrassing” card on behalf of Nevadans.

I, however, am neither offended nor embarrassed.

Neither am I embarrassed by the escapades of Gov. Jim Gibbons nor Sen. John Ensign, both of whom are in my political party. Public officials and wannabes don’t embarrass me, though sometimes they disappoint.

Angle, Tarkanian and Lowden disappoint me. And Lowden’s string of “you know” verbal tics and “like I said” God-awful grammar during her TV appearance makes me realize she still needs work to become a polished candidate.

My favorite moment regarding this stupid flap, however, came watching ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Liz Cheney represented the political hard right, and George Will, a well-known Reagan booster and columnist, appeared for the right wing of the chattering class.

Liz Cheney, emulating her former Veep/always Daddy Dick, used familiar familial ready-fire-aim tactics. She criticized Reid and liberal media elites for defending him.

Think she is right regarding a major media double standard (also a Lowden complaint)? OK, but it’s just a rube rant, like yelling at umpires.

George Will countered crisply that Reid merely assessed reality. For me, the Cheney/Will verbal sword crossing bared the soul—or lack thereof—of some modern conservative crap that masquerades as conservatism these days. Will, of course, won.

Logic sometimes will.

So much for the weak Harry Reid-’em-and-weep week.