Harry mess

By now, Harry Reid must have coated his shoes with candy cane flavoring. His foot is stuck in his mouth so often, he has to enjoy the taste.

The Senate majority leader spent the weekend and part of Monday explaining and apologizing for comments made during the 2008 campaign, but revealed in an excerpt of the new book “Game Change,” posted late Friday on the Web site of The Atlantic Magazine. Sen. Reid, D-Nev., said Barack Obama could win the presidency because he is a “light-skinned” black with “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted one.”

This disclosure follows Sen. Reid’s well-known gaffes: telling a high school class President Bush was “a loser”; saying the Iraq war was “lost”; and, more recently, calling town hall protesters “evil mongers” and comparing Republicans opposed to his crushing new health insurance regulations to supporters of slavery.

Sen. Reid, in case you’ve forgotten, is a politician — and an obnoxiously partisan one at that. Combine that fact with an occasional disconnect between his brain and his tongue, and you’ve got a formula for eyeball-rolling embarrassment.

This weekend’s circus of political correctness, however, is different. Sen. Reid is up for re-election in less than 10 months, and he and his party are taking a beating in the polls. The Republican Party machine couldn’t resist a chance to cast Sen. Reid as a racist old man.

Which, of course, he isn’t.

Yes, his comments on Mr. Obama were obviously condescending. But in the context of a highly nuanced conversation about political realities, they were not beyond the pale. “At long last, Harry Reid has said something that no one can disagree with, and he gets in trouble for it,” conservative pundit George Will noted Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

The right’s opportunistic outrage is hollow. Sen. Reid’s legislative agenda is a far greater threat to this country, and he should not have to resign his leadership position because, as he said Monday, he “could have used a better choice of words.”

That said, there is an obvious double-standard on racial remarks. If a Republican had made the comments Sen. Reid uttered, the left would be howling for his head and demanding a full-blown congressional investigation.

But let this be a lesson to the purveyors of P.C.: This monster is only too happy to eat its own.

If it doesn’t spit out Sen. Reid, it should save his tasty shoes for last.

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