Tom Coburn Doesn’t Get It


Harry Reid is getting support from an unlikely corner of the Senate: one of the most conservative members of the Republican Conference, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

Coburn, in a speech at the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce, said the GOP shouldn’t focus on attacking Reid as majority leader – after it was revealed in a new book that Reid said in 2008 that Obama could be president because he had no “Negro dialect” and was “light-skinned.” Reid has apologized for the remarks.

“Washington plays a game of gotcha,” Coburn said, according to the Tulsa World. “It pains me that Republicans are saying Harry Reid ought to step down. When you point a finger, you have four fingers pointing back at you. There is not anybody in Washington who has not said something that could be judged inappropriate and wrong.”

Whether Harry Reid was showing his own prejudice or simply profiling and casting aspersions onto the character of the voters whom he thought wouldn’t accept a candidate with “negro dialect” is irrelevant because in both cases prejudice was present. The choice between the two is either Reid is prejudiced against blacks or Reid is prejudiced against American voters in his assumptions and really, both are bad.

It’s especially relevant when you consider that the charge of racism has, was, and still is the defense of some in this administration and many of its lackeys against anyone who dares to dissent with the meat and potatoes of Obama policy. A whole lot of us have been called everything from Nazis to racists by these very lawmakers. These legislators attempted to redefine the meaning of the term as a way to invalidate genuine disagreement; they’re attempting to do it again after a true slip in character from one Harry Reid.

The unfortunate thing about it is that such actions make cases of real racism, real prejudice go unnoticed, excused, and this cannot be better exemplified in the way that Harry Reid’s prejudice has been excused by the very groups and activists who share a moral obligation to fulfill that which they promise to their communities.

This is why Tom Coburn is wrong. This isn’t a game of “gotcha,” this is a play on the American people. It pains me to see that Coburn isn’t asking for Reid to step down, considering that Reid failed the very litmus test he established for the rest of America.