Is it hypocritical for those who demanded Trent Lott’s resignation as Senate Majority Leader in 2002 to wish for Harry Reid’s survival in the same post in 2010?
I was one of those Republicans who called for Lott to step down eight years ago and yet I ardently hope that Reid will continue in his leadership position at least until November. Yes, it’s true that both men stirred up explosive controversy with their clumsy, racially insensitive remarks, but the differences in substance and context of their comments count as far more significant than the similarities.
For four reasons, the Senator from Nevada, Mr. Reid, deserves very different treatment especially from Republicans than the former Senator from Mississippi.
1) Most importantly, the continuation of Lott as majority leader would have damaged the GOP at a time when the Republicans had just recaptured the Senate, while keeping Reid in his prominent position will seriously damage the Democrats at the very moment they struggle to maintain Congressional control. Harry Reid is such an incomparably inept boob, such an easy target for ridicule and criticism, that his withdrawal from the upcoming battles might actually dim Republican prospects. The main reason I want Harry Reid to stay at the very center of the struggle is that I want conservative Republicans to win that struggle.