What if it had been Sarah Palin who referred to Barack Obama as an acceptable "light-skinned" black with "no Negro dialect"? Would they be blushing to salvage her or rushing to savage her?
Regardless of your political leanings, you know the answer. You know the truth - because it's right in front of you.
Indeed, CBS's 60 Minutes Sunday featured the authors of the book Game Change - which contained that explosive quote from Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid - but the show totally ignored the scandal. Instead, host Anderson Cooper, on loan from CNN, went out of his way to explore Sarah Palin's shortcomings during the 2008 campaign.
Moreover, while the media excoriated and eventually brought down former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott for his praise of Strom Thurmond on his 100th birthday, they're rushing to excuse Harry Reid. ABC's George Stephanopoulos - a former top Bill Clinton aide - argued that the revelation was somehow unfair to Reid - it was said in private, after all.
Wow. You have to really go out of your way to get to that point.
This double standard is no surprise, of course. Democrats are forgiven all manner of outrage. The Democratic Party's dean in the Senate, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, was once a KKK organizer; the Grand Dragon urged him to get into politics. Yet, he's been allowed to serve the Senate and loot the Treasury since 1958.
President Obama instantly forgave Reid. Yet, a Sen. Barack Obama said a few years ago that the Republican Party "has to drive out Trent Lott." No double standard there.
In Reid's case, it's probably best he remain in office for now and be seen for what he is - and then be tossed out on his stump by voters in November. Polls show growing anger in Nevada toward Reid - who once astoundingly declared that his country had lost the war in Iraq while troops were on the ground there - and he's trailing every one of three possible opponents.
But if he survives this outrage, please, let's drop all the pretense and acknowledge the elephant in the room: Liberal Democrats are simply treated differently than conservative Republicans.
Consider: Also in the Game Change book, Bill Clinton is quoted as saying about Obama, "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee."
How long will racism be tolerated in the Democratic Party?
While it's being tolerated and excused away, let's at least acknowledge the hypocrites for what they are. Stephanopoulos repeatedly insinuated that Reid was a victim because he made the racist remarks "in a private conversation he thought was off the record." Isn't racism racism in public or private, George?
Oh, wait. Reid's a fellow Democrat.
What's a little racism among friends?