Harry Reid, Rod Blagojevich and the Chamber of Stupid

I walk away from the Internet for one weekend and it’s International Race Fail Weekend, turns out. These things are never on the calendar.

Blagojevich, never change:

Blagojevich, referring to the president as “this guy,” says Obama was elected based simply on hope.

the (expletive)? Everything he’s saying’s on the teleprompter,”
Blagojevich told the magazine for a story in its February issue, which
hits newsstands Jan. 19.

“I’m blacker than
Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My
father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where
we lived,” Blagojevich said. “I saw it all growing up.”

The White House refused to comment.

WELL I HOPE SO GODDAMN. Governor Flowbee is pretty much opening shows for Tonya Harding these days, so I would hope the White House doesn’t feel compelled to comment on what every Q-list dipshit thinks about how they’re doing.

Next up, Josh on Harry on Obama:

Two things in tandem ended Lott’s career in the senate leadership.
First, Lott had a long history of support for and association with
segregationist and white supremacist groups in the South. Not in some
distant past but in the year’s just before his downfall. (He was also a
staunch opponent of virtually all civil rights legislation. But that
actually didn’t distinguish him that much for many other Southern
Republicans of his generation.) To a lot of us at the time it was
always a bit of a mystery how someone with his record could have risen
as high as he had. This was all widely known in Washington, DC but it
was by common agreement overlooked and excused. (In many ways, because
of this, it was a scandal of official Washington — as much as Lott.)

Then one day, Lott said this remarkable thing — if only the
candidate of segregation (Strom Thurmond) had been elected president in
1948, we’d have avoided all the problems we’ve had in recent decades.

Most other politicians could have walked away from this remark with
the claim that they just hadn’t thought through the implications of the
statement. The problem for Lott was that almost everything from his
past suggested that he knew the implications exactly and believed them
deeply. To put it more baldly, too many past statements and actions
made it clear he was a supporter of white supremacist politics and
segregation. Suddenly what official Washington had always ignored was
open to intense scrutiny and his days were numbered.

Folks can make an argument for Reid’s punishment on its own terms; but the Lott analogy is laughable.

Nah, a better analogy would actually beBill O’Reilly and his motherfucking iced tea:

During the September
19 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, discussing his recent
trip to have dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton atSylvia’s, a famous restaurant in
Harlem, Bill O’Reilly reported
that he “had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously
respectful,” adding: “I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference
between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean,
it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black
patronship.” Later, during a discussion with National Public Radio senior
correspondent and Fox News contributor Juan Williams about the effect of rap on
culture, O’Reilly asserted: “There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was
screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.’ You know, I mean, everybody was — it
was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of
people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there
wasn’t any kind of craziness at all.”

Seriously, what Reid actually said was that Obama didn’t look or talk like some ghetto trash so white people wouldn’t be freaked by his presence on their TVs, and maybe once Obama’s two terms are up, Flavor Flav can take over now that the crackers have come around. Which strikes me more as a comment about white folks than it does about black folks, but what the fuck do I know, if I was any more Caucasian I’d be transparent, so naturally I’m seeing this as a comment about how my race is dumb as hell.

I tend to agree withthis Balloon Juice commenter:

Considering the average age of the members of the house and senate is
150, I’m not surprised by this kind of talk as stupid as it is.

FOR SERIOUS THESE PEOPLE ARE OLD AS FUCK. Old, and rich, and not very bright, and privileged, and not so much with the living of the lives of their constituents. I don’t think it diminishes very real racism among our elected officials to say there’s also a very real and very serious amount of stupidity to contend with on top of it.


9 thoughts on “Harry Reid, Rod Blagojevich and the Chamber of Stupid

  1. To state the obvious on the attack on Reid
    When the repubs say much worse, they defend themselves.
    This seems more like the Rovian / Neocon tactic of criticizing your enemy on your weakest point.
    Or is it just plan a very unhealthy psychological projection?

  2. Truly, old white people–liberal and conservative alike–can be really weird and awkward about race.
    I remember having a conversation before the 08 election with an older, liberal friend of mine. She was tied up in knots over the idea that white liberals might elect Obama just to assuage their guilty feelings about racism in America, and their hidden discomfort with people of color. It was sort of baffling to me, because I’m a Gen X’er, for starters, and I grew up among people of color as a minority myself (I’m white). I supported that bastard John Edwards at first–not because he is white, but because his ideas were more progressive. (He’s a bastard, though, and I haven’t forgiven him for being a stupid, stupid bastard who could have ruined everything.)
    So anyhow. I told her that while I could see that electing a Black man would be exciting and historic and amazing, I, personally, wasn’t voting for anyone because of the color of his skin. Hell, I wasn’t even considering voting for Hillary, and the whole First Woman in the White House thing would have been awesome.
    Maybe I’m just not feeling adequately guilty about my white privilege or something.

  3. President Obama said his own grandmother used words that made him cringe. After Obama gave that speech on race every reactionary idiot applauded hard and promptly doubled down on his or her own stupidity. Discussions about race have gotten more puerile since Obama was elected because true bigots think having a black President is a get-out-of-racism free card for all their actions. Harry Reid’s accurate remarks (in antiquated language) say something unfavorable about Americans, not Obama.

  4. Reid’s comments are evidence about just how fast things are changing in this country. When Reid, and I, were growing up, the whole language relating to African Americans was what is now well understood to be racist. Reid only left out the common comment by the progressives of that day, that Obama was “a credit to his race”. When I remember my father’s conversations about African Americans, referred to by the N word, of course, I can’t avoid blushing with embarrassment.
    My dad’s crowning moment was once, while traveling with my mom and me in Arizona, where we stopped at a restaurant in an Indian Reservation, and he noticed that the waitresses looked different. So, he said, in ordinary loud conversation, “That waitress isn’t bad looking for a N*****.” My mom says “Shhhhhh!” He says, “What’s the matter Honey, she knows she’s a N*****?” I looked for a hole in the floor to disappear into. And, my dad was actually very progressive for that era.

  5. Grandma said “colored,” whether talking about somebody favorably or unfavorably, no matter how many times we told her nobody said that anymore. Colored is what you say, she’d reply. She graduated high school in 1937.
    I was just talking this weekend about how when I was in grade school I was cast as Harriet Tubman in a play. Yeah, me, the whitest girl in history. I wore a kerchief on my head and spoke in what I thought was a southern accent. Nobody knew anything about cultural appropriation or how completely weird this was. It was the teacher’s attempt to get us to feel history as much as memorize it, and while I’m tempted to say hey, at least she tried to get us to think, I might have felt very differently if I’d been watching that play from inside a different skin.

  6. It’s definitely a generational thing. Negro *was* the polite term for black folks until the late 60’s. There are lots of things that would be worse from a gent of that age. Harry is also a Mormon and very enlighthened compared to most of his brethren.

  7. For some reason, white and Indian folks find it perfectly acceptable to spew bigotry in my so-white-he’s-blue husband’s and my presence. Recently, after a relative made disparaging comments about Obama and black people while D and I were in the room, D looked at this person and said, “Why, I am black.” This, of course, was an attempt to inject some Steve Martin-esque levity into an otherwise stupid conversation and to let the relative know that we don’t other people based on race so kindly STFU.
    This is why I don’t put all white people who say “brown,” “colored,” “black” or “negro” in the same bucket and buy such statements from Reid but not from Lott, John Georges, Blagojevich and other actual clueless douchebags. Consider the past and present actions of all of these folks and their history of attitude towards other races before condemning them. If I were a modern-day politician, I wouldn’t have used the word “negro” but “black” instead, but don’t find anything wrong with Reid admonishing/explaining to lily-white America that Obama is black, so what and get over it.
    Elie Mystal has more.

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