You can bet your raspberries that had Mitt Romney said what Reid said, the leftweb and BSNBC would be attributing it to his devout Mormonism, throwing that atop their bogus circumstantial case that Obama opponents are racists. Meanwhile, there are probably tens of millions of Dem partisans who don’t even know Reid is an LDS member.
Regarding [RNC chairman Michael] Steele saying “Honest Injun” — it shouldn’t have been uttered simply for the sake of avoiding controversy, but it’s crystal clear that he wasn’t going out of his way to be offensive. When you actually, y’know, think about the phrase, it isn’t meant to be a slur (like “squaw”) or demeaning and slanderous (like “indian giver”) — it’s a way of saying that you’re telling the truth in the same way Native Americans had among many a reputation for honesty. In other words, Steele was in effect saying “You could trust my words as if I was an Indian.”
Speaking as a black man, my belief is that Reid’s quote is not so much insulting to Obama or to black people in general as it is to the black electorate. Remember what Reid said about Obama not displaying “Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”? Why else would Obama “want to have one” unless it was to fool some black voters into thinking he was NOT “too white”?
Indeed, this is something that you can watch Obama doing early in his campaign. Watch him on March 7, 2007 in Selma, AL in this speech.
Obama spoke at the famous Brown A.M.E. Church from which the 1965 protest began, and talked about how black women decided “wurr gow-na walk instedda ride the bus” (1:00), how his white mother said “there’s some good crazaness goin’ ow-an” (2:45) “stirrin’ across tha cunt-tra” (3:00), and portraying the Selma marches as the impetus for his very existence! Obama’s descendant-of-slave-owners mother and his goat-herding father met as a result, he said, of the Kennedy family’s grant to Africans to help them emigrate to America. When they met, their marriage and his birth were deemed feasible because their attitudes were changed when the Selma marches took place. “I’m here,” Obama told the congregation, because “y’all sacrificed for me.”
Of course, that’s pure compost: Obama was born in 1961, and he was three years old when the first Selma march took place. His father arrived in the United States because of that scholarship program, but before the Kennedys got involved with the funding of it. Here’s the kicker: By the date of the first Selma march on March 7, 1965, Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham had been divorced for almost a year (March 20, 1964).
The narrative of Selma sending “ripples of hope” that made his birth possible makes no sense whatsoever unless Obama took Dr. Emmett Brown’s DeLorean to get to the Brown A.M.E. Church.