Two words – Trent Lott. There is absolutely no question that there is a Democratic double standard with Reid’s racial remarks. Trent Lott’s unfortunate comment at a 100th Birthday Party actually didn’t say anything specific about race issues – the linkage was made by the media to suggest that the compliment honoring Strom Thurmond meant something that could be a code phrase supporting Strom’s previous segregation stance. While the linkage was a jump, it made many people uncomfortable that a leader in the Senate was above reproach on race issues.

Reid’s offensive comments, however, were actually specific to race. No extrapolation needs to be made to understand the derogatory words. What’s even more ironic is that Reid’s remarks were about the leader of his own political party. If Reid would have made the same remarks about a Republican then he would be under more political pressure to resign. However, liberal elites being who they are, the condescending remark by the leader of the Senate was quickly excused by most every Democrat, the President and the Congressional Black Caucus members.

What is clear is that Democratic elites talk privately one way with each other and another way publicly about race issues (see Vice President Joe Biden’s racial remarks about Obama). Watching liberal elites justify the Reid remark this past weekend (see Al Hunt on This Week) and draw differences with Trent Lott’s non-racial comment about race was as ridiculous as Al Sharpton dismissing the comment on Fox News (see Sunday’s transcript) or Gwen Ifill’s outrageous defense of Reid’s comments on NBC. Liberal elites are tripping over themselves to justify the Reid comment. It’s also clear that the unwavering support to the Democratic party by African-Americans, women and gays and lesbians feed into these public/private pronouncements on political issues. These groups need to look long and hard at the lessons we have learned this past weekend about the Senate Majority Leader’s racial comments and the rush by Democratic leaders to excuse them. Democrats don’t have to pay attention to the concerns of these groups because there is no price to pay for ignoring and dismissing them.

Another lesson we have learned this weekend is that Republicans are not safe discussing the issue of race but Democrats are. The double standard we see based on political party sends the message that Republicans best keep their mouths shut on the issue but Democrats are able to freely discuss sensitive racial matters and are even given a pass on any comments they make that seem offensive. Democrats successfully keep the issue of race as a political issue and thereby relegate it to something we should disagree on.

If Trent Lott was forced to resign as a Senate leader then there is no question that Reid must too. If the liberals now want to dismiss Reid’s comments and instead talk about whether or not we have put too much attention on political gaffes, they should have brought this important subject up during the Trent Lott leadership debate. Today, Republicans get to choose whether to call for Reid’s resignation or whether to use the opportunity to talk about mistakes and forgiveness.

About The Author

Richard Grenell

Richard A. Grenell is the longest serving U.S. spokesman in U.N. history and is currently a partner with Los Angeles-based Capitol Media Partners. He was appointed by President Bush in 2001 to be the U.S. spokesman at the U.N. where he served until 2008. In 2012, Grenell was appointed as Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Spokesman making him the first openly gay spokesman for a Republican Presidential candidate. Grenell is a Fox News Contributor, an Advisory Board Member of Newsmax Media and sits on the Langley Intelligence Group Advisory Board.

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