Electability

Oh boy, Harry Reid said a bunch of black guys weren’t electable. Or, you know, he said that Jesse Jackson Jr., Emil Jones, and Danny Davis might not be electable, and preferred Tammy Duckworth or Lisa Madigan. And, as it turns out, he might have been on to something.

What makes this particular gnashing of teeth from Sirota so particularly infuriating isn’t just that Nate Silver did the actual number crunching approximately 2 hours before Sirota tried to make a ham fisted, “I’m not saying Harry Reid is a racist, but he sure doesn’t think much of black people” post, it’s just that Reid’s reported position, on the merits, makes obvious sense. If nothing else, only one person on that list has actually won a statewide election in Illinois, Lisa Madigan. I’m with Nate on Tammy Duckworth, but if the question is electability, it’s pretty obvious that Madigan is the best candidate of those 5.

But maybe more appallingly, Sirota is almost transparently ignoring what was actually said. Putting aside that he either doesn’t bother to research the actual individuals in question, which would quickly turn up quite a few obvious red flags with Davis, Jones, and Jackson, but his implicit point; that the Senate is a White Boys Club and they want to keep it that way, ignores the fact that Reid, allegedly, recommended women for the appointment. There’s not a single white male in the entire discussion here, so using it to make an argument, even implictly, that Harry Reid wants to keep minorities out of the Senate, or that he doesn’t think minorities make good candidates as a rule, is hackery of the first order anyway you slice it. It also undercuts any idea that Reid is looking through a prism of race in coming to these conclusions, unless you’re actually going to tell me that you think Harry Reid used race and gender to determine that 2 women are more electable than 3 black men in the wake of the Obama-Clinton primary. But then, Sirota seems to grasp that as wellby invoking the idea of Reid telling Illinois Democrats not to run Barack Obama in 2004, it’s just that, instead of considering that there might be problems with the individuals being discussed, Sirota just takes it as further proof that Harry Reid is comically inept.

I’m not really a Reid fan myself, and I think the way he’s handled this appointment has just been atrocious. But anyone able to rise to the levels he has politically isn’tgoing to be as politically inept as the Harry Reid of David Sirota’s post would have to be. Aand I suspect thatĀ even Sirota knows that, and is simply working backwards from a preconceived conclusion that Harry Reid is bad, and so any criticism of him, no matter how nasty or illogical, is fair in the name of getting him out of the Majority Leader position.