The Corner

Harry Reid’s Liberal Tribalism

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has gotten some attention for stating, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be Republican.” This would be a remarkable comment even if improvidently made. But Senator Reid confirms that he meant to say it. Yet few from the media and political classes (save Marco Rubio) have addressed the statement.

This is, in a word, unacceptable. When the leader of the United States Senate makes a baldly racialist comment, the integrity of the institution requires an explanation. Contemporary political cynicism notwithstanding, a serious political class would demand a sober exegesis.

Does Senator Reid maintain that all Hispanics think alike? Do they all have the same interests? Are their political positions determined by genetics, their party affiliation hard-wired?

Are the interests of Mexican-Americans indistinguishable from those of Cuban Americans? Are all Hispanics identical regardless of national origin? Are Hispanics nothing more than a fungible political commodity?

Would Senator Reid say the same thing about blacks? After all, a sizable cohort of his fellow liberals insist that all  “authentic” blacks must be Democrats, their opinions assigned to them by the grievance elite.

The members of the mainstream press that uncritically report claims of racism leveled against conservatives, tea partiers, and Republicans have before them a plainly racialist, if not racist, statement proudly made by one of the most powerful elected officials in America. Ask him to unpack and defend that statement. Ask him whether he thinks Hispanics are somehow separate and distinct from Americans as a whole.

Ask him why, nearly 50 years after passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, politics should be organized around the tribe rather than the individual.

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Most Popular


Holy Week with Saint Paul

Just the other day, I ordered a replacement copy of The Passion of the Christ -- it can be so impactful for Holy Week meditation. In the years since its release, it’s become something of required Lenten viewing for me. But this year, there is a new movie to help with prayer, Paul, Apostle of Christ, released ... Read More

Heckuva Job, Paul and Mitch

As Thursday's editorial makes clear, the omnibus spending bill is a disgrace. That may be why about 40 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Democrats) voted against it. Apart from the absence of a DACA/Dream amnesty, the immigration portions represent a comprehensive victory by the anti-enforcement crowd. ... Read More
White House

Bill Clinton Redux

Stormy Daniels could have stepped right out of the 1990s. She would have been a natural in a Bill Clinton scandal, and, in fact, all the same means would have been used against her. Donald Trump’s tactics in these cases are almost indistinguishable from the Clintons’. The effort to shut down the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

California’s Pro-Nuclear Renegade

If California’s upcoming gubernatorial race gets decided solely by money, Michael Shellenberger doesn’t have a chance. The latest campaign filings show that Shellenberger, an environmentalist from Berkeley, has about $37,000 in cash on hand. The frontrunner in the June 5 California primary, Lieutenant ... Read More

Encouraging Signs in Iraq

Last year, relations between the Iraqi central government and the Kurds reached what was possibly an all-time low when the Kurds held an independence referendum in which 93 percent of voters opted to secede. The timing was no coincidence: Iraqi forces had retreated from Kurdish territory in 2014 as the Islamic ... Read More