While President Barack Obama (D) graciously--in public anyway--accepted Senator Harry Reid's (D-Nevada) abject apology for racial slurs as Jake Tapper of ABC News points out,
Obama wasn't as accepting of other's lesser comments.
While I hesitate to walk through the minefield of trying to compare various individuals' racist remarks and attitudes, it may be worth comparing Mr. Obama's willingness to forgive.
In April 2007, then-Sen. Obama told me that NBC should fire Don Imus for his "nappy-headed hos" reference to the Rutgers University women's basketball team, a comment for which Mr. Imus apologized profusely.
"I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus," Obama told ABC News, "but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude."
Obama said he appeared once on Imus' show in 2005, and "I have no intention of returning.""He didn't just cross the line," Obama said. "He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African-American women -- who I hope will be athletes -- that that somehow makes them less beautiful or less important. It was a degrading comment. It's one that I'm not interested in supporting."
Then Illinois state senator Obama was equally harsh on then Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) for his remarks praising Senator Strom Thurmond (D-SC), joining the chorus demanding Lott's resignation although Lott also apologized.
"It seems to be that we can forgive a 100-year-old senator for some of the indiscretion of his youth, but, what is more difficult to forgive is the current president of the U.S. Senate [Lott] suggesting we had been better off if we had followed a segregationist path in this country after all of the battles and fights for civil rights and all the work that we still have to do," Obama said. "The Republican Party itself has to drive out Trent Lott. If they have to stand for something, they have to stand up and say this is not the person we want representing our party."
Of course, Thurmond, in addition to his well advanced age never really apologized for his vile statements but then again he was a Democrat who was tolerated in the party. Lott was a Republican, Imus is often rather conservative.
But partisanship above all for a post partisan president.