I have a hard time believing that a guy Harry Reid's age (70) would use the word 'negro' ironically. In this day and age the word simply doesn't roll off the tongue.
Matthew Yglesias's take -- "[Y]ou can’t really apologize for being the sort of person who’d be inclined to use the phrase “negro dialect”" -- seems right on the money.
The Democrats, especially with Obama in the White House, ought to have zero tolerance for crap like this. For one thing, the optics are awful. Thanks to Reid, conservatives have quite understandably taken the opportunity to minimize Trent Lott's remarks about Strom Thurmond.
That's pretty fucking disgusting.
I hope Reid loses his majority leadership gig. I would not miss him.