If there’s any politician you can trust to play with matches around the social powderkeg that is l’affaire Sterling, it’s a steady, low-key, diplomatic presence like Harry Reid.

It seems like only yesterday that Mark Cuban was warning about a slippery-slope problem in which owners would be increasingly policed for committing thoughtcrimes. It wasn’t yesterday, though. It was Monday.

“It is untoward of Daniel Snyder to try to hide behind tradition. Tradition? That’s what he says in refusing to change the name of the team,” Reid said. “Tradition? What tradition? A tradition of racism is all that name leaves in its wake. Mr. Snyder knows that in sports the only tradition that matters is winning, so I urge Daniel Snyder to do what’s morally right and remove this degrading term from the league by changing his team’s name.”

Reid said it’s also the responsibility of the NFL to remove the name from the league.

“Since Snyder fails to show any leadership, the National Football League should take an assist from the NBA and pick up the slack. It would be a slam dunk,” he added. “For far too long, the NFL has been sitting on its hands doing nothing while an entire population of Americans has been denigrated.”

Sterling clearly does disdain blacks. Snyder, by contrast, claims that “Redskins” is an honorific. Does Snyder’s intent matter to Reid and the Lords of Progress? Read Ace’s post from earlier this month for the answer.

I go back and forth in trying to decide whether Reid’s involvement in something like the “Redskins” fracas is helpful or not to the team’s defenders. On the one hand, he’s a repulsive human in every way; can’t hurt to have him as the face of the opposition. On the other hand, as of a year ago, the public was overwhelmingly in Snyder’s corner, with 79 percent saying that the team should keep the name. The whole point of the left’s anti-Redskins push over the last two years or so is to change that, and one easy way to do it is to polarize it along partisan lines. That’ll get you to 45-50 percent, at least, and that’s why Reid’s availing himself of the Senate floor to push the idea. If I’m Dan Snyder, I’m cutting a million-dollar check to Americans for Prosperity today just as a middle finger to Dingy Harry here, but maybe he figures it’s best not to feed a troll this voracious.