While the false accusation of racism is not a new tactic, it has been refined by Obama supporters into a toxic powder which is causing damage to the social fabric of the country by artificially injecting race into every political issue.
During the campaign, Obama supporters successfully ended scrutiny of Obama's overstated opposition to the Iraq war by accusing Bill Clinton of racism for calling Obama's narrative a "fairy tale." False accusations of racism also were used against Hillary supporter Geraldine Ferraro and against John McCain in order to frame the political debate.
In the 2008 campaign cycle, the race card worked well because it could. The legitimate enthusiasm for an historic black presidential candidacy combined with media bias created an acceptance that there was no way to fight back against the tactic without making matters worse.
Over time, as Obama assumed the presidency and began implementing sweeping plans to restructure society and to run up the national debt to unthinkable levels, opposition to Obama's plans has grown. This opposition has little to do with race, and includes vast numbers of independents who voted for Obama.
The American people, while they still mostly like Obama on a personal level, increasingly oppose his policies and plans. Democrats know that the debate on the merits of initiatives such as health care and cap-and-trade has been won on the merits by the opposition.
Not surprisingly, the pace of racial accusations has picked up as opposition has grown. Just in the past few days the usual and not-so-usual suspects have been seeking to out-do each other in making accusations of racism including Eugene Robinson, Maureen Dowd, Jimmy Carter, Rep. Hank Johnson, Chris Matthews, a wide range of Democratic politicians, and of course, almost all of the mainstream media.
The effect of these accusations is poisonous. Race is the most sensitive and inflammatory subject in this country. By turning every issue, even a discussion of health care policy, into an argument about race, liberals have created a politically explosive mixture in which the harder they seek to suppress opposing voices, the harder those voices seek to be heard.
The stresses this situation has created were exposed at the town hall hearings this summer. The voices of ordinary Americans who never protested anything before in their lives resembled steam forcing its way through the lid of a tightly closed political lid.
But it will not work this time for the effete intellectual bullies for whom the race card traditionally has been the trump card.
Everyone understands that Obama was not subject to the same scrutiny as other candidates because of the fear of being called a racist. That lack of scrutiny gave us a president whose moderate campaign rhetoric belied an underlying agenda which, if revealed during the campaign, would have resulted in an electoral landslide for McCain-Palin. The vocal opposition we are witnessing has everything to do with a sense of being betrayed not just by a candidate, but by a process which was rigged by the use of the race card.
We are seeing for the first time a strong push-back against the race card players. And that reaction is visceral, much like an allergic reaction, from people who have been stung before.
UPDATE: Jules Crittenden also has a good take on the subject: Race Card. And, a Rasmussen survey finds that people are not buying into the race-card tactic:
Twelve percent (12%) of voters nationwide believe that most opponents of President Obama’s health care reform plan are racist. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 67% of voters disagree, and 21% are not sure.
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