Even the Brits are noting the injection of race into fight over President Obama's agenda. Toby Harnden asks: "Does white America hate Barack Obama?" in The Daily Telegraph.
No worries, Toby. It's just liberals playing the race card. It's always liberals playing the race card.
But in this case, I think that liberals have made a strategic error--worse than a crime, a blunder. It is one thing to accuse individuals of racism. Go ahead, call Bull Connor a racist. It is one thing to accuse City Hall, or a corporation of racism. Yeah. Accuse the police department of racial profiling. Good idea! You can even push the accusation to the more woolly notion of "institutional racism." It is just not a good idea to accuse voters of racism.
And that is what the president's surrogates like Maureen Dowd and Jimmy Carter are doing. They are accusing not just Rep. Joe Wilson of racism. They are accusing white America of racism. Of course, they are not alone. Just about every liberal believes in their heart that all white conservatives and moderates are racist.
But Ann Althouse at The Atlantic puts her finger on the problem:
Lots of people who voted for Obama believed that his election would reflect the extent to which Americans had moved beyond racism. That was part of why some people voted for him. Little did we realize that it would turn every criticism of the President into an occasion to make an accusation of racism. Racism is revolting, but so is the notion that we aren’t allowed to criticize a President.
Of course, we racist, sexist, homophobic conservatives all knew what was coming, even before the election. Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, in June 2008.
I can think of no better reason to vote against Obama than the prospect of an administration where any criticism of the President is treated as racism.
As Rush Limbaugh says (more or less): Do I know liberals or do I know liberals?
Here's why this attempt to stigmatize all critics of the president as racists is a blunder. White people hate, absolutely hate, being branded as racists. I'd say that, after electing Obama, most white people are saying to themselves: OK, we elected a black president. Now stop with the race card. Now. Or there'll be trouble. Big trouble.
OK. There won't be trouble. But people will just decide to turn out and vote for the other guy. Or gal.
So go ahead, liberals. Accuse half the nation of being racists. Make my day!