Last November, when a victorious Barack Obama stood in a Chicago square and proclaimed "Change has come to America," the vast majority of Americans - whether they'd voted for him or not - hoped that he was right in one particular way: that the election of a black man to the highest office in our land would, once and for all, end any and all accusations of America as a racist land.
Fat chance. Far from signaling an end to constant accusations of racism, Mr. Obama's assumption of the Presidency has triggered the most vicious tsunami of racism seen since Simon Legree beat Uncle Tom to death - or so we are led to believe by all and sundry in the punditocracy.
The instant Americans started to express concern about the massive amounts of deficit spending enacted by Mr. Obama's Democrats, the commentariat decreed that the complaints had nothing to do with massive deficit spending nor with talk of higher taxes to come. No, taxpayers were complaining only because Mr. Obama is black (or haven't you noticed?).
His race was the only reason that anyone objected to his policies. Quoth the level-headed and fair-minded Janeane Garofalo to the well-balanced and dignified Keith Olbermann:
This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up and is nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks, and there is no way around that.
Well. There's nothing to discuss, then, is there? With a Black Man in power, any opposition to his plans or criticism of how his policies are working out... is Racism, and if you criticize him, you must be cast into outer darkness forthwith!
From that day to this, the entire liberal infrastructure has continued to skirl away on this one note like a bagpipe that needs a tune-up.
Don't think the government should take over one-sixth of our economy via a national health-care scheme? You're a racist!
Don't feel that mortgaging our children's future with trillions in government debt is fair or just? You're a racist!
Surrounded by middle-aged white guys - a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men's club - Joe Wilson yelled "You lie!" at a president who didn't. But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy! ... Wilson's shocking disrespect for the office of the president - no Democrat ever shouted "liar" at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq - convinced me: Some people just can't believe a black man is president and will never accept it.
This is nonsense on stilts in so many ways - Mr. Obama's speech was riddled with lies so blatant that even liberal commentators couldn't stomach them. Furthermore, anyone who thinks the Democrats treated Chimpy McBushitler with any shred of respect has been living on Planet Jupiter for the last eight years, but liberal hypocrisy is nothing new.
The truly fascinating effect which gives us a reason to hope that President Obama might actually usher in a post-racial America despite his own best efforts is that the race card is no longer an all-powerful, universally effective weapon anymore. Like any other mindless mantra, charges of racism eventually get overused and no longer work.
It wasn't that long ago that an accusation of racism was enough to drive even the most powerful person to his knees in abject humiliation, and often humiliated groveling wasn't enough to get out of durance vile.
Remember Don Imus, who called the black members of a girl's basketball team "nappy-headed hos?" Despite being one of the less virulent slurs we've heard, far less potent than the filth emanating from the potty-mouths of rap and hip-hop "artists," and despite instantly begging forgiveness from all and sundry and kissing the rings of the Racist Reverends, Mr. Imus was summarily sacked from his hugely-popular radio show.
Though now, he's back, and apparently won a massive settlement over his legally-unjustified sacking. What's more, where once Republicans and conservatives would have cringed and shrunk from any accusation of racism no matter how unjustified, they now respond with sneering disdain verging on contempt. One of the more telling protest signs that appeared in September's massive Tea Party protest is pictured here, and it pithily encapsulates what America's right wing has finally realized:
In modern media and liberal parlance, "racism" has nothing to do with any actual bias against people of a different race than yourself. It has to do with holding conservative views - nothing more, nothing less.
The black Reverend Wright can slander and defame white folks all he likes and Al Sharpton can spout anti-Semitic filth as much as he pleases; being liberals, they cannot possibly be racists. Whereas it makes not the slightest difference that the head of the Republican Party is a black man and that George W. Bush appointed more black cabinet members to more powerful offices than any president before or since, much less that Republican Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves; the R in Republican stands for Racism and always will no matter what.
All this is bull - stale, old, festering, rotting bull. Finally, the race card is beginning to stink foully enough that all America can smell it.
When the Democrats became desperate enough to pull that decaying, senile anti-Semitic gargoyle Jimmy Carter from his coffin to, once again, condemn attacks on Mr. Obama as racist, he wasn't greeted with the bowing and scraping the media expected. Quite the contrary: America responded with a hoot of derision and a Bronx cheer, partly for Mr. Carter himself and partly for his idiotic message.
Far from being an elder statesman with the moral authority to pronounce on the bounds of legitimate debate, Mr. Carter has transformed himself into a living logical fallacy: reductio ad Carterum, or "When you need Carter to support your side, you've lost."
Perhaps the strangest aspect of all this is the dogs that are not barking. When Scragged dubbed Jesse Jackson unworthy of anyone's attention last year, it never in our wildest dreams crossed our minds that our criticism would actually work. Yet, has anyone heard from him this year? You'd think he'd be in the forefront of the racism parade condemning anyone who dares question The One.
As venal and hypocritical as Rev. Jackson is, however, you can't accuse him of believing his own propaganda. He made a highly lucrative career of throwing around false accusations of racism, but, unlike today's Democrats, his time marching with Dr. King may have given him the knowledge of what true racism is and isn't.
He expected the election of Obama to end his profitable race-baiting, famously complaining about that in a vulgar surgical reference captured by an open mike; but Obama's presidency has certainly not brought us into the legendary "post-racial" era quite as advertised.
Instead, can it be that Jackson has realized that the race card no longer works - not because we're all singing "Kum-Ba-Ya," but because it's been totally devalued with overuse? At least if he keeps his mouth shut, some folks might think he still holds a cudgel; publicly playing a losing hand would mean an end even to that. Conservatives are not generally vengeful sorts; if Jesse Jackson is willing to cash in his chips and disappear into silent retirement, we have no wish to pursue him thence.
Meanwhile, the more loudly and vigorously the media and the Democratic leadership condemn the views of a majority of Americans as racist, the more clearly America will see their bias, venality, and dishonesty. If they keep up it long enough, Americans will quite properly disregard anything they say except as a clear notice of what is not true.
Bring on the bogus calls of false racism! They're the sound of a ship sinking ever faster.