Back in January, I wrote about four safe bets about Obama, one of which was this:
While Obama is riding high, race relations will be excellent. But once Obama goes down in the polls and he does things that elicit criticism, be prepared for the “race card” to be played. If it is, then race relations could be set back, because the charges will be so transparently false. If race was used by Obamacons against Bill Clinton, it will certainly be used against Republicans.
Now along comes Maureen Dowd, that profound social critic for the New York Times, who asserts that, yes, racism explains Republican opposition to President Obama. In her words:
[Representative Joe] 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.
Perhaps the Times will allow Maureen to hire a person who can use LexisNexis. If it does, she will find that Democrats with a whole lot more influence and prestige than Joe Wilson accused President Bush of being a liar—from Majority Leader Harry Reid to Ted Kennedy, who, we were repeatedly told a few weeks ago, was one of the most influential senators in American history. Yet there was not a peep of outrage from Maureen or her fellow columnists at the Times—or, to my knowledge, virtually any journalist anywhere. They appeared to think what Reid and Kennedy said was all fine and good. Boys will be boys, politics ain’t beanbags, it’s a contact sport, and all that. And by the way, the vitriolic attacks on Bush were used as evidence that—you guessed it—Bush was a divisive president.
I have written on why I believe that what Wilson said was wrong and troubling and that he was right to apologize to President Obama. But the feigned fury on the Left is hard to take seriously. And the charges of racism we are now seeing are evidence of a movement that is getting a bit desperate and more than a bit angry. The trouble is that throwing around the term racism with such promiscuity dilutes the charge and makes it less potent when it is really needed. It is yet one more example of the harmful effects of contemporary liberalism.