A cogent, if unexpected, result of the ongoing civil war in the Democratic Party has been the revalation among the mainstream press that (gasp) it's not racist to criticize Barack Obama. Better late than never, I suppose. Naomie Emery explores this fact in her Wednesday column:
Boy, some people fly off the handle at nothing these days. "F--- the president," an unidentified Democrat said at a House caucus, concerning the tax deal President Obama cut with Republicans. At once, the keen ears of Maureen Dowd picked up a message: "Fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: 'F--- you, boy!' " There was no doubt in her mind that this was the message.
"Some people just can't believe a black man is president, and will never accept it," she said. Joan Walsh at Salon said that people had "blackened" him. Joe Klein said people were "freaked" by the feeling that the country they loved was being taken over by "furriners ... Latinos, South Asians, East Asians ... liberated, uppity blacks."
Did they say this? Not really.
They said it before, about Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., who muttered "you lie" during a speech by Obama; about people protesting the passage of health care; about people in Tea Parties protesting the national debt.
It was fun while it lasted, but now that those on the left are also mad at Obama on matters of policy, it is becoming more and more obvious that the attempt of the left to describe opposition as rooted in bias was a self-serving fraud all along.
In retrospect, was the media's eagerness to brand Obama's conservative critics "racist" a deliberate attempt to delegitimize that criticism, or just a knee-jerk reaction to ths sight of, say, a white guy from South Carolina daring to speak ill of the bi- and post-racial Barack Obama?