Do we really want to be accused of being racist for the next four years? I don’t.

It seems that every time Barack Obama is criticized, the media or someone associated with Barack Obama screams racism. If it’s a reach they just claim that the offenders are speaking “in code.” I guess I wasn’t sent my “white guy decoder ring” for this election because these accusations of racism seem pretty weak to me. But more importantly, I don’t think it raises the level of discourse and I don’t think it’s good for the country in the long run.

– Bill Clinton was accused of racism for comparing Obama to a “fairy tale.”

– Sarah Palin was accused of racism because she said Obama was “palling around with terrorists.” She was referring to Bill Ayers who is a terrorist (and a white one) but the Associated Press said most people think of terrorists as dark skinned so Palin’s a racist.

– John McCain has been accused of racism for pointing to Obama and saying “that one” during the debate.

– James Carville subtly hinted at massive riots if Obama loses going into the election ahead in the opinion polls.

– Harry Reid said to a radio talk show host: “[Franklin] Raines, who you’re talking about, worked for Fannie Mae, was there for a while. The only connection that people could bring up about Raines and Barack Obama is that they both are African-American, other than that there is nothing.”

– PBS journalist Ray Suarez said the “pseudo controversies” about Obama’s background being raised by Palin and McCain are symbols for a “racial calculus” hard at work in U.S. politics. (Racial calculus? Is that the new Math?)

I think that politically it helps Obama in the short term because it makes his political opponents have to think twice about everything they say. And it gives all of McCain’s statements a ‘speech by committee’ feel to them – as if they’ve been scrubbed clean by lawyers. John McCain is like an athlete thinking about his shot.

I fear the media will see metaphorical wolves everywhere the closer McCain gets in the polls. In fact, expect race to be the center of media attention the last week of the campaign. But soon, America will just stop listening. It’s like in all political discourse, the comparisons to Hitler abound. Every Republican has been compared with Hitler at some point. But soon, all the metaphors make us forget how to know the real Hitlers when we see them. And if these outlandish accusations of racism continue without merit, people will stop listening altogether. And we won’t recognize the real thing.