Conor Friedersdorf is correct in that Limbaugh framed his argument, related to the school bus incident where black kids cheered as a white was being beat up by a black kid, in a way that unfairly attacks Obama and diverts attention away from the real culprits and problem regarding the discussion of race. The real problem is the progressive tactic to frame opposition to Obama as racist-motivated.
It's irresponsible of Limbaugh and it's irresponsible of these commentators who Rush quotes on his website:
CAMPBELL BROWN: (music) ...vicious, racist imagery attacking our first African-American president.
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: (newsroom noise) Gentleman Joe Wilson has done much to make the racist history of South Carolina jump back into our present consciousness.
CANDY CROWLEY: (b-roll) Critics think this is about resistance to a black man as president.
JAMES CARVILLE: People are upset with President Obama because of the color of his skin. Who cannot believe that?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Could there be a refusal to accept the legitimacy of Barack Obama as president because of his race?
WOLF BLITZER: A small but disturbing minority within the tea party movement is also blatantly anti-black.
JOHN RIDLEY: When you talk about racial image, this is not just standard debate.
ELAINE QUIJANO: (b-roll) A small but passionate minority is also voicing what some see as racist rhetoric.
JOHN AVLON: Hitler. Communism. Racism. All this ugliness is bubbling up.
ANDERSON COOPER: There is an undercurrent of racism in some of the criticism of the president.
JUAN WILLIAMS: An attack on somebody because you really don't like the fact that they are president or because of their race.
ROSS DOUTHAT: Clearly Barack Obama's race plays some role in the kind of anxieties that are roiling the political right.
CLARENCE PAGE: (outdoor noise) People are not just mad at Obama. They are mad at Jesse Jackson. They are mad at Reverend Wright. They are mad at Al Sharpton. They are mad at people who have nothing to do with Obama except they all happen to be black.
It's also abominable and inflammatory what Newsweek put on their cover. Obama needs to stop this -- he gives speeches every day and tomorrow he should give another one and stand up to this diversion and unfair accusation of racism that's becoming a mantra in the media. If Obama doesn't frame this progressive attack as misleading and unfair to the majority of white people who struggle to resist racism, then Obama is wrong, too.
I saw it coming, and I expected it. I'm sure Friedersdorf feels the same way -- that opposition to Obama may be motivated in some very few people by racism, but this current progressive tactic is just as inflammatory as Rush's statements -- show me where racism is the major cause of opposition to Obama? Some of the commentators admitted it's a minority, but why is everyone bringing it up? The answer seems to be to plant the seed of doubt regarding opposition. There's simply too many comments with the same tone, lately.
To be fair to Obama, he hasn't, as far as I know, claimed racism as a significant factor fueling his opposition, but his silence on the issue will become uncomfortably suspicious if he fails to put an end to others claiming it on his behalf. And, although I haven't heard anyone say the white kid on the bus was guilty of racism and deserved the beating, many people are implying that well-meaning people with problems regarding progressive over-reach are motivated by race -- this is the real problem -- those making the unfounded claims of racism should be ashamed.