Yesterday, Barack Obama strongly implied that John McCain’s criticisms had a racist motivation as Allahpundit noted. He told an audience that McCain wants to make people afraid of him, and apparently not just because he has no experience in military or foreign affairs and no executive experience at all, and not just because he wants to impose ruinous tax hikes on investors and add hundreds of billions of dollars to a federal budget already a half-trillion in the red next year.  No, Obama says, it’s all about his name and his skin color:

“They know that you’re not real happy with them and so the only way they figure they’re going to win this election is if they make you scared of me,” Obama continued, repeating an attack from earlier in the day. “What they’re saying is ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, he’s a got a funny name.’”

ABC’s Jake Tapper slammed Obama for smearing McCain in a lengthy post at the Political Punch:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but does it not seem as if Obama just said McCain and his campaign — presumably the “they” in this construct — are saying that Obama shouldn’t be elected because he’s a risk because he’s black and has a foreign-sounding name? ….

There’s a lot of racist xenophobic crap out there. But not only has McCain not peddled any of it, he’s condemned it. …

I’ve seen racism in campaigns before — I’ve seen it against Obama in this campaign (more from Democrats than Republicans, at this point, I might add) and I’ve seen it against McCain in South Carolina in 2000, when his adopted Bangladeshi daughter Bridget was alleged, by the charming friends and allies of then-Gov. George W. Bush, to have been a McCain love-child with an African-American woman.

What I have not seen is it come from McCain or his campaign in such a way to merit the language Obama used today. Pretty inflammatory.

I warned about this over a month ago, when Obama first accused McCain of racism without any evidence whatsoever.  The McCain campaign has exercised considerable restraint in its choice of criticisms, frustrating some Republicans over his refusal to even mention the Jeremiah Wright debacle.  It has roundly condemned other Republicans who have tried to use that argument in an attempt to show good faith in this electoral cycle, and the only payback McCain has received is to be called a racist anyway.

I agree that the Celeb commercial is pretty weak, but if it’s racist, then Obama has defined the term so far downward as to have no meaning at all.  Obama is the one playing on fear; he wants people to be afraid to criticize him at all.  He wants to stifle dissent by forcing people to defend themselves against a smear of racism in any and all contexts of criticism, which will have the effect of shutting people up.

That’s not exactly a commendable quality for a President.  If we can’t criticize him now without being called racists, what would it be like when he runs the government?

Tapper gets this exactly right.  Too bad the rest of the media hasn’t realized the potential danger in this Obama impulse.