They see the train lights in the distance and they’re screaming for the left to get off the tracks.

[I]f everybody’s racist, is anyone?

The word is being sprayed in all directions, creating a hall of mirrors that is draining the scarlet R of its meaning and its power, turning it into more of a spitball than a stigma.

“It gets to the point where we don’t have a word that we use to call people racist who actually are,” said John McWhorter, who studies race and language at the conservative Manhattan Institute…

[It’s] an easy charge to make against the rare individual carrying an “Obamacare” sign depicting the president as an African witch doctor with a bone through his nose. But it’s almost impossible to prove — or refute — assertions that bias, and not raw politics, fuels opposition to Obama.

“You have to be very careful about going down that road. You’ve cried wolf,” said Sean Wilentz, a Princeton University professor who studies U.S. political and social history.

If ObamaCare crashes and burns, the Democratic strategy painting the opposition as racist nuts — starting with that odious DNC ad about “angry mobs” in July and continuing to the present day — will go down as one of the most insanely idiotic gambits in modern political history. (It should be remembered that way anyway, but if the bill passes it’ll be treated as harmless error.) To stoop to racial demagoguery to try to bully centrists out of their doubts about universal health care is both a short-term error and a long-term one. The AP identifies the long-term problem, namely, that the race card is like any other commodity insofar as the greater the supply, the more it’s devalued. The left has gotten tremendous mileage out of it over the years, but to be this cynical about it when there are clear majorities with serious concerns about health-care reform is practically an admission to independents that it’s little more than a type of McCarthyism. Good luck getting them to join a “permanent Democratic majority” after equating their worries about government expansion to white supremacism.

As for the short-term problem, back to that Fox News poll:

Rasmussen’s split was slightly different — 12/67 — but when you’ve got even a near-majority of Democrats willing to defend the motives of the opposition, you’re looking at a credibility-killer ahead of the midterms. The real problem for Democrats, of course, is the racial divide: This line of attack plays well among black voters, which may help explain why Clyburn, Hank Johnson, and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus are out in front of it, but it’s poison to the whites and independents whom The One will need in 2012. Can’t wait to hear how he plays this during his Sunday morning blitz.

Anything else that needs to be said on this subject was already said by Krauthammer; the first clip comes via Greg Hengler, the second via Breitbart. Note his knock on Maureen Dowd for putting words in people’s mouths. She’s not the only leftist guilty of that this week.