How soon we forget.
Some on the left are now saying that opposition to President Obama's policy proposals is fueled by racism. We don't doubt for a second that there are still plenty of out and out racists in the land whose hatred is inflamed by having an African-American President.
But opposition to Obama's policy proposals, particularly on healthcare, while sometimes vehement, can't be ascribed to race.
Indeed, the GOP's reaction to Obama--so far--has been far more respectful than to Bill Clinton when he was President. Yes, we forget easily. During the Clinton years, the right wing hate machine was in full gear, churning out despiccable lies and falsehoods about both Clintons. With Republicans in control of Congress, they launched "investigation" after "investigation," going after the Clintons and their allies on the weakest of claims, fanning the flames whenever possible.
Fortunately, Republicans don't control Congress now. Furthermore, whenever the right wing's attacks on Obama go over the line, the public reacts negatively. Many voters who disagree with Obama on certain policies still like and respect him, and won't stand for personal attacks.
(This is, in part, a reflection on the contrasting personalities of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. You always got the feeling that Clinton was a bit of a rascal, whereas Obama comes across as serious and somber, with stronger family values and a stronger family than most GOP'ers, who've been rocked by adulterous scandals.)
Today, we recall Franklin D. Roosevelt fondly, as one of our most popular Presidents. And he was popular. But that didn't mean everyone liked him. To be sure, there was a hard core group of right wingers who despised him, and their attacks on him were as hard-hitting as many of those on Obama.
Obama is right to reject the racism card. He's pushing for change--it's what he campaigned on. Problem is, a lot of people are scared by change. That doesn't mean you don't keep pushing!