It used to be that Democrats just nodded in tacit agreement among themselves that conservatives were racially insensitive. They wouldn't just come right out and call conservatives racist unless you backed them into a corner. But many of them believed it.
But now, it's not just the fringe loonies in our university indoctrination incubators or the race-hustling black activists who come right out and make these charges. No less a party figure than Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has all but said it directly, and last time I checked, he was in no jeopardy of losing his leadership position.
Wednesday, speaking to the Baptists' Political and Social Justice Commission, Dean said, "We must ... come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived [Katrina] and who did not." Meanwhile Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid insinuated that President Bush was too busy vacationing to respond to the disaster.
Few things can be more verbally destructive to the social fabric of our society than for opportunistic politicians to make such incendiary charges. Is there no depth of incivility to which they will not descend in their quest to regain power on the carcasses of their political opponents?
It's bad enough that they falsely attribute any failures in the federal response to Katrina, the nature and extent of which are still unknown, to President Bush's presumed racism and lack of compassion for the disproportionately black and poor victims. But what about the blacks and the poor themselves?
There is simply no polite way to say this, but the people who claim to have a monopoly on racial egalitarianism and human compassion are, with their false claims, doing immeasurable harm to the blacks and downtrodden they pretend to champion by incessantly dividing us along racial and economic lines.
It's time for a moratorium on our usual genteel, kid-gloves non-reaction to this ideological defamation. When major players in the Democratic Party spew such bile, they should be called to the carpet as should all other Democrat leaders who refuse to denounce their rancid attacks.
While it may strike us as unseemly and inappropriate to dignify the charges with a response, at some point we're going to have to quit pretending this ugly subject will die a natural death. Far too many people have bought into the propaganda.