By spending the last three decades leveling accusations of "racism" every 10 seconds, liberals have made it virtually impossible for Americans to recognize real racism -- for example, the racism constantly spewed at black conservatives.
In the last year alone, a short list of the things liberals have labeled "racist" include:
-- Being a Republican;
-- Joining the tea party;
-- The word "the" (Donald Trump's statement that he has a "great relationship with the blacks");
-- References to Barack Obama's playing basketball (Trump again);
-- Using Obama's middle name;
-- Scott Brown's pickup truck;
-- Opposing Obamacare;
-- Opposing Obama's stimulus bill;
-- Opposing Obama's jobs bill.
The surge in conservative support for Herman Cain confuses the Democrats' story line, which is that Republicans hate Obama because he's black.
Cain is twice as black as Obama. (Possible Obama campaign slogan: "Too Black!")
This is why the liberal website Politico ran with a story on Cain that had everything -- a powerful black man, a Republican presidential candidate, the hint of sexuality -- except facts.
All we learned was: About a decade ago, as many as two anonymous women accused Cain of making unspecified "inappropriate" remarks and one "inappropriate" gesture in the workplace. (We had more than that on John Edwards' mistress a year into the media's refusal to report that story.)
If the details helped liberals, we'd have the details.
To have been accused of sexual harassment in the 1990s is like having been accused of molesting children at preschools in the 1980s or accused of being a witch in Massachusetts in the 1690s.
In the 1990s, one plaintiff won a $50 million jury verdict against Wal-Mart on the grounds that a "hostile environment" was created by her supervisor's yelling at both male and female employees. In another case, a plaintiff won a $250,000 award for sexual harassment based on her complaint that a male colleague had reached for a pastry saying, "Nothing I like more in the morning than sticky buns," while "wriggl(ing)" his eyebrows.
It got so crazy that a 6-year-old boy was suspended from class for a day for kissing a classmate on the cheek, and a Goya painting had to be removed from a Penn State classroom because a professor complained that it constituted sexual harassment.
With no standard other than the subjective offense taken by the accuser, absolutely anyone could be called a witch, i.e., a sexual harasser. So it's striking that the only two conservative public figures accused of being witches both happened to be conservative blacks: Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain.
Liberals go straight to ugly racist stereotypes when attacking conservative blacks, calling them oversexualized, stupid and/or incompetent.
The late, lamented, white liberal reporter Mary McGrory called Justice Antonin Scalia "a brilliant and compelling extremist" -- while dismissing Thomas as "Scalia's puppet."
More recently, Democratic Sen. Harry Reid called Scalia "one smart guy." In the next breath, he proclaimed Thomas "an embarrassment to the Supreme Court," adding, "I think that his opinions are poorly written."
When Bush made Condoleezza Rice the first black female secretary of state, terror swept through the Democratic Party. What if people began to notice and ask questions: "Who's that black woman always standing with George Bush?" Never mind! He's probably arresting her.
In addition to an explosion of racist cartoons portraying Rice as Aunt Jemima, Butterfly McQueen from "Gone With the Wind," a fat-lipped Bush parrot and other racist cliches, allegedly respectable liberals promptly called her stupid and incompetent.
Joseph Cirincione, then with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Rice "doesn't bring much experience or knowledge of the world to this position." (Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose experience for the job consisted of being married to an impeached, disbarred former president.)
Democratic consultant Bob Beckel -- who ran Walter Mondale's 1984 campaign so competently that Mondale lost 49 states -- said of Rice, "I don't think she's up to the job."
When Michael Steele ran for senator in Maryland in 2006, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dug up a copy of his credit report -- something done to no other Republican candidate. He was depicted in black face with huge red lips by liberal blogger Steve Gilliard. Oreo cookies were rolled down the aisle at Steele during a gubernatorial debate in 2002.
Trafficking in racist imagery is consequence-free for liberals because they have ruined charges of "racism" with their own overuse of the term. By now, any accusation of racism has the feel of a Big Foot sighting.
It's a neat trick, rather as if the Nazis had called everything "genocide" right before launching the Holocaust, and then admonished resisters not to "play the genocide card."
Liberals step on black conservatives early and often because they can't have black children thinking, "Hmmm, the Republicans have some good ideas; maybe I'm a Republican."
The basic setup is:
Step 1: Spend 30 years telling blacks that Republicans are racist and viciously attacking all black Republicans.
Step 2: Laugh maliciously at Republicans for not having more blacks in their party.
It is beyond insane that Herman Cain would have considered running for president if he had the tiniest skeleton in his closet. To be an out-of-the-closet black Republican, you had better be a combination rocket scientist/Baptist preacher. Which, as it happens, Cain is.
Meanwhile, MSNBC is cutting into its prime-time programming to announce updates in the fact-free hit on Cain. That's not because anyone there thinks he'll be the nominee. Everyone knows it's going to be Mitt Romney.
But liberals are determined to make sure that, six months from now, everyone has forgotten Herman Cain so they can go back to claiming Republicans oppose Obama because they hate blacks.