Calling someone a racist is about the worst thing you can say about a person.
Calling someone a racist when you know they harbor no such feelings is not only slander but is increasingly becoming the first refuge of scroundrels.
Exhibit A: Chris Matthews.
Geoffery Dickens of News Max has a good piece about what happened on MSNBC's Hardball last night between Matthews and his guest Stephen Moore, the former President of the Club For Growth.
Matthews asserted that some of those who opposed Obamacare "are upset because we have a black president."
To his credit, Moore called Matthews observation "an absurd comment."
Matthews supplied no evidence to back up his claim.
All Matthews really did was to channel Janeane Garofalo. During an appearance with fellow MSNBC colleague Keith Olbermann last April, Garofalo made a similar charge about the Tea Party protests. Garofalo said, "It's about hating a black man in the White House. That is racism straight up."
Like Garofalo, Matthews has got to do better than that. Barack Obama is the President of the United States. Criticism, whether fair or not, comes with the territory. People have every right to be concerned about his policy proposals and what they will mean for them, their families and our country. Thus neither President Obama nor his policies are above criticism.
If Obama's apologists are going to insist that every criticism constitutes an act of racism they cheapen the meaning of racism and in the process cheapen themselves. President Obama ought to tell Matthews and his other acolytes to stop with the racism accusations because they will ultimately not help him in the long run.