Democrats face a tough election in 2012. Voters' focus will probably still be on jobs and the Affordable Health Care Act. But their decisions on these and others will be influenced by how people see the President from a morality and character perspective.
Obama has been down in the polls for ages now and the new Congressional line up is unlikely to help change the public's perception. Most of their angst is based on genuine disagreement with his policies. But not all; a good percentage of the negativity has been artificially generated by the Tea Party and Fox News. Racism is behind much of this and getting it on the table now will refocus the public's view of the President.
Tea Baggers have been attacking the President like packs of geriatric Hells Angels almost from the day he was sworn in. What they did triggered a virtual racist uprising that targets the man more than his policies. Gang members are white, middle to upper class and all of them are Conservatives.
It is disingenuous to say that race plays no part in this. Conservatives disagree, "This is what Liberals always do; use racism as an excuse for failed policies." They should look at the evidence: an African American President is elected; an organization dedicated to his downfall is formed; millions of members are almost exclusively white; false rumors based on racial stereotyping are spread; millions more choose to accept the rumors as true; virtually all are white. "If it looks like a duck well you get the idea."
"Change we can believe in." was not what people satisfied with the status quo wanted to hear. Their first reaction was fear, a paralyzing dread that their perfect, privileged little worlds were under threat.
But now they had a problem - how to vent their hatred at Obama without showing their true racist colors. But they needn't have worried, right wing pros were waiting in the wings. Operatives from Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity gave them the answer and it was simple: start rumors and use these as surrogates - they could beat on them all day and no one would be the wiser.
This explains why Tea Party types ignore facts and reason when confronted with the silliness of their accusations. Reason - they don't need no reason! They are on a mission to get the man no matter what it takes and if bearing false witness is what it takes (something that should bother Tea Party types - but doesn't), so be it. Armed with plausible denial they are all but bullet proof from charges of racism.
The Tea Party and Conservative media have been dating from day one. Rumor mongering has been one of their favorite pastimes with Rush Limbaugh coming along as their creativity coach. Rumors that President Obama is a Muslim masquerading as a Christian who was born in Kenya and is living in the United States as an illegal alien is their best work so far with "death panels" coming in a close second.
As promised by Freedom Works, the rumors they spread as proxies for their fear and distrust of black people are working like a dream. They can shout, beat their chests or scream epithets if they want to - and they do. Incredibly millions believe them, no questions asked. Things like where they came from, some evidence or why they were not discovered during the campaign; are just not important to them.
Ignoring the damage rumors have done now that they are mostly out of the news would be a mistake - the connection between how people view the President and how they view his policies is too strong. Unless the link between racism and rumors is established people will continue to view the President through a lens crafted by his enemies.
By attacking the rumors as nothing more than proxies for racism and charging Tea Baggers with fomenting a racist uprising against the President, they will be the ones with a character issue - not the President. Some voters might see it this way: "I'm not a fan of how Obama has managed the economy, but I don't want to vote for a Tea Party candidate (Sarah Palin for example) if she's holding hands with racists."
Many unethical people have done tremendous damage to a President who has more intelligence, competence and plain honesty than America has seen in a President for decades. The country voted this man into office to bring about change, a task he is faithfully carrying out, and should not have their decision vetoed by the bigotry of people who will always yearn for the past at the expense of the future.