Why are charges of racism and political extremism suddenly in the air?
A largely center-right country that polls consistently conservative apparently is beginning to think it was had in the election of 2008. A weak McCain campaign, weariness after eight years of Bush, fascination with a charismatic African-American landmark candidate, fright after the September 2008 meltdown, and Obama’s centrist “purple” rhetoric all provided the margin of victory, but apparently not the margin for an intended remake of America in which the daily conditions under which we live and see the world (buying a Chevy, going to the mailbox on Saturday, attending the doctor, viewing Israel, making claims on Medicare, paying taxes, trying terrorists, etc.) would be radically altered in just a year.
For the once-giddy Left, which misinterpreted the causes of the Obama landmark victory, the current pushback is seen as somehow terribly unfair, and thus arise both their own furor and their amnesia about their own past attitudes during the Bush years. I think ultimately many “progressives,” adherents to relativism, feel that the past furor over Bush in all its creepy manifestations was justified because of who Bush was; but that a similar methodology (or, in fact, far softer manifestations) of dissent toward Obama is unacceptable because of who Obama is (i.e. one can act rudely toward clearly bad people, but not rudely toward unquestionably “good” people). It is that simple.