Here's a fun little timewaster. Google phrases like "nigger socialist" and "president Obongo." Go to the links relating to Barack Obama. Read the comments and subtract the blatantly racist language, then see how well the comments match statements in the blogospher, in the conservative press and at teabag-style protests. And you might not have to do the subtraction part.
That's why it strikes me as kinda nutty that Jimmy Carter's observations are at all controversial, buch less fuel for a Republican backlash. Obviously it would be stupid to say that all criticism of the president is racist, and Carter didn't say that.
But consider that Bill Clinton was also a Democrat. He was about as liberal as Barack Obama in most ways. And he had a truth problem in certain areas that his enemies made the single defining fact of his life. Yet never did some hillbilly legislator yell "You lie!" during one of his addresses. Why? Because it was understood you didn't do that to the Chief Executive. For some reason, that understanding is now being eroded. Hmmmmmm.
Michael Steele calls Jimmy Earl's comments "a pathetic distraction by Democrats to shift attention away from the president’s wildly unpopular government-run health care plan that the American people simply oppose." But while Jimmy Carter may still be a registered Democrat, he is so long out of the game that he doesn't have much of anything to do with the official party. That's why he can state obvious truths others ignore. And if Steele believes his own rhetoric, he's gotta get a lot of echoes in that bald head of his.