Thinking about it overnight, I think I was somewhat wrong. I don't think the charges of racism on the right will ever be given hard currency in the media until the allegations of racism trickle directly out of the White House itself, not necessarily from Obama, but from aides speaking "anonomously" who are known by the press to be inside the circle.
However, I think the Obama folks are afraid to head down that road because once they do, there's no turning back, and race then begins to define this Presidency.
Someone from the outside, like a Jimmy Carter, can have some impact, but that will mostly factor to reinforce those already convinced of racism on the right. The only other Dem heavyweight capable of driving this might be Bill Clinton, but his own race stuff around the South Carolina primary would dilute the message.
So, in a sense, we're in a "swiftboat" situation, where the only response that will be respected by the media is from the man himself, but because of the political situation, the man refuses to make the charge.
Probably the best hope is a couple years down the road when the true insiders begin to step out of the administration, and then a "retired" Axelrod or whoever can make these allegations in the administration's name but at the same time allow distance.
So, this coded racism is going to continue apace unless some major Republican figure steps up and destroys himself within his own party or some major Republican figure steps unquestionably across the line.
Until then, I think the debate continues in this state.Later
: On second thought, maybe a Biden "gaffe" could bring this topic out?
They haven't really tried to use Joe Biden, but I would think that with his skill and his history, he could plausibly fake a "gaffe."