This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

As you know, I support Newt Gingrich.

But you also know that I have a policy of uniting behind any Republican candidate who comes under false attack from Democrats and Obama supporters in the media.

It’s a point I have tried to make repeatedly when the media piled on Sarah Palin and some Republicans joined the mob:  What went around for Palin eventually would go around for your candidate of choice.

So I defended Rick Perry and Herman Cain against media smears, and now I’m doing it for Mitt Romney.

Last week Romney launched his first television ad directed at Obama:

The ad caused some bickering between the Obama and Romney camps because the wording attributed to Obama about the economy actually was Obama quoting John McCain.  While Team Romney is claiming some sort of victory from getting Obama’s attention, I’m not so sure a misleading ad is needed or warranted against Obama — there’s plenty of real material from which to draw.

But as happened in 2008, the Obama campaign relied on a surrogate to make charges of racism.  Just as Team Obama left it to James Clyburn to play the race card on Bill Clinton, this time Team Obama left it to Tad Devine, a senior Democratic operative.  As reported in The Hill:

Democratic strategist Tad Devine, an adviser to the Al Gore and John Kerry presidential campaigns, accused Mitt Romney’s campaign of invoking the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright in a recent ad.

Devine said Wednesday that he was “shocked” to see what he believed was imagery of an African-American church in an ad released Tuesday by Romney’s campaign team and airing in New Hampshire. The ad, Romney’s first of the campaign, is “clearly an attempt to bring back Rev. Wright and race,” Devine tweeted.

The charge is based on two images which float through the video so quickly you’ll miss them if you blink.  Again as reported by The Hill:

In the ad, a series of images including those of a foreclosed home and empty businesses flash by as text criticizes President Obama’s economic record. But at two points, the imagery cuts to well-dressed African-American women walking down a large hallway, and pans over a predominantly black audience.

“It appears to be a congregation of African-American people,” Devine told The Hill. “In the first scene there are no white people at all, in the second … it is all African Americans except possibly one person, [whose race] you can’t really tell.”

Devine said he believes these images were selected intentionally to invoke race and the controversy involving Wright, the president’s former pastor.

I never heard of Tad Devine before, but he is pathetic and disgusting in his role of race card player.

First, the notion that showing images of blacks in a video is an attempt to invoke Jeremiah Wright is preposterous.  There also were plenty of whites in the video; momentary flashes of non-whites does not give the video a racial overtone.

Second, and most important, this was nothing more than a pre-emptive Democratic attempt to make it toxic for anyone to bring up Obama’s long association with Wright by making charges of racism even when Wright is not mentioned.  That shows you how much the Democrats fear a true investigation of Obama’s background and his ridiculously incredible claims that he did not know that his pastor and mentor was a race-baiting flame thrower.

Tad Devine occupies a special place in the Saturday Night Card Game as having fired the first preemptive race card shot of the 2012 election.

So too does The Hill blogger David Di Martino who took Devine’s accusations and ran with them in a blog post:

Even though Romney apparently approved of the message in the ad, it is unlikely he’s very comfortable with this strategy. The ad, with its intentional misrepresentations and stealth nod to racism, betrays Romney’s squeaky-clean image that he has spent decades grooming.

Memo to Tad Devine and David Di Martino:  If a rock from 1984 and a dinner from 1997 are on the table, so too are Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and the vast emptiness of Obama’s narrative.

Your attempt to suppress legitimate political expression through false accusations of racism will not work this time, unlike in 2008.