Seems it was only six months ago when conservative columnists and pundits were all predicting the same thing, i.e., "If we start criticizing Obama, we're going to be attacked for being 'racist'. You just watch.".
Six months later, and who is calling who "racist"?
According to many conservatives, Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, is a "racist".
According to Glenn Beck, Obama himself is a "racist". (He has a deep-seeded hatred for white people, even though Obama is half-white and was raised by white parents).
Not that liberals don't occasionally play the racist card. But when they do, it's in response to stuff like this – which clearly is racist. But, after noting that Obama was the first African-American president six months ago, liberals had little to say on the subject of race. It's only injected into matters that clearly involve race (like the Gates arrest in Cambridge).
Objectively, it just seems that conservatives are more obsessed about the subject of race (including thinly masked questions about his Obama's heritage and origins) than liberals. It doesn't make every rightwinger a racist, but I would say that the vast majority of people attuned to race — in general — come from the right. And that's an indication of something.
FURTHER THOUGHTS: For what it is worth, I do believe there is an undertone of racism with the birther issue. Racism today doesn't come in the form that it did 60 years ago where you called people "n*gger". It doesn't even come in the form that it did 40 years ago when you blather on about "states' rights". It now comes in a form where you merely attack minorities and people of color indirectly, by imputing their heritage, patriotism, and loyalty. We're seeing a lot of that these days, especially from the birthers. In fact, if the whole movement isn't outright about race, then racism certainly fuels it. After all, there have been 46 (white) presidents prior to Obama. For how many of them was their birth certificate an issue?
If anti-Obama people can convince themselves that Obama is a legitimate president, then it's like "the first black President" thing never happened.