Dick Morris has it right, essentially, in his latest column:

Clinton Will Win the Nomination by Losing S.C.

Old News: Dick Morris is a hack; that is, he has an uncanny sense for getting things right in the present (what is happening on the ground somewhere today), but he is usually completely misguided in the long term. Hillary was unstoppable until Hillary was finished; now, evidently, Hillary has won the nomination with a clever plan to take advantage of race in this campaign.

One other note: Morris views the world through a deep visceral hatred for the Clintons (especially Hillary).

One last shot: in a year in which the smartest thing I have said all season is "nobody knows anything," it is hard to take a pundit seriously who shamelessly markets his ability to "know all the answers."

Having said that, his thesis today is a near-bullseye.

Hillary will lose South Carolina in a big way as a result of a massive black vote for Obama, which will forever shatter Obama's aura of racial transcendence.

That is correct.

We love Obama because he represents a bridge to a future age in which we will realize the dream of a race-blind society. Although this truly is a contradiction-laden "fairy tale," we desperately want to elect this charismatic African American on the basis of his intellect and character. More than anything else, his ability to provide racial redemption is the foundation for his message of hope.

What Morris so shrewdly detects is the fragility of that political currency. Or, as Margaret Carlson wrote last week, when she saw Al Sharpton on TV defending Barack Obama, she "realized that the Clintons had done what they needed to do to stop Obama's historic surge in its tracks."

A racial division in this contest equals the end of the fantasy.

What Morris and Carlson both exaggerate is the conspiratorial character this latest development in a thoroughly wacky race. I am convinced that the Clintons optimistically strategized at some point that they might actually win the African American vote in South Carolina, casting Obama as not nearly as black as Bill. This would have worked just fine in their big picture. A win is always better than a loss.

However, Obama's viability awakened a race pride in African Americans all over the nation. No problem. Plan B--and I am guessing this idea come on the fly--make Obama run on race. Plan B was helped by Team Obama's lack of foresight in attacking Lyndon Johnson.

In truth, you can believe LBJ was instrumental to civil rights and not be racist, the Bill "fairy tale" remark was taken out of context, and the "moratorium" on discussing Obama's admitted cocaine use is evidence of preferential treatment based on race--not the other way around.

Team Obama stepped into a punch on this one. They needed to fight the perfect fight to win, and they made a mistake. Only time will tell if Obama can overcome the error.