It's both remarkable and predictable that Michael Steele has decided to attack Obama for being unqualified for his position, given the context in which Steele himself attained his. Via Thinkprogress, Steele had this to say about the president while subbing on Bill Bennett's radio show:

The problem that we have with this president is that we don’t know [Obama]. He was not vetted, folks. … He was not vetted, because the press fell in love with the black man running for the office. “Oh gee, wouldn’t it be neat to do that? Gee, wouldn’t it make all of our liberal guilt just go away? We can continue to ride around in our limousines and feel so lucky to live in an America with a black president.” Okay that’s wonderful, great scenario, nice backdrop. But what does he stand for? What does he believe? … So we don’t know. We just don’t know.

Of course, when Steele appeared at the State of the Black Union earlier in February of this year and spoke to a black audience, his tone was very different.

Who would think in 2009, you would have two black men at the pinnacle of political power in this country, irrespective of ideology, philosophy, that fact is a testament to struggle, perseverance and opportunity. And I salute our president, congratulations President Obama for making it happen, making it so real for so many who struggled for so long.

When Steele has a black audience, Obama's victory is "a testament to struggle, perseverance, and opportunity." When Steele has a white audience, he thinks Obama is a "magic negro" who just won because of liberal white guilt.

Steele ran his campaign for RNC Chair partially on the premise that he would be able to launch race-based attacks on the President while inoculating the GOP against charges of racism because he is black. I guess part of me hoped it was a hustle, and that he wouldn't actually go that route. I think it's pretty clear from the above who Steele was actually hustling.

-- A. Serwer

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