Salon quotes Joe Walsh on Obama:

"Why was he elected? Again, it comes back to who he was. He was black, he was historic. And there's nothing racist about this. It is what it is. If he had been a dynamic, white, state senator elected to Congress he wouldn't have gotten in the game this fast. This is what made him different. That, combined with the fact that your profession"—another friendly tap of the bumper sticker—"not you, but your profession, was just absolutely compliant. They made up their minds early that they were in love with him. They were in love with him because they thought he was a good liberal guy and they were in love with him because he pushed that magical button: a black man who was articulate, liberal, the whole white guilt, all of that."

I think I was the only person in the world on Election Day 2008 who was annoyed that John McCain's concession speech made such an enormous deal out of Barack Obama's race. I'm not saying that politicians need to pretend to be color blind. But I am saying that Walsh's thoughts on Obama's color evoke the common Republican talking point that Obama is an idiot without a teleprompter, or the fringe Republican talking points that Bill Ayers wrote Obama's memoir for him. Republicans really do believe that he became president based solely on his blackness and that his intelligence, his brilliant campaigning skills, and his level-headed temperament has nothing to do with it. In fact, they believe he's an empty suit who's propped up by the party.

That's why Republicans keep pushing men like Michael Steele and Herman Cain for prominent positions; they believe that voters—especially black voters—will get confused if they're faced with more than one black guy on a ballot. They keep underestimating President Obama with this condescending belief that his blackness is his most essential political trait, and they whine that they're not racist when people try to call them on it. Personally, I do believe statements like that are founded on racism, but I think the real issue here is that they're simplifying the issue to the point of drooling idiocy. Republicans would be able to take Obama on if they were willing to recognize that he's the brains of the operation, but I think that ultimately, their racism will keep them from making that realization.