AL QAEDA’S ANTI-OBAMA WEDGE POLITICS…. As propaganda goes, al Qaeda seems to be getting a little desperate.

Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri is criticizing Barack Obama in a new message, calling him a demeaning racial term implying that the president-elect is a black American who does the bidding of whites.

Al-Zawahri says in an audio message, which appeared on militant Web sites Wednesday, that Obama is “the direct opposite of honorable black Americans” like Malcolm X. He calls Obama a “house negro.”

The audio plays over still pictures of al-Zawahri, Malcolm X praying, and Obama with Jewish leaders.

In the first public al-Qaida comment about Obama’s electoral victory, al-Zawahri adds that Obama’s plan to shift troops to Afghanistan is doomed to failure, because Afghans will resist.

It’s only a matter of time before al-Zawahri starts demanding that people “respect his authority.”

Last month, Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism coordinator for the National Security Council, explained that the last thing al Qaeda would want is an Obama presidency, in part because the terrorist network wouldn’t want a U.S. president who enjoys respect and support on the world stage.

But if this is the terrorists’ idea of undermining Obama’s popularity, they need new p.r. reps. The message from al-Zawahri is kind of pathetic.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.