LIMBAUGH AND RACISM…. The rhetoric sounds so pleasant, doesn’t it?

Limbaugh warned [the CPAC audience] that Republicans should not let concerns about racial insensitivities limit criticism of Obama’s policies. “It doesn’t matter to me what his race is. He’s liberal, and that’s what matters.”

“The racism in our culture was exclusively and fully on display in the Democrat [sic] primary last year,” Limbaugh said. “We didn’t ask if he was authentically black. What we were asking, was, ‘Was he wrong?’ We concluded, ‘Yes.’ ”

“The racism, the sexism, the bigotry that we are all charged with … doesn’t exist on our side,” he added.

Got it. Limbaugh has always believed that it “doesn’t matter” if Obama is black. It’s never made any difference if Obama is “authentically black.” Racism “doesn’t exist” among conservatives and was “exclusively” in the realm of Democratic politics.

Perhaps Limbaugh’s memory is failing him. I’m happy to help refresh his memory.

February 2007:

On Feb. 13, Rush Limbaugh derided Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) — who is biracial — for saying, “If you look African-American in this society, you’re treated as an African-American.” Limbaugh claimed that this statement meant Obama didn’t want to be black and should “renounce it”: “If it’s not something you want to be, if you didn’t decide it, renounce it, become white!”

March 2007:

Limbaugh continued to refer to Obama as the “Magic Negro” throughout the broadcast — 27 times, to be exact — and at one point sang “Barack, the Magic Negro” to the tune of “Puff, the Magic Dragon.”

March 2008:

On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said of Sen. Barack Obama’s handling of the controversy surrounding remarks by Rev. Jeremiah Wright: “It is clear that Senator Obama has disowned his white half, that he’s decided he’s got to go all in on the black side.”

August 2008:

“You can’t criticize the little black man-child. You just can’t do it, ’cause it’s just not right, it’s not fair. He’s such a victim.”

September 2008:

Rush Limbaugh baselessly asserted of Sen. Barack Obama: “Do you know he has not one shred of African-American blood?” Limbaugh continued: “He’s Arab. You know, he’s from Africa. He’s from Arab parts of Africa…. [H]e’s not African-American. The last thing that he is is African-American.”

For someone who didn’t care about the president’s race, Limbaugh seems to have something with a preoccupation with the subject. I wonder why that is.

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.