THEY CAN’T EVEN PLAY THE RACE CARD CORRECTLY…. Just a few months ago, RNC Chairman Michael Steele complained, “I’m kind of sick and tired of the left and Democrats in this country, when they get in trouble and don’t get their way and their backs are up against the wall on legislation or whatever it is their trying to do, they go to that card, they play that race card.”

In retrospect, it’s almost amusing.

One day after it accused DNC Chairman Tim Kaine of playing the “race card” from the bottom of the deck, the Republican National Committee is blasting out an op-ed that accuses the president of ignoring African-American candidates for the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, RNC Coalitions Director Angela Sailor sent out a column written by former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder titled “Why no blacks on SCOTUS shortlist?” The piece attacks the administration for putting together a short list of potential nominees that lacks “even the hint of a mention of a single African-American.”

A few angles to consider here. First, the message that the RNC is pushing is just factually wrong. A few weeks ago, several major news outlets published reports indicating that former Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears is on the White House’s short list for the Supreme Court — and Sears is African American. It’s the one minor detail that makes the entire argument baseless.

Second, it’s hopelessly insane for the RNC — an entity led by a man who recently conceded his party has been engaged in a racist “Southern Strategy” for 40 years — to distribute a piece suggesting President Obama is ignoring the importance of racial diversity.

And third, the RNC has spent the past week accusing Democrats of trying to polarize the country “on the lines of race,” in part because the DNC intends to mobilize “black, Latino and young voters” during the midterm cycle. As Sam Stein noted, “[T]he RNC appears to be engaging in the type of racially tinged politics they criticized the day before.”

A senior Democratic operative told Stein, “This is politics 101. If you do the exact thing you feigned indignation over within hours of feigning indignation, it not only proves that the thing you feigned indignation over was not worthy of it, but it also proves you are a political idiot.”

Sometimes, it really does seem as if the RNC is led by undercover Democrats, anxious to make Republicans look foolish.

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.