CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN REFUSES TO RESIGN IN THE WAKE OF RACISM SCANDAL…. For a while, it was so common for Tea Party Republicans or their favorite candidates to get caught engaging in racism, it was tough to keep up with it all. Fortunately, it’s been a little quieter lately.

But it’s worth remembering that the ugliness hasn’t gone away.

A California Republican party official who sent out an e-mail of President Obama’s face super-imposed onto a chimp says she’s sorry, but insists she wasn’t trying to be racist.

Marilyn Davenport, an elected member of the Orange County Republican central committee, sent the e-mail on Friday. The “family photo” features the commander-in-chief as a baby chimpanzee with two chimp parents.

Along with the offensive image was the tagline “Now you know why — No birth certificate.”

Pressed by reporters for an explanation, Davenport, a Tea Party activist as well as an elected GOP official, said in a statement, “I’m sorry if my email offended anyone. I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth. In no way did I even consider the fact he’s half black when I sent out the email.”

I’m not sure how that’s even relevant. What difference does it make if Obama’s mother was white? A racist email is still a racist email, whether the sender “considers the fact” that her target is “half black.”

Davenport went on to say that “other people tried to make this about race.” I don’t imagine she’ll understand this, but when she distributed a racist email, which she found “amusing,” Davenport made this about race.

Republican officials in Orange County are distancing themselves from the right-wing activist, but Davenport has said she will not resign from her elected position in the party.

For what it’s worth, Davenport has also argued, “Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist…. I have friends who are black.”

Seriously. That’s what she said.

Even those dumb enough to be this racist should have the wherewithal to know how awful this sounds.

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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.