I have to hand it to the Republicans -- they are so transparent that it continues to boggle the mind. First they put Sarah "any vajajay will do" Palin on the prez ticket, and that blew up in their faces. Now it looks like the party of Klansmen, low-information garden-variety bigots, and bible beaters is looking to put a little color at the top of its otherwise snow-white leadership.

A behind-the-scenes battle to take the reins of the Republican National Committee is taking off between former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele.

Neither man will acknowledge his interest in the post, but Republicans close to each are burning up the phone lines and firing off e-mails to fellow party members in an effort to oust RNC Chairman Mike Duncan in the wake of the second consecutive drubbing of Republican candidates at the polls.

A bevy of backers for each man, neither of whom is an RNC member, say the committee needs a leader who can formulate a counter-agenda to President-elect Barack Obama's administration and articulate it on the national stage.

I guess any negro will do for this crowd; then again, they don't have too many to choose from these days. At least Steele isn't a bubblehead, but he's definitely anti-gay, so that fits the bill. His name was actually floated the last time the post was vacated, in 2006 -- by Ken Mehlman. Steele, during his failed U.S. Senate race, said:

Steele told religious leaders gathered in Lanham earlier this month that marriage is a covenant exclusively for one man, one woman and God.

“Marriage is not a purely human institution,” he said, according to a report in the Baltimore Examiner. “Marriage defines not only the relationship between a man and a woman but also their journey through life. They should not be brow-beaten into thinking something that goes counter to what the people in the community aspire to.”

...Steele, who serves under Gov. Robert Ehrlich, has publicly opposed same-sex marriage for several years. He and other members of Ehrlich’s administration opposed marriage equality in 2004 after the American Civil Liberties Union sued the city of Baltimore claiming that the state’s law prohibiting gay marriage violates the Maryland Constitution. A Baltimore Circuit Court judge has since ruled the law is unconstitutional.