The Republicans have out-and-out bigots peppered in leadership who find safe harbor in the party, and every once in a while these numbskull racists get the wild hair and cut loose when they think no one is watching. (FitsNews):

SC: Republican activist calls escaped gorilla an "ancestor" to Michelle Obama on Facebook

A prominent S.C. Republican Party activist is in hot water after describing an escaped gorilla at a South Carolina zoo as an “ancestor” of First Lady Michelle Obama.

The exchange occurred after Trey Walker, an advisor to S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster, posted an innocuous Facebook update about this morning’s escape of a Western Lowlands Gorilla from Columbia’s Riverbanks Zoo.

Walker’s harmless update, however was followed by a highly-questionable comment from longtime SCGOP activist and former State Senate candidate, Rusty DePass.

I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors — probably harmless,” DePass wrote.

An early South Carolina supporter of former President George W. Bush, DePass has been active in Republican politics in South Carolina for decades.

The comment has been removed; it's not clear if FB did it or DePass. BTW, the runner-up to head the RNC, Katon Dawson (who belonged to a whites-only country club), is also the former SC state GOP chair, said this:
"Even if it was taken out of context - its not something that should have ever been said. It's sad, disappointing, and unfortunate,"
Wow, what gusto. Sounds like he had to squeak that out knowing his bud got caught with his pants down on the Internets."

And so came the "apology."

"I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."

"You know, I don't think there's anything funny about that comment," says Coble. "That is the First Lady of the United States. We've had a long tradition of wonderful first ladies, and I don't think any of them deserve that type of comment."

And while his trousers were at his ankles, DePass made the situation worse by claiming that the First Lady brought up the subject first in the media.
"The comment was hers. Not mine," saying the first lady made statements in the media recently saying we are all descendents of apes.
She never said it -- no stories can be found.

So we have the usual non-apology from these bigots, added to the utter ignorance that when you put something up on Facebook, it's up for public grabs. Unless you have your account/profile in lockdown and have only friends you know you can trust, anything you put up there can and will be used against you. I don't know where people get the idea that there is some zone of privacy on a social networking site you have open for all to see. The account holder selects the level of public access, so Mr. DePass clearly thought that cutting loose with this badass racist self was not a problem. We are fortunate to have gotten a peek inside a GOP operative's mind -- it only confirms why its voter base is populated with bigots, know-nothings and extremists and shrinking every day.

Is this Michael Steele's party? I receive press releases all the time from the GOP and I've seen nothing out of the RNC condemning the remarks. DePass is a symptom of the party's larger problem.

Frank Rich's column today discusses the extremist fringe of the party that is stirred up, and he notes that leaders in the GOP and in the conservative movement aren't stepping up to turn the volume down on the crazies among them.

A sizable minority of Americans is irrationally fearful of the fast-moving generational, cultural and racial turnover Obama embodies — indeed, of the 21st century itself. That minority is now getting angrier in inverse relationship to his popularity with the vast majority of the country.

...What’s startling is the spillover of this poison into the conservative political establishment. Saul Anuzis, a former Michigan G.O.P. chairman who ran for the party’s national chairmanship this year, seriously suggested in April that Republicans should stop calling Obama a socialist because “it no longer has the negative connotation it had 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago.” Anuzis pushed “fascism” instead, because “everybody still thinks that’s a bad thing.” He didn’t seem to grasp that “fascism” is nonsensical as a description of the Obama administration or that there might be a risk in slurring a president with a word that most find “bad” because it evokes a mass-murderer like Hitler.

...Obama’s Cairo address, meanwhile, prompted over-the-top accusations reminiscent of those campaign rally cries of “Treason!” It was a prominent former Reagan defense official, Frank Gaffney, not some fringe crackpot, who accused Obama in The Washington Times of engaging “in the most consequential bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler duped Neville Chamberlain.” He claimed that the president — a lifelong Christian — “may still be” a Muslim and is aligned with “the dangerous global movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood.” Gaffney linked Obama by innuendo with Islamic “charities” that “have been convicted of providing material support for terrorism.” If this isn’t a handy rationalization for another lone nutjob to take the law into his own hands against a supposed terrorism supporter, what is?

...Hard-core haters resolutely dismiss any “mainstream media” debunking of their conspiracy theories. The only voices that might penetrate their alternative reality — I emphasize might — belong to conservative leaders with the guts and clout to step up as McCain did last fall. Where are they? The genteel public debate in right-leaning intellectual circles about the conservative movement’s future will be buried by history if these insistent alarms are met with silence.