While I don't think Bush referring to Obama as "this cat" is really racist, in the sense of suggesting some sort of animosity towards people of color, but I think there's a reasonable chance that race played a part, in the sense that Bush would've been much less likely to refer to a white guy with that term. People can have an odd awareness of race, in that I wouldn't call them racist but their awareness of race occasionally makes their brain go to strange places. I mean, I don't think the fact that Saint Tim Russert asked Obama about comments made by Harry Belafonte made him a racist, but it certainly demonstrated that perception of race made him link up black people randomly for no particular reason. That kind of thinking can take a person to darker places, but while not entirely harmless doesn't mean the person is Hitler.Very well put, I think.
Also, there's this today, from Digby.
As we've seen from TexasFred et al, racists really don't like to be pointed out for what they are and we are seeing an awful lot of scrambling and pointing of fingers and victim-claiming from some of the worst perpetrators of racist bigotry. It's a sickening, albeit fascinating, spectacle and certainly completely predictable.