Stick A Fork In Him… Michael Steele’s Done

It gives me a certain sadness to say it, since I have family in Maryland who remember Erlich’s Governorship with great fondness and were very supportive of Michael Steele going back even before that period. Unfortunately, I have to say clearly that Michael Steele is politically finished as head of the RNC.

Steele has had a very rocky road as RNC head. He seemed to be a charismatic, energetic, somewhat younger leader than what we had had in the past who would provide more of a “public face” for the RNC than had been typical of former chairmen, and to a great extent he has done that. It appears though, that a public face for the RNC chair is not always a good thing, especially when he makes absurd, embarrassing, factually inaccurate comments on a regular basis. Every one of his gaffes have alienated another small slice of the Party he is supposed to be coordinating. Now, saying that Afghanistan was a war of Obama’s choosing, he has really gone totally outside the acceptable standards of the Republican Party and demonstrated that he has no core intellectual standards, just the will to attack Obama at any cost.

Obama did not choose Afghanistan. You could say he committed to it in a greater way and staked more political capital on it in a greater way than the Bush Administration, but he did not choose it, and Republicans are pretty much unanimous in supporting the surge, opposing a withdrawal date, and supporting Obama’s stand to try to win Afghanistan even if we don’t always agree with him on his greater strategy or some particulars.

Steele has alienated a large enough chunk of his party now that he will not easily be trusted with another senior position in the future. Whether or not he is ousted as RNC chair, he won’t quickly get back into any kind of national level position without a lot of detoxification. After having lost a bid for US Senate in Maryland by a pretty big margin, and having only been Lieutenant Governor under Bob Erlich, he ha not proved he can successfully run for office  on his own, has not proved he is ready for national level prime time and has not proved that he can be counted on to measure his words and make them count. In short, even if he’s not ousted now, he is done politically. Maybe he’ll try to resuscitate his career as so many others have done by drifting over to Fox to be a commentator.

One last note on this; I am very pleased to note the fact that Republicans have been perfectly willing to criticize Steele on the merits, and have not avoided criticizing him because he is black as Democrats would be expected to do. The difference between the two party’s approach to race is striking, and strangely correlates with the history books; the Democratic party was pro slavery, Republicans were abolitionist, Dr Martin Luther King Jr was a life long Republican, etc. If you think that was all ancient history, consider Harry Reid and Joe Biden.

Reid;

“He [Reid] was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’ ”  -Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in their book, “Game Change,”

Biden;

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, …I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Unlike leaders in the Democratic party who appear to think that no African-American had bathed before Barack Obama (if you take Biden literally), Republicans in talking about Steele have focused on what the man did, what he actually said, and how it has not been up to snuff. Nobody is going to coddle him because of his race, because the Republican Party is not racist. For that, I am proud of my party, and that is another reason Steele is done. He can’t count on any treatment except what would be afforded anyone else saying the things he is saying in his position as RNC chair.

Sorry Michael.

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~ by Jubal Biggs on July 3, 2010.

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