Sunday, January 16, 2011

In Defense Of Michael Steele

How is that the Republican National Committee, after one of the most successful election cycles in modern history, vote to get rid of Chair Michael Steele?
How is one "rewarded" with adding 63 new members of congress? Seven new senators? Nine new governors? Take overs in countless state legislatures?
It is by getting thrown out after such a success.
Let me be clear, Mr. Steele made a lot of mistakes. Money is a big issue. And sometimes getting into trouble by being the leading Republican spokesman on many issues.
But to throw someone out without giving some direction seems rather short sided.
When Mr. Steele was elected RNC chair shortly after the election of the Dear Leader, President Obama, I think the committee was sending the message that he would be the leading spokesman against the president's policies and promoting Republican and conservative alternatives.
And that did happen.
But one of the things an RNC chair does is raise money. And yes, he did do that. But a lot of people feel that because the RNC has a debt of $20,000,000, he did a lousy job.
Let me go back to the aspect of Mr. Steele being the leader of the opposition.
Yes there was now Speaker of the House, John Boehner and the senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell. And they were the legislative face of the GOP. But they were seen as part of the problem. And that is very true at the time. The party needed someone fresh and yes, brash. In came Michael Steele.
And he was brash, outside of the Beltway and fresh to many of us.
And he did relish in the role of being the face of a rebuilding and new GOP. A GOP no longer obliged to support a sitting Republican president in George W. Bush. One that could return to the Ronald Reagan model.
Sometimes, things that he said did seem to get him in trouble. Sometimes, he seemed to agree with a liberal host when he was pinned down on some issue.
That was troubling.
But overall, Mr. Steele I believed proved to be effective at being a leading spokesman for the opposition.
But on the fundraising front, he did not do well because too many conservatives just do not trust the Republican party. They did not want to fork money to the RNC. Nor the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. Nor the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
And really, unless one Mr. Reagan came back from the Great Beyond to lead the RNC, no one could have twisted arms any better or worse than Mr. Steele.
The party did not act fast enough to make Mr. Steele accountable for making an all-out effort to raise the needed funds to get to candidates at all levels. And that there are a lot of state GOPs that need help. Again, not all Mr. Steele's fault.
But does anyone that plunged the knife in Mr. Steele's back this past Friday realize the disarray the national party was in after the Dear Leader, President Obama's election? And many of those that wanted to become the RNC chair were insider types that many of the same people loathed?
What can not happen now that Reince Pribus is the new RNC chair is to see what kind of job Mr. Steele could have done in raising money to keep the House. And to gain GOP control of the senate. I honestly believe that Mr. Steele would have been able to go into a more traditional role of national party chair. He can leave the face of the party to Messrs. Boehner and McConnell. And many of the newly elected congressmen and senators. And he could have set to raise the kind of money that will be needed to have a serious campaign against the Dear Leader, President Obama, and the Democrat party.
I am not certain that the election of Mr. Pribus to RNC chair is a good one. But I will support him in his efforts. Just as I did Mr. Steele.
But the weird thing is only in the Republican party is winning not enough for some people.

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