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"I Don't Do Policy," Says RNC Chairman Michael Steele


Dana Milbank filed a nice report from RNC Chairman Michael Steele's speech yesterday, which borrowed pretty liberally from a message document that GOP pollster Alex Castallanos had drawn up. "Only one thing would have made the performance more impressive," said Milbank. "If Castellanos had been able to drink a glass of water while Steele was talking." Things got a bit dicier, however, when Steele left the realm of message and turned to the world of policy. Castellanos's paper doesn't seem to have had a particularly thorough section on that:

The chairman referred carefully to his text as he delivered his broadsides: "big government wish list . . . urge to splurge . . . shove this bill through . . . Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Waxman cabal . . . reckless . . . unprecedented intrusion." After more than 20 minutes of this, Steele devoted a few minutes to a Republican alternative: online posting of prices and outcomes for tests and procedures; a single, simplified billing form; paperless health-care systems; preventive care; portability of health coverage between jobs. He neglected to mention the awkward detail that all of these are included, in some form, in the Democrats' health-care legislation -- which he labeled socialist.

At one point, a questioner asked whether Republicans support covering everybody. "I don't do policy," replied the leader of the Republican Party.

Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 21, 2009; 4:33 PM ET
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That is a bizarre statement. The Republican party is doomed to failure for a while longer.

Posted by: staticvars | July 21, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Dana Milbank is also a giant tool who should never be linked too, even from bloggers working for WaPo.

Posted by: Chris_O | July 21, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

The left had their black leader so the right had to get them one. Unfortunately, the person the right got is a goof. Steele doesn't realize the "Real American's" will flush him like used TP once they are done with the show.

He doesn't really believe he is the party leader does he?

Posted by: soapm | July 22, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

It also appears that Steele is not capable of even putting a properly designed survey together. Today I reviewed the latest survey put our by Steele and found it to be not only improperly designed, but shrill. All answers would be no by a far right audience where leading questions support the bias such a person would have. Steele is asking the return of this horribly constructed survey to support the ideasl and conservative approach of the RNC. No where is a statemnt made about what those might be, and of course no alternatives intelligible by a thinking person were presented. Perhaps the "loyal opposition" might have asome real thought behind its paeans to its extreme right consituency and offer intelligent well thought out approaches it may present to the body politic. Steele, by signing the badly constructed letter that accompanied the survey and by not providing any leadership to his party does the GOP a great dis-service.

Posted by: hbromma | July 24, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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