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Nerves of Steele

Everyone seems to be on a career death watch for Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee. Totally understandable since Ken McKay, his chief of staff, and Curt Anderson, a long-time adviser, hit the bricks last night. Michael Leavitt was immediately elevated to McKay's job. He now joins Doug Heye, communications director, in Steele's inner sanctum. Both men worked on the former lieutenant governor's 2006 senate run.

Steele is now effectively in an immovable defensive crouch. And the Post's Philip Rucker and Chris Cillizza highlight why today. "The only people who can remove Steele, however, are the 168 committee members who elected him. It would require a two-thirds majority vote to remove the chairman, whose two-year term expires in January. No committee member has issued a public call for Steele's resignation."

So, Steele will hang on until the next party leadership election in January or until he's decided he's had enough of the sneers, bad press and snark from the likes of folks like me.

By Jonathan Capehart  | April 6, 2010; 2:41 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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jonathon capehart when will you write something i found worth my while? please, one of these days.

Posted by: dummypants | April 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting a pickle. He can have the empty jar.

Posted by: tossnokia | April 6, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Most people do not care about Steele so why do you keep writing about him? Steele could be fired tomorrow and a majority of Americans would not even notice he was gone. Plus, hasn't he won the last 3 big elections he has been involved in as the RNC Chairman....VA, NJ, and MA. What has the DNC Chairman done lately?

Posted by: CarolinaMike | April 6, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

capehart,your sneers and snarkiness is so benign and weak it has no effect on a delusional repug like steele.
you remind me of steele, he thinks he is streetwise and you believe your milk toast little columns can alter his skewed views of the world.

Posted by: ninnafaye | April 6, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart writes for political junkies. We care about Steele, if for no other reason he makes the Republicans look like the hypocritical weasels they are. Please keep it up sir.

Posted by: mzgir | April 7, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

I could understand people making strong comments about Michael Steele in these postings, but why are so many of them focusing on the writier, Jonathan Capehart? He's not a public official but an observer just like us -- paid, though. Why don't we resolve to leave the messengers alone -- if we don't like them, we can read someone else -- and concentrate on the subject, in this case, Michael Steele.

Posted by: dorofacol | April 7, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The WaPo has gotten so much heat for trotting out all their white writers, they had to put out a 2 paragraph disclaimer by the black guy to put a halt to their being exposed as racist.

Posted by: Peterjdennis | April 7, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Nice post Peter... very thoughtful analysis. You must be an avid reader.

The RNC and it's donors don't owe the public a more credible leader... so I have no reason to care whether he stays or goes. I do wonder however if the crux of their challenge rests with figuring out who should follow Steele. Given the hightened influence of the more far Right Tea Party, it seems like they would be at even more risk by bowing to that pressure if they had to elect a new leader. Could they put a good manager who might be more moderate in place at this point in time?

Seems like Steele is a PR mess but he could be better than fully exposing someone more radical. Face it, as ridiculous as the spending is, am I really surprised and outraged?

I look forward to the day when the RNC becomes a credible alternative and gets interested again in governing.

Posted by: Rickster623 | April 7, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

People like Capehart won't admit it but they consider people Steele to be "race traitors" because doesn't subscribe to the liberal poverty pimp mentality as defined by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Eugene Robinson and Barry Obama.

Posted by: carlbatey | April 7, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

This Michael Steele thing is worn out already. Time to write about something of interest.

Like liberal bias in mainstream media. Now there's a subject of substance.

Can anyone imagine The Washington Post investigating and writing about liberal bias?

It would be like John Gotti investigating the Mafia.

Posted by: battleground51 | April 7, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Surely ninnafaye means "milquetoast." But what's a little education every done for anyone?

Posted by: pepin | April 7, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

You, and the rest of the left media, hate Steele for being a black Republican, and the head of the RNC!!

Your racist attacks on him are despicable!!!!

Steele had nothing to do with the current situation.

Posted by: jjcrocket1 | April 7, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The only blacks who gets "snarks" from the likes of Capehart are those that dare break off their shackles and think independently of their Democrat masters: Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and Jackie Robinson in his time. There is no future,ever, in dependency.

Posted by: mhr614 | April 7, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Steele, I salute you for being the one to stand up to the conservative Republicans, the tea baggers and the tea partiers. Under your leadership 2 governors were elected and several representatives. So regardless to when you step aside, under your leadership you helped to get 2 governors elected.

Now, I don't know about the NJ governor but the VA governor is a special case. He is allowing companies to take away the civil rights of gays and lesbians based on sexual orientation, he is using the taxpayers money to file a lawsuit against the federal government to stop the same taxpayers from receiving health care and now he is declaring confederacy month in the state of VA.

So, Mr. Steele this is the type of representation all Americans deserve-keep your head up and keep working to support those people who denied your foreparents the legal right to freedom. Keep supporting the people who fought and died to keep your foreparents in salvery and working for free. Wow! You have the nerves of steel!

Posted by: sun52shine | April 7, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"So, Steele will hang on until the next party leadership election in January or until he's decided he's had enough of the sneers, bad press and snark from the likes of folks like me."

Let's hope he hangs on until after the mid-term elections. That would guarantee Democratic wins across the country.

Posted by: haveaheart | April 7, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Capehart is right. It's not that Steele is such a "bad guy", it's that a leader is needed that would be more effective in getting an inspirational conservative message across.

Posted by: Billw3 | April 7, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Steele puts himself in the public eye and it is entirely appropriate to comment on him. He does reflect the Republican party to anyone who cares to think about it.

Capehart's snarks are well aimed and on target. Keep them coming, Jonathan.

Posted by: DavidH3 | April 7, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

If I were a Republican, I'd be embarrassed by the number of dumb things which have happened on his watch - some of which could potentially alienate the party's base. Give MSteele credit for the VA governorship and the surprising Senate win in MA (though the candidates had a lot to do with that). In NJ, Governor Corzine was tremendously unpopular, and a dog probably could have beat him at the polls (at least a cute, friendly one). I wouldn't count on getting a majority back in Congress at this point if you sit on the red side of the aisle - there's more work needed, and efforts into that get sidetracked with sideshows like the ones MSteele keeps finding stuck to his shoe.

Posted by: howiehunt | April 7, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

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