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Take a hike, Chairman Mike

It's been fun, but now you're done. (Or should be.)

It was revealed this morning that the disastrously quotable Michael Steel -- still chairman of the Republican National Committee as of this writing, but I'm checking my watch -- gave a speech Thursday in which he had both complete gibberish and surprising wisdom to offer on the subject of Afghanistan. All of it was totally out of line and should lead him to resign or be fired.

The nonsense: "This is a war of [President] Obama's choosing. This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in."

As everyone else in the world recalls, it was President Bush who ordered the invasion of Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks. The conflict had already gone on longer than America's involvement in World War II when Obama took office, and for the whole time it had been "actively prosecuted." Obama inherited a long-running war -- now our nation's longest -- that was in the process of being lost. He decided to try to rescue the situation.

That was bad enough. But then Steele spoke in what sounded like opposition to the war itself. This is the "wisdom" part:

He said that if Obama "is such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that the one thing you don't do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? Everyone who has tried over a thousand years of history has failed, and there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan."

It's an undeniable fact that would-be occupiers going back to Alexander the Great have been thwarted by the mountainous nation known as the "graveyard of empires." The chairman is right: This whole adventure is highly unlikely to end well. But the Republican Party supports the war -- it's the Democrats who have qualms and reservations. So even though Steele speaks the truth about our prospects in Afghanistan, it's hardly tenable for the chairman to disagree so diametrically with the party he leads on such a big issue. He's got to go.

I write this more in sorrow than in anger. Steele has been a godsend to columnists worldwide -- he's the gift that keeps on giving -- and it's not at all in my self-interest to advocate that he depart the limelight. But I have to call it the way I see it, alas. Chairman Mike, did I hear you express a sudden desire to spend more time with your family?

By Eugene Robinson  | July 2, 2010; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  Robinson  | Tags:  Eugene Robinson  
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Comments

SCREWJOB,

Just wanting to say something before you again make an ass of yourself. Stop posting and get the psychotropic medicines you obviously need. Your insanity isn't Obama's fault like everything else in your world.

Posted by: gene11 | July 2, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

For the first time I agree with Mr. Robinson. Not the sarcastic "I write this more in sorrow than in anger" part, but the conclusion is inescapable.

Michael Steele, who ARE you? And whatever you do...Stop talking!! Man we shoulda gone with Blackwell.

Posted by: slatt321 | July 2, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

robinson will talk about everything except the person hurting blacks most...
obama...

Posted by: DwightCollins | July 2, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

When Steele said that Obama started the war in Afghanistan, he wasn't talking to you, or to any other rational person for that matter. The GOP gave up on rational and aware people a long time ago. Steele was talking to the Fox News / AM radio audience. These people will lap this sort of revised history without question.

Posted by: ravenmocker | July 2, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Gee, dwight, please enlighten us as to how Obama is hurting Blacks. We'll wait.

Posted by: mikel7 | July 2, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele really is a fool in his heart and a tool in the brain. It just shows how stupid the repub voters and teabag loose cannons are. I know that in politics you say things on purpose that you know not to be true to awaken your base. I also know that the repub party consists of smart educated wealthy people at the top and millions of under-educated, hate filled rubes in the states who believe that the earth is 6,000 years old and that Obama is from Mars. Neo-cons are what's wrong with the world. They are Godless souls who will do and say anything to control their worker bees. Michael Steele should be ashamed of himself. If Preident Obama had not sent any new troops and had began to withdrawal already, the party of no would be against that. Heck if the President said that the world was 6,000 years old, they would have attacked him for that. In the end good deeds and responsibility will win in the public eye. Bush was the problem for this country and President Obama and the Democratic Party will return us to prosperity. It can't happen overnight but it will be done right. The GOP (GREEDY OLD PARTY) will be a memory in 15 years and the Tea Party Slugs will crawl back into their underground holes and slumber into eternity. They are loud stupid and not a factor in anything in the long run except giving the druggster and the idiot (you know the dyed blonde nut on tv and radio) who make millions off of those teabag turkeys, MO MONEY! Thank you Eugene Robinson, you are a Great American.

Posted by: tuttlegroup | July 2, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Them there Republicants could not have picked a better fool than Steele to build a more imperfect union, mission accomplished.

Posted by: truthhurts | July 2, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

It takes courage to tell the truth even if your party does not want to hear it. What surprises me is how liberals are responding to a chairman of the RNC say that the US shld get out of Afghanistan. Our president shld be saying what Steele said but we are to caught up in us vs the republicans that we miss this opportunity. Instead of promoting Steele's departure bcz he spoke the truth maybe you could write an article about why our president wants to fight this war so badly.

Posted by: rbprtman23 | July 2, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Wait Bro, maybe George Dubya Bush is the Mahdi ? He seems to be hidden these days.

Posted by: truthhurts | July 2, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Wait Bro, maybe George Dubya Bush is the Mahdi ? He seems to be hidden these days.

Posted by: truthhurts | July 2, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Wait Bro, maybe George Dubya Bush is the Mahdi ? He seems to be hidden these days.

Posted by: truthhurts | July 2, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the multiple posts, there seems to be a defect between my keyboard and monitor.

I wish I could type what I am really thinking but that it's just so bad, it would be politically incorrect even for me.

Steele is so well versed on history, that he may be history himself. Although according to Republican rules of baseball, it's 3 strikes until ya get shoved up. Good place to end where I started, Peter-Principled fast-tracking.

Posted by: truthhurts | July 2, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson, be careful of what you wish you. There is a possibility, albeit remote, Steele could be replaced by somebody truly competent, such as former governor Ridge or Colin Powell.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 2, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson, be careful of what you wish for. There is a possibility, albeit remote, Steele could be replaced by somebody truly competent, such as former governor Ridge or Colin Powell.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 2, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Michael can perhaps be excused for simply extends pretzel GOP logic, that also faults Obama for not clearing out oil industry shills from the Bush administration MMS...

Swaggart and Hugh Grant emcee next GOP fundraiser;
Lordy, lordy, we won't waste your fool's tiding on sex! ;^)

Balkingpoints / www
@Balkingpoints / Twitter

Posted by: RField7 | July 2, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

ROFTL LMAO!! ROFTL LMAO!! ROFTL LMAO!! ROFTL LMAO!! ROFTL LMAO!! ROFTL LMAO!! ROFTL LMAO!! ROFTL LMAO!! ROFTL LMAO!! ROFTL LMAO!! ROFTL LMAO!!ROFTL LMAO!!ROFTL LMAO!! MIKE STEELE YOU'RE KILLING ME!!!

Posted by: demtse | July 2, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

THe Chair of the GOP National party is a gift. Why take it away. Steel was half right folks, this mess in Afghanistan is not winnable. We are sinking millions of dollars into this rat hole every day and we see no end in sight. 20 years from now, when the nation looks back at this period in history, as we have done with Vietnam, the question "what the hell were we thinking" will be voiced by a lot of people. unless u can push a button to kill off every member of the Taliban, Al Quada and their supporters, we are going to be in an endless "hot war" which may last longer than the "cold" war we experienced with the Soviet Union.

Posted by: Lcolvin1 | July 2, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

At least, Mike is a man.


Posted by: Jerzy | July 2, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Steel is the kind of African American the GOP was hoping Obama was going to be. Shows you that they prefer style over substance. Dont believe me? Then explain Sarah Palin. Bill Maher said it best about her:

"Since when did we start celebrating stupidity in this country"

He forgot that Bush was elected twice.

Posted by: rharring | July 2, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

robinson will talk about everything except the person hurting blacks most...
obama...Posted by: DwightCollins
================================

SPEAK for YOURSELF..
You voted twice for Bush
and
Still do not get it?

Posted by: Issa1 | July 2, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse


At least, Mike is a man.
Posted by: Jerzy
=====================

That was gay of you jerzy...!

Posted by: Issa1 | July 2, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

What surprises me is how liberals are responding to a chairman of the RNC say that the US shld get out of Afghanistan.
Posted by: rbprtman23

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sorry, but what we are responding to is Steele's stating that it was Obama's choice to GO to war. Please read the whole statement before spouting off.

Posted by: dougharty | July 2, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse


TO: Jerzy who wrote:
“At least, Mike is a man.”

^^^^^^^^^^^

A girly man.


Posted by: lindalovejones | July 2, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Steele's the real Schlemiel;
like an anal-lineal, retro-cynical, prevaricating schmeal
surfing freestyle on banana peel.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | July 2, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that would be the smart thing to do not like Sanford though but, another idea if you can think that far is "wash your mouth out with soap"? or "look and think before you leap and make black folk look really bad and damn you can do that-you and Clarence Thomas-huh, true that!!!!!

Posted by: Scar1 | July 2, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

oh, let him stay....please?

Posted by: martymar123 | July 2, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

So even though Steele speaks the truth about our prospects in Afghanistan, it's hardly tenable for the chairman to disagree so diametrically with the party he leads on such a big issue. He's got to go.

=======================================

He should never have led the party in the first place. What a dufus.

Posted by: bbface21 | July 2, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

But...but...but...

Gene, I understand your point, but Michael Steele has been nothing but a godsend to Democrats! He's the gift who keeps on giving. The more often and the more stupid and/or outrageous the comments made by people like Steele, Sharon Angle, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, etc., the better it is for the Good Guys side.

Nothing good can come from replacing him, and god forbid, they might put somebody competent and effective in that job.

Can't we keep him? Please? Pretty please?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | July 2, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent:

Steele could be replaced by somebody truly competent, such as former governor Ridge or Colin Powell.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Really? The GOP would want Powell as Chairman? And just WHO did Powell endorse in 2008?

Now, that's not to say that I disagree that Powell would be competent. But the Chairman needs to be partisan, not competent. Steele is probably secure.

Posted by: ramoynihan | July 2, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah who needs Steele anymore, they have Nimrata "Nikki" Randhawa and Piyoosh Jindal to prove they're "diverse."

Posted by: Noacoler | July 2, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I've got news for you Eugene, mike is right Obama had a chance to get us out quickly or at least to accept the Biden plan and he blew it. That makes it his war, not Bush's anymore. FYI, I am a fiscal conservative and social liberal, formally of D.C. who has always liked Steele, and regret the day I voted for Obama.

Posted by: linus12 | July 2, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I am a fiscal conservative and social liberal,

==

Do you guys blow an A on a pitchpipe before you sing that little ditty?

Posted by: Noacoler | July 2, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Anytime we republicans and independents listen to the above advice of you democrats will be the day. Why is it for example that the people of this country are afraid to spend money which in turn would lead to more jobs? I'll tell you why; they are scared stiff about what is coming at them next year. Try to blame that on W. and Mike Eugene.

Posted by: linus12 | July 2, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Well if I am not a social liberal, tell me why I was crazy enough for the first time in my life to vote for a democrat? It could not have been because of health care could it? It sure as heck was not because of his foreign policy experience.

Posted by: linus12 | July 2, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse


What do you care, Robinson? You are not a Republican so he is not your chairman.

Mind your own business.

Posted by: screwjob16 | July 2, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele has been so totally involved in scripting white noise -- first hiring the folks to do this, and then feeding this to his rappers, that he has created his own reality and begun to believe his own fiction.

It's like drinking one's own whiskey.

You need to tell me, anyone, that McConnell, Boehner and Steele, flutes and all, are not politically functionally obsolete.

Posted by: kencamarro | July 2, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Steele was never more than a token, the only black Republican they could find to promote the fiction of diversity in the GOP. You really think he became leader because of his sterling record as a one-term lieutenant governor of Maryland? Bill Kristol and the other real (though non-elected) leaders of the Republican party couldn't wait for a Steele scandal without racial overtones so they could boot him and find another old white guy to lead the party.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | July 2, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob Obama has already sent 509 American soldiers to their deaths in Afghanistan. That is already more than were lost during the years 2001 through 2007. So far this year 203 Americans have been killed, and the year is only half over.

When McChrystal asked for 80,000 additional troops for a surge, Barry the inept bungler only gave him 30,000 and told the Taliban when they will leave Afghanistan.

Posted by: screwjob16 | July 2, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele twenty-twelve. Michael Steele twenty-twelve! What a dolt, didn't realize that Obama was the one that went before congress to get authorization to use military force in Afghanistan.

Posted by: kewlbuwl | July 2, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele twenty-twelve! Michael Steele twenty-twelve!

Posted by: kewlbuwl | July 2, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse


At the rate that Barry is slaughtering our troops in Afghanistan (now at 60 a month), by mid-September this headless chicken in the White House will already have sent more Americans to their deaths in Afghanistan than were lost during the entire eight years of the Bush administration.

Posted by: screwjob16 | July 2, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I want to point out to Mr Robinson once again that Alexander was successful in the region we now call Afghanistan. Khandahar was founded by Alexander. It is a modern myth spread by the ignorant that he was defeated.

Posted by: Observer21 | July 2, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I see once again the affirmative action writer is taking orders from his Master, the democRAT party.

Barack Hussein Obama and Eugene-where would they be without the affirmative action train?

"ALL ABOARD"!

Posted by: cschotta1 | July 3, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Today's democRAT party, still destroying the black family as best they can.

"VOTE DEMOCRAT, IT'S EASIER THAN WORKING"

Posted by: cschotta1 | July 3, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

The posts here go a bit overboard by extending the criticisms of Steele to all Republicans.
i find Steele annoying, just as most Republicans do and have for much of his term. I agree with Robinson's comments for the most part.
However, demeaning an entire political party based on the actions of individuals is just as annoying as Steele is.
Robinson's columns are always slanted and defensive with regard to Obama. He really should point out Obama's many glitches, flaws and faux pas -- that would be refreshing.
Obama's ineptitude gives Steele some real competition.

Posted by: pjcafe | July 3, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Steele is the Republican's idea of what black men have to offer. They elected him as the leader of their party... I presume that he speaks for their party (including Sessions). And the guy is a complete idiot. Republicans are extremely defensive of Steele, and he's not going to go.... because these Republicans don't know that black people are competent.

Obama infuriates them because he doesn't need their approval. They don't understand a black man who is smarter than they are. They're used to toady nitwits like Steel.

Posted by: Super_Grover | July 3, 2010 3:12 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znQe9nUKzvQ

Posted by: Super_Grover | July 3, 2010 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Steele told the truth: the Obama administration has made a minor police administration become a major war that we should not be fighting. The Republicans can't publicly say this because of its effects in the troops, but everyone knows it. Why is Obama doing it? Because during the nomination he said he would -- without knowing anything about it, just as a cheap shot at Bush and to appear as tough as Hillary.

Posted by: suegbic1 | July 3, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Steele told the truth: the Obama administration has made a minor even if long-term police action become a major war that we should not be fighting. The Republicans can't publicly say this because of its effects in the troops, but everyone knows it. Why did Obama do it? Because during the nomination he said he would -- without knowing anything about it, just as a cheap shot at Bush and to appear as tough as Hillary.

Posted by: suegbic1 | July 3, 2010 5:25 AM | Report abuse

Steele needs to go because he is no longer an asset to the party. His foolish comments are ruining any chance the Republicans have to derail this disastrous radical Obama agenda.

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | July 3, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Gene. Who gave you a vote in Republican Party leadership? Next, you'll recruit Skippy in Cambridge as a fellow mole.

Posted by: elgropo1 | July 3, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

TAKE A HIKE BARRY. This country would be much better off if Barry resigned (but since that last thing Geno is interested in is the betterment of this country he obviously doesn't support that). He will continue to do his best to irreperably destroy this country in his last 2 1/12 years when he is finally thrown out.

Posted by: wcag | July 3, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DwightCollins | July 2, 2010 3:50 PM

"robinson will talk about everything except the person hurting blacks most...
obama..."

Hey dwight,

Remember this quotable quote?
6/30/2010 1:20:01 PM
dwight wrote:

"....you blame but offer no solutions...
in my book, it makes you useless..."

Posted by: abqbb | July 3, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Every time Michael Steele manages to firmly wedge his foot in his mouth all pundits begin the countdown to his resignation or termination.

Gene, Steele is shameless. He would never quit. Further, he's counting on the GOP's shame is firing the only black guy in such a high place. Of course the choice to have him was poor. The GOP wanted to counter the black guy in the White House, but regretted it ever since.

Posted by: Single_Payer | July 3, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Mr. Steele is correct on both accounts.

First, it is NOW Mr. Obama's war regardless of what the liberals think (Frankly, the Bush Adminstration knew better than getting too seriously involved in Afghanistan).

Second, Mr. Steele is absolutley correct. Who in their right mind would want to send troops to the mountains of Afghanistan where on rebel with a machine gun can slow down the progress of an entire platoon for days (this is not faluja where a Apache can dessimate a group of insurgents in minutes).

President Bush fought the right war (he went to the source of Al-Qaida, where the oil money came from). Thank to president Bush, an oil barrel is $70 and not $150 and therefore less money is going to Bin Laden

Posted by: ahchilekbiha | July 4, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Hey Eugene, I hope you're gone by morning. You're a tired old relic, a dated partisan hack; you went out of style with the Afro. I mean I'm happy to take the opportunity to repeatedly point out how lame and partisan and old and silly your work is, but I'm sure so many people are just getting tired of seeing you. Why don't you quit, do us all a favor?

Posted by: subframer | July 4, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Even though Scar1 does not exactly like Chairmen Steele, I hate to see any Black man go down like this. So, he has his opinion but, the GOP does not want to let him open his mouth right now because they think they have a chance in elections. And they use Steele really. He is just there with no actual authority. When will he see this and turn Democrat? Lord, whisper in his ear. This will really set GOP off-hope he slaps them in the gut!!

Posted by: Scar1 | July 5, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Michael Steele should not have attempted to politicize the Afgan war, not only did he mis state the facts, he displayed a complete lack of interigity Whether he should resign or not is not for me to say, but I must point out that none of this outrage was apparent during the height of the Iraq war,
Nobody called for Harry Reid or Hillary Clinton to resign, when Harry declared the war lost, or Hillary denounced General Petraeuses,m and practical called him a liar.
Michael mad a big mistake, but lets get real, the democrats always seem to get a pass.

Partisan politics should end at the waters edge.

Some of those calling for Michaels head should remember that!

Posted by: emmettshortsr | July 5, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Michael Steele should not have attempted to politicize the Afgan war, not only did he mis state the facts, he displayed a complete lack of interigity Whether he should resign or not is not for me to say, but I must point out that none of this outrage was apparent during the height of the Iraq war,
Nobody called for Harry Reid or Hillary Clinton to resign, when Harry declared the war lost, or Hillary denounced General Petraeuses,m and practical called him a liar.
Michael mad a big mistake, but lets get real, the democrats always seem to get a pass.

Partisan politics should end at the waters edge.

Some of those calling for Michaels head should remember that!

Posted by: emmettshortsr | July 5, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

For God's sake, don't fire Steele! He is a gift that keeps on giving.

What amazes me is that so many of the posters here rely so much on the Faux News and Limbaugh stories that are very deficient on facts! It's tragic that so many have been "dumbed down" to accept fantasy as fact.

Doesn't speak well of our population!!!

Posted by: ginger470132 | July 5, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Steele definately made a whopper of an inacurate and destructive comment. The difference is when it happens on the left they forgive it, when on the right , they insist that heads roll.

Posted by: joanz3 | July 5, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Ginger has not been dumbed down. It's impossible to dumb her down any farther.

Posted by: wcag | July 5, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't know. Seems like there are two sides to Chrm Mike's comments. 1) He seems to be completely ignoring the fact that Bush started the Afghan war, while 2) being very aware of one fact that most Americans don't want to face: that the Afghan war is unwinnable.
This is a curious juxtaposition of fantasy and truth statements, and one can only wonder at what he is up to.
AS you noted, though, he is the gift that keeps on giving (for Dems), and we should all hope that Chrm Mike remains the public face of the GOP - at least through the Fall elections. His statements and behavior could go a long way to saving the elections for the Dems.

Posted by: misterp | July 5, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have Michael Steele. Dems have Biden. At least, Steele is not one heartbeat away from being president.

Posted by: groovercg | July 5, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have Michael Steele. Dems have Biden. At least, Steele is not one heartbeat away from being president.

Posted by: groovercg | July 5, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh for pity sake, suegbic1! "The Obama administration has made a minor police administration become a major war that we should not be fighting." The "minor police administration" (btw...what the heck is that?) you refer to began with Bush/Cheney in 2001.By 2002 the U.S.had Karzai installed as the puppet head of state and Bush turned his sights on Iraq, figuring it was a "slam dunk".Obama escaped, the Bush/Cheney geniuses put the war on auto pilot and sold the American public the lie about WMD's.And from that brilliant idea and glorious start, America continued to mire itself further into the Big GOP Lie. As Powell said, Iraq is "like an antique's shop, you break it and you've bought it" This is just one of the disastrous policies that the GOP burdened this country with during the eight year reign of madness that ended in financial meltdown and quagmire. If we ever get out of this mess, it sure as HELL won't be because of the damn fools that got us into it. Stop listening to FOX and brush up on the actual timeline, cupcake.

Posted by: blosmurph | July 6, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

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