Michael Steele ruins the GOP's month
In yet another public gaffe, Michael Steele announced Monday that he is running for a second term as Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman. Steele and his supporters argue that they produced results: The GOP took two high-profile governor's mansions in 2009 and the House of Representatives in 2010. "We fired Pelosi," he told RNC members on a conference call Monday.
In other words, Steele is living proof that correlation does not equal causation. The Republicans could have had Bernie Sanders at the RNC and still retaken the House. Steele, of course, probably wouldn't agree, since earlier this year he predicted the GOP wouldn't seize the majority at all.
One could point out that Steele also failed to keep rank-and-file Republicans -- Republicans! -- disciplined enough to make larger gains in the Senate this year. Instead of taking down Harry Reid in Nevada and capturing Joe Biden's old Senate seat in Delaware, Steele's reign saw the brief rise and fall of Sharron "Second Amendment" Angle and Christine "First Amendment" O'Donnell.
Maybe that's not fair. It's not clear that any RNC chairman short of Lee Atwater could have restrained Sarah Palin and the Tea Party in the GOP primaries this year. But Steele didn't have a chance. By 2010, his stream-of-consciousness approach to public speaking and lurid RNC expensing scandals had rendered him at least irrelevant to many donors and the rest of the Republican leadership. In October 2009, GOP congressional chiefs commanded Steele to stay out of policy. Earlier this year, aides to Republican leaders in Congress bragged publicly about how they simply worked around Chairman Mike. The last time he ran (unsuccessfully) for public office, his weightiest promise to voters was that he would get "all the players in the room" before making decisions.
Also exemplary of Steele's cluelessness was the disastrous redesign of GOP.com under his supervision, which included a chairman's blog titled, "What Up?" Perhaps he's trying to remind RNC members of his record of online outreach, since if you visit GOP.com now, you see a landing page depicting a cartoon Christmas tree next to the following message:
It's sometimes easy to take our blessings for granted. The warmth we feel when we see joy in our children's and grandchildren's eyes on Christmas morning is one such blessing -- one no American would ever trade away....
This Christmas, preserve that blessing by giving them the same gift your parents and grandparents gave you: the gift of Christmas future. By making a contribution to the Republican National Committee, you'll be providing the resources that we need to continue to protect the America you know and love. You'll also be ensuring that your children and grandchildren will be able to give future generations the same Christmas you've given them.
In a time of uncertainty, that's a gift worth giving, and one that will be cherished for years to come.
If Steele loses his job at the RNC, he might find work as a script doctor for Zales ads.
"The path to 2012 and 270 electoral votes will require leadership," the chairman said Monday. So which of your opponents did you have in mind, Mr. Steele?
| December 14, 2010; 11:36 AM ET
Categories: Stromberg | Tags: Stephen Stromberg
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