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White House Cheat Sheet: Five Reasons Why Steele Stays

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has taken heat of late from members of his own party. (AP Photo/ABC News, Lauren Victoria Burke)

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele made a bad situation worse on Thursday when comments he made during an interview with GQ magazine several weeks ago about abortion as an "individual choice" gained wide circulation.

As we noted in a story in today's paper, Steele's comments to GQ's Lisa DePaulo drew harsh rebukes from leaders in the social conservative movement from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state and the man who may have put Steele over the top by eleventh-hour endorsement in the RNC race, was particularly stinging in his criticism.

"Chairman Steele needs to reread the Bible, the U.S. Constitution and the 2008 GOP Platform," Blackwell said. "He then needs to get to work or get out of the way."

So, is Steele's chairmanship over before it ever really started?

No. And here are five reasons why:

1. No More Drama: The Republican Party is reeling from a disastrous 2008 election and a race for party chair that publicly exposed the fissures between its warring factions. The last thing the party needs now is further chaos at the top, which is what would almost certainly ensue if Steele was ousted.

2. Symbolic Suicide: In the after-action report of the 2006 and 2008 elections, Republican operatives concluded that one of the party's biggest problems was that they were viewed as the party of old white men. Putting Steele atop their party infrastructure was a move greeted with a sigh of relief by the GOP's professional political class. Pushing Steele aside just over a month into his tenure would send the exact wrong message about who the Republican Party is and where it's going.

3. If Not Steele, Who?: The field for RNC chair was roundly panned as lacking any real star power. Among a group of largely unknown party chairs from around the country, Steele was the only candidate who could make the case that he could be a star thanks to his personal magnetism and charisma. While that bet hasn't paid off to date, there's not an obvious candidate who could step into the void if Steele was knocked out.

4. Procedural Problems: National party committees are ruled by a series of arcane rules and procedures for doing just about anything. (Ask anyone who attended the RNC chair election; it seemed to go on forever.) Removing a party chairman, not surprisingly, is not something that can be done quickly or easily.

5. Positive Movement: After a month occupied by a huge internal review led by a committee of 10 RNC members, the senior staff is starting to fall into place. Ken McKay, a former chief of staff to Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri, was named executive director on Thursday, and today Trevor Francis, a managing director in Burson-Marsteller's media practice, will be announced as communications director. Putting the senior staff in place should quiet some of the chatter that the committee is off the rails.

Sked Stuff: Larry Summers, part of the dual-headed Obama economic team, heads to the Brookings Institution to deliver a speech on "the Obama administration's economic program and the prospects for the American economy," according to the White House. Summers' speech will draw massive coverage as questions have increased over the past week about the efficacy of the president's moves on the economy.

Friday Must Reads: If it's Friday, it's time for "Friday Night Lights" -- the best show on television. Period.

1. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is under fire -- even from some Democrats!
2. A D.C. government building is raided and President Obama's Chief Information Officer is put on leave. (Hat tip to Ben Smith who started it all.)
3. Al Franken rests (his case in the Minnesota election contest, that is).
4. New York Assemblyman Jim Tedisco has turned on the national party and is going to do things his own way in the final 18 days of the special election in New York's 20th district. Ruh roh.
5. Robin Givhan on Michelle Obama's arms.

AJS Launches Card Check Ads: Americans for Job Security, a conservative outside group, will target a handful of undecided senators with print ads in their hometown newspapers this weekend urging opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), according to a source familiar with the group. The targets include Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). AJS is spending in the low six figures on the ads and may well follow up with television commercials targeting these same members, said the source. The fight over EFCA, which was introduced in the House and Senate this week, is already in full campaign mode with nearly every campaign operative in the country working on some aspect of the issue. "Swing a dead cat and you will hit someone doing something somewhere," Republican direct mail consultant Dan Hazelwood said of the number of his colleagues doing work on EFCA.

Mather to Ag: Chris Mather, a veteran Democratic campaign operative, has landed at the Department of Agriculture where she will be the communications director for Secretary Tom Vilsack. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Mather served as press secretary for Dr. Jill Biden and prior to that gig spent time at the labor union Change To Win as the political director.

2012 Like It's Tomorrow: Don't look now but Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is putting together a very interesting résumé as he preps for a presidential bid in 2012. The latest feather in his cap? A package of bills that will significantly expand not only the number of Utah residents able to receive health care insurance but also the accessibility of services. "There isn't another state in America that wouldn't want to trade place with where we are with this legislation," Huntsman told the Salt Lake Tribune. In other Huntsman news, South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, who is running for governor in 2010, announced Thursday he would travel to Utah over the weekend to meet with Huntsman and discuss Utah's success in prospering amid the national economic crisis. Keep an eye firmly on Huntsman; he is a player in some way or another in 2012.

Democrats' New Jersey Problem: A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Gov. Jon Corzine (D) trailing likely Republican nominee Chris Christie (sort of like Boutros Boutros Galli) 46 percent to 37 percent -- a major warning sign for Democrats this November. Christie, a former U.S. Attorney running as a sort of modern-day Elliot Ness, is benefiting from a continued souring of public opinion toward Corzine. Thirty eight percent of voters in the survey viewed Corzine favorably while 50 percent saw him in an unfavorable light -- numbers that were even more pronounced among critical independents voters (33 percent fav/54 unfav). Corzine's numbers have steadily eroded over the past six months in the Q poll, the result, at least in part, of the national financial collapse that has adversely affected the Garden State economy. In past races for Senate and governor, Corzine has used his immense personal wealth to buy his way out of the fact that he is not a terribly good candidate. It's not clear that Corzine's money will have as much impact this time around as, at least in the Q poll, it appears as though voters know him and don't like him. With Virginia already seen as a pure toss up, Republicans have reason to be optimistic that a sweep of the two governors races on the ballot this fall is at least a possibility. (For more on the best governors contests in the country, make sure to check the Fix this afternoon for our latest gubernatorial Line.)

Psaki Engaged!: White House workaholic press operative took some time off Wednesday night and wound up engaged. The joyful event went down in Psaki's Adams Morgan apartment when Greg Mecher, chief of staff to freshman Rep. Steve Driehaus (Ohio), popped the question. (He was under a little pressure since Psaki's mom got wind of the plans earlier that day.) Psaki is quite the catch for two reasons: she hails from Connecticut (best state in the union) and she sports red hair (a la Mrs. Fix). Congrats to the happy couple.

Say What?: "Let the record reflect that an N.C. State alum has asked a Tar Heel to start the questions." -- White House press secretary Robert Gibbs "allows" the Associated Press' Chuck Babington to start the questioning at Thursday's daily briefing.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 13, 2009; 5:40 AM ET
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The GOP is hell-bent on committing suicide. Every time Michael Steele makes a sensible comment -- such as criticizing Rush Limbaugh, or saying that abortion should be a matter of "individual choice", or saying something nice about gays -- he gets his head handed to him. The one thing Steele has been extremely successful at is in drawing the GOP snakes out from under their rocks and having them spit their hell-fire and brimstone at him. Steele has been a lightning rod for Republican flame-throwers. He keeps goading the GOP base into displaying their true colors to the rest of America. At this rate -- "Ah, these Republicans, I fear they're not long for this world".

Please visit my Blog:
"Conservatives Are America's Real Terrorists"

Posted by: cjprentiss | March 15, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Fox Entertainment Network... actually trying to find a comphrehensive comparison between Criminal Scheme Artist Madoff, and Our White House.

Ignorance is bliss...

Posted by: opp88 | March 15, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

If loving you is wrong. I don’t want to be right. If being right means being without you…I’d rather live a wrong doing life. Yo momma and daddy say’s its a shame…it’s a down right disgrace. But, long as I got you by my side. I don’t care what your people say. Your friends tell you, its no future in loving a married man. If I can’t see you when I want you. I see when when I can. If loving you is wrong…I don’t want to be right. If loving you is wrong…I don’t want to be right.


And am I wrong wrong… so deeply in love with you. Lord, I got a wife and two little children depending on me to. And am I wrong to hunger for the gentness of your touch. Lord I got someone else at home that needs me just as much. If loving you is wrong..I don’t want to be right..If loving you is wrong..I don’t want to be right…

Posted by: opp88 | March 15, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: opp88 | March 15, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

the GOP faithful are already rolling out theyre nominees for 2012. here the link


Posted by: crimesw1 | March 14, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I like Michael Steele and was glad to see him as head of the RNC. I hope he can get past this rough patch.

What he should do is what Howard Dean (God forgive me) did with the Democratic Pary...send financial resources to further develop state party organizations. It worked well. Even formerly Red States benefitted by that move.

Mr. Steele's role should be boosting party organizations and finding good candidates.

Posted by: Darlene_Jr | March 13, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Steele definitely sucks at the job - of trying to resusitate the dying GOP dinosaur. The blog is coorect, though, the GOP has no one else who is better. They cannot tap the old Nixon and Bush era Repubes. They have the stain. Resusitation may take a little time.


Posted by: free-donny | March 13, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

"Steele was the only candidate who could make the case that he could be a star thanks to his personal magnetism and charisma."

When exactly has Steele displayed this personal magnestism and charisma?? Certainly not during his campaigns in Maryland. The Republicans have chosen to elevate someone who has never been succesful in business or politics beyond being added to the Republican ticket in a transparent move to attract some of the black vote. Is this the best the Republicans could find??? If so, awful good news for the Democrats.

Posted by: jacobson98 | March 13, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Why do Republicans scream about right-to-life and in the same breath utter racist profanities, preach about the love-of-money and advocate capital executions.

I am a proud Democrat, a Christian and I am against both executions and abortions. I really don’t see how people who call themselves Republicans intend to get into heaven. Other then their opposition to abortion, their positions tend to be in direction conflict to the teachings of Jesus and borders on evil.

Posted by: question-guy | March 13, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I told before and I telling now, to remove Mr.Steele at this moment, will be a gravest mistake for GOP. I find it very hard to believe that some political distractors have inherent deficiency of "having patience and common sense". These trigger-happy guys will always spoil the "broth"< the recovery plan. They must be stopped before it is too late.

Posted by: dsar | March 13, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Seems like most have missed an obvious likely scenario:

Michael Steele "resigns".

Posted by: Keenobserver | March 13, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Be honest Cillizza, The biggest reason Mike Steele stays is because he is the GOP's token black.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | March 13, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Reason number 6: The position is meaningless to the white ringers.

Posted by: whocares666 | March 13, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Democrats or Republicans; just two piles of the same sh!t

Posted by: retro2 | March 13, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

5 Reasons Why I Will No Longer Call My Self A Republican:

1) The Nomination of John McCain

2) The Chairmanship of Mr. Steele

3) The party's disregard for Ron Paul, even though he was the third biggest GOP fundraiser.

4) Hugely out of date on tech issues

5) The Republican House Policy Commitee coming out in FAVOR of the bailouts.

Posted by: jimmymist | March 13, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

in this corner: Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Party...in the other corner, the eminent Roland Burris, junior senator from the state of Illinois...first one to convince their constituency that they are honest wins! All right gentlemen, I want a clean fight, no biting, elbows or head-butts, shake hands and come out fighting.

Posted by: dubya19391 | March 13, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Blackwell should read the Constitution in it's entirety. Steele is backing the right to privacy that Chief Justice Roberts believes is there. Thomas and Alito do not giving us unchallenged Schiavo type laws that invade family decisions. On a different subject, ROFLMAO at the conservative anti-union Americans for Job Security oxymoron name. Can you say Wal-Mart goes to court secret balloteers. Put their firing of any union organizer before a jury and they will pay dearly.

Posted by: jameschirico | March 13, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The abortion issue was settled with Rowe v. Wade. It's over. It must be the Conservative and Republican position to be against abortion and maintain that stand. But they cannot effect any changes in the law not can they effect any court decisions at this point. Let's try to minimize abortions.

Posted by: hz9604 | March 13, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Hey, Scrivener, shut the ***k up!"

Yeah, that guy is a sick, sick person. I hope everyone complains often. For a person to take pleasure in TIm Johnson's AVM and Ted Kennedy's GBM is just disgusting.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 13, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I would rather quit the Republican party than accept the "quid pro quo" politics that characterizes the Democrat party. Conservatives and the Republicans need to embrace free market principles regardless of a person's race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, occupation, business and so on. They need to commit to creating a level playing field that does not tolerate discrimination whatsoever.

Michael Steel needs to support this. Michael Steele needs to keep the bar high and encourage those not traditionally associated with Republicans to try it. But do not expect handouts like Nancy Pelosi and her elitist, condescending gang. We don't want people to aim high, we want them to aim higher.

Posted by: hz9604 | March 13, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Former Maryland Lt. Governor Steele needs a good 12 weeks inside a Republican indoctrination camp. He should know better than to permit mere females and their physicians to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy. That's the purview of religious conservative white men and men only.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | March 13, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

ALL of my attempts to post substantive comments here today have been "held for the blog owner" -- and I do NOT believe the message is emanating from Wa-Po. So I ask all readers here to please help restore free speech in America:

Posted by: scrivener50


You're obviously not playing with a full deck and insist on posting your repetitive "substantive" posts all over the place.

You've been flagged as a SPAMMER because you're annoying everyone else on WaPo and they've been reporting you for weeks. Go away or participate in the topic at hand. Stop spamming.

Posted by: theobserver4 | March 13, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"koolkat said:

"Steele will heed Blackwell's warning in spades."

"No racial comments, please.


Now, that's funny. :)"

Thanks, I'll be here all week.

Sadly, playing "Where's Steele" at a typical GOP gathering would be easier than playing Where's Waldo.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 13, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse


TO: "solomontemple" (A Semitic reference?)

Is this your way of saying "Kill the messenger"?

Must be a pretty important message.

So here are those links again:



OR (if links are disabled / corrupted):


Posted by: scrivener50 | March 13, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

This is one minority guy who is getting slammed constantly...and no one ever mentions racism.

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 13, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

“A black man voting for the Republicans makes about as much sense as a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.”

--- These words of wisdom are from the father of J. C. Watts, the former Republican Representative (1995-2003) from Oklahoma who was then the only black GOP member of Congress.

Steele must know that the GOP picked him to chair the RNC because of the color of his skin, not for his counsel.

He should also know that certain words -- such as "choice," "evolution" and "science" -- cannot be spoken in public.

Mr. Steele, shame on you for speaking up, and then backing down. You should now quietly move to the back of the GOP bus.

You can sit next to Bobby Jindal. Rush Limbaugh will drive you both in the “right” direction -- right off the cliff.

For serious commentary on deadly serious issues (with generous doses of humor), you can now download for FREE the entire $25.95 book, "The Bush League of Nations: The Coalition of the Unwilling, the Bullied and the Bribed – the GOP’s War on Iraq and America," by James A. Swanson (2008, CreateSpace Publishing, 448 pages).


I ask for nothing in return, except that you consider using my free book as a resource to help restore and build America.

James A. Swanson, Los Altos, CA
"The Bush League of Nations"
www.bushleagueofnations.com [for FREE download of entire $25.95 book]

Posted by: jimswanson | March 13, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

With five such good reasons to stay - it seems like the RNC should consider downsizing a couple of positions.

Used to be that military service was a benefit when running for office, not I think it should be having been laid-off at sometime in one's past.

Posted by: DonJasper | March 13, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"Why can't you have your links, especially the "must-reads" open in a separate window? "

If your mouse has a wheel, click on it with that.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 13, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Please GOP! Keep Steele on! He has been a walking disaster ever since he was elected! He has spent more time correcting himself than he has articulating GOP policy (not that they have a coherent policy!). Keep putting your foot in your mouth Mike!

Posted by: whirlwind81 | March 13, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully we can turn this economy around and actually focus on solving the deeper, systemic issues for why we're in this situation. Obviously bad banking's a good place to start, but there are other issues, like global poverty, that have huge economic and geopolitical ramifications.

The Borgen Project (www.borgenproject.org) has some interesting insight into addressing the issues of global poverty, something we can remedy easily and sustainably.

Some interesting figures to ponder:
$30 billion USD: The annual shortfall to end global poverty.
$550 billion USD: The annual US defense budget.

Posted by: concernedcitizen1111 | March 13, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

all two of the remaining repubs hate him.

Posted by: robertell | March 13, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele is the dumb-@$$-MoFo that the Republicans have set up to be the fall guy when the Republicans get their next thrashing in 2010.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | March 13, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

koolkat said:

"Steele will heed Blackwell's warning in spades."

"No racial comments, please.


Now, that's funny. :)

Posted by: mypitts2 | March 13, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

bgreen2224, your heart is in the right place, but please, remember who we're talking about, here.

Point by point:

"Quit trying to control women" -- This is the GOP -- you seriously think they trust women to do as they say? Even Caribou Barbie couldn't stay on script.

"Shut up about your religion" -- This, to a pack of frothing-at-the-mouth Christian fundamentalist True Believers? Good luck with that one, pal.

"Represent citizens instead of your 'philosophy'" -- They don't HAVE a philosophy, they have a THEOLOGY. Faith trumps reason every time with this crowd. And why would they care about the citizenry? These people profess to 'love' America, but they loathe 80% of the people IN America.

"Stop hating" -- What, and give up their primary motivating force?

"Admit your mistakes, correct them and move on" -- That's funny. God is on their side, and God doesn't make mistakes, so therefore, neither do they. It is we, the unelect, who must profess the error of OUR ways, and come around to THEIR way of thinking.

Really, there's no point in trying to lead these folks out of the woods. Any group that would proudly profess their entire political philosophy as, "Yeah, what RUSH said!" is beyond salvation, and deservedly so. Let them fester in their failure.

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | March 13, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

GOP needs to drop confirmed KKK leader Limbaugh from their ranks. Until they put him in his place, they will keep losing ground. Well on their way to becoming minorities themselves. Recent overexposure has really damaged them. The more the American public see them the worse they look. Hide for a while and regroup.

Posted by: Hoffmann1 | March 13, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

As a democrat, I'd like to see Steele continue to ruffle feathers of the good ol' rich, white folk network that is the GOP party.

Will never get enough of that.

Posted by: jfern03 | March 13, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The reason Gelatin stays is because the Repos and Trash Limbaugh need an oreo as a token show of openness.
Does he really think the Repos elected him for his merits?
As Trash once said: "Is all about race."

Posted by: analyst72 | March 13, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Two arrests and how many more to come on thefts of taxpayer monies? Still no investigation of the @billion stolen of the Medicare trust fund : @ 2 milliion by stealing my claims info and paying every claim 15 times and since the major re-programming of the illegal off-line system in 8/08; 12 times on 'phoney' made-up medicare numbers. Regional office didn't realize that that Vangent's instructions were to report fraud of a contractor to the alleged criminal instead of directly to Washingon Office of Inspector General. Even though the CMS OIG hasn't been permitted to investigate contractors for @ a decade, this can't be overlooked. Congress started too high in investigating former Attorney General Gonzales for firing some Federal prosecutors. The Office of Inspector General system was politicized almost 2 decades ago. There is no investigation or referral for prosecution unless the political appointee in the agency okays it. Refer to Congressional testimony obtained in a former hearing by former Congressman Shay from Ct. ( just before his own party wanted him gone? Wonder why?) That is the politicalization that affects everyone at the initial level of obtaining their rights in any dealings with the Federal government. Today, the 1-800-Medicare call centers (Vangent) subsidiary of Northrup-Grummann has not been informed to send the fraud reports to OIG instead of to Benefit Integrity Unit (A division of Group Health, who has had one of my primary payers deleted off the illegal off-line system which is what everyone of the contractors uses to advise doctors about what my coverage is. The taxpayer is paying @75% of the premiums for my Federal Blue Cross and Blue Shield and then the Director of OPM has ordered the bills "dumped" on Medicare, illegally. The official system with lots of cyber security shows the official posting from the US Department of Labor that I have two insurances that are to pay before Medicare. Many employers and agencies also post info directly to the official system- Can't steal using that system. Every claim still being paid 12 times. Once to doctor and 11 other times the monies are unaccounted for but Medicare trust fund is being docked as if I were 12 patients. {In order to solve a problem, one has to recognize a problem}. Why did Trailblazers make up 15 phoney medicare claim numbers on me? One can't deny something is awry! Linda Joy Hardy Adams aka alexisdaughter

Posted by: LindaJoyAdams | March 13, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I prefer Dollhouse, or BSG ...

As to Comrade Steele:

1. No More Drama: sorry, nobody actually believes this. The party of Fear will keep lying and keep dying in public opinion polls as a result.

2. Symbolic Suicide: True, but nobody in America is buying that they aren't still old white guys - seriously, they think we're THAT stupid?

3. If Not Steele, Who?: This is the only real argument, since they need someone besides the real Party Chair, Rush Limbaugh, to pretend to only echo what the leader says.

4. Procedural Problems: Lamest excuse ever.

5. Positive Movement: ROFLMAO.

Seriously, it's like they don't get how much we patriotic Americans in the 77 percent majority (outside of you beltway types) despise them.

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 13, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

One more slant comment, one more goofy Hip-Hop slogan, one more slip-up and Steele is OUT like poop.

Posted by: hayden1 | March 13, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The critical question, who would replace Mr. Steele and why would any serious political operative want to sign up as the cruise director of the Titanic?

The list of problems for the GOP is growing not shrinking and someone will be taking the hit. When I read that a benchmark for Mr. Steele will be the outcome of the NY-20th race, it was clear this is party that just looks for excuses to throw its own under the bus.

If I were Mr. Steele I would be sitting back and asking is this job worth it, conclude no and construct an exit strategy and do that quickly.

Posted by: oldgeek143 | March 13, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Limbaugh is not the Fuhre of the Republican Party, he is the FUROR of the Republican Party. That and only that is the reason why Steele has lost relevence. He bowed at the feet of Limbaugh. Symbolic for what FUROR Limbaugh wants President Obama to do. What the Republican Party wants President Obama to do. Because the Democrats in Congress are spineless FUROR Limbaugh and his Republican minions in Congress relevence. A beginning is to SEAT AL FRANKEN!!! Get a spine Reid.

Posted by: JDeter | March 13, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

At last Steele finally says something that is both sensible and itelligent, and look what happens. He is condemned by the self righteous bigots of the Limbaugh wing.Is there any doubt that the GOP is in shambles? The pity is that good thinking, forward conservatives will be painted with the Rush brush and forever be lost in the quagmire of bigotry and stupidity.

Posted by: jbrubin | March 13, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I thought the Republicans had voluteered for a decade long sabbatical, before I heard Steele's remarks. At least he's engaged with reality.

Posted by: secretscribe | March 13, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it ironic? The RNC abhors big government involvement preferring God and Liberty to govern. BUT...when it's newly ordained head (Steele) cites personal choice for the abortion issue the RNC constituency turns on him causing all hell and damnation to break out in favor of government stepping in. Do they really want to curtail personal relationships with God just to enforce their Almighty, one-sided view of Choice? Let me help you here...HELL YES!

At this point in time, there are more pressing issues that concern the majority rather than still beating the abortion issue which affects relatively few. There is way too much stone throwing going on at the RNC...that's why people like myself left and sought leadership elsewhere.

RNC...no wonder you can't get it right. You can't MAKE people "believe". Even good, abiding conservatives want room to trust in God and Country that might deviate a bit from the Bible. Conservatives aren't ONLY Christians so get off of your high horse.

If you give people some wiggle room and get with the 21st Century instead of damning every word and action that comes out of ANYONE's mouth, you just might find some voters who will join your 'party'. (pun intended)

Posted by: rjs_donal | March 13, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Scrivener, shut the ***k up!

Posted by: solomontemple | March 13, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Chris -
Why can't you have your links, especially the "must-reads" open in a separate window?

Posted by: annieb346 | March 13, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

it does not matter whether steele go or stay, the ingredient's in the cake decide
if the cake is tasty or not.the republican party has lost its attraction they have proven to the middle class, and the poor they have no patient, nor love, for them! so now we have no love for them period.
its an old slogan, that hold true even today
you can't make a delicious chicken salad
out of chicken sh-t.

Posted by: starry99eyes2003 | March 13, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

the rightwingers are insane. glenn beck admits it.

"There was a remarkable segment on Glen Beck’s show yesterday, thankfully captured by Matt Corley in which Beck was basically outlining his view that the reason you see spree killings like the one in Alabama is that conservatives are so deranged, and so racist, that when people point out that they’re being racist they can’t help but fly into a psychotic rage and commit multiple murders. Really:

BECK: But as I’m listening to him. I’m thinking about the American people that feel disenfranchised right now. That feel like nobody’s hearing their voice. The government isn’t hearing their voice. Even if you call, they don’t listen to you on both sides. If you’re a conservative, you’re called a racist. You want to starve children.


BECK: Yada yada yada. And every time they do speak out, they’re shut down by political correctness. How do you not have those people turn into that guy?

O’REILLY: Well, look, nobody, even if they’re frustrated, is going to hurt another human being unless they’re mentally ill. I think.

BECK: I think pushed to the wall, you don’t think people get pushed to the wall?"

Posted by: drindl | March 13, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"Steele will heed Blackwell's warning in spades."

No racial comments, please.


Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 13, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Look out, Reagan Republican -- it's a vast leftwing conspiracy.

No wonder your party is failing epically. You people are just f*cking credulous morons.

Posted by: drindl | March 13, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse


I prefer Subway to Blimpie.

Now that's a post that should go through unimpeded. Maybe I should add a relevant link for the "educated consumer"...



The "extrajudicial punishment network" is a "multi-agency" coordinated "action program" -- but insiders call it "the program."


Posted by: scrivener50 | March 13, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The whole Steele "controversy" is yet another attempt at baiting fake fights on the right as a smokescreen to divert attention from Obama's ongoing demolition of the country- and divide his GOP opponents... >yawn<
Of course Team Obama's attacks against Limbaugh have failed spectacularly, with his radio audience already doubled by the exposure. Now millions more people who would never had heard him will be tuning-in to hear what's wrong with Obama's socialist schemes and what a moral black-hole he is.
First the White House takes shots at Limbaugh, then the DNC runs anti-Limbaugh ads (even some in Spanish), then the press drills every GOP official about Limbaugh, then the left-leaning press takes the worst reactions and tries to create a false crisis out of it... wherever could such a strategy have sprung from?
Obama mentor Saul Alinsky’s handbook Rules for Radicals outlines the techniques used by this administration to try and break any link between Rush Limbaugh’s influence and the GOP- it’s basically a divide-and-conquer approach-


Posted by: ReaganiteRepublican | March 13, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

We're bored with this topic, Chris.

It's time to moveon!

How about covering the further implosion of the Right, with the plucky Meghan McCain [the future of the R party, if it has one, along with Bristol Palin, who has learned some hard lessons along the way] pitted against the vicious cougars of the Right, like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, who are now attacking her because she dared to say Coulter was a turn-off...

"Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported that right-wing radio talker Laura Ingraham attacked Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) daughter, Meghan, by mocking her as “plus-sized.” McCain responded yesterday on Twitter, telling Ingraham to “stop talking about my body“:

In a follow-up tweet, McCain wrote: “To all my girls out there. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your body! I love my curves and you should love you.'

Posted by: drindl | March 13, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"It is constant surveillance, uninterrupted,"

here's something to give you nightmares, scrivner.


Big Brother the Blimp

Posted by: drindl | March 13, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"Re Steele: The Republicans are damned if they get rid of him and damned if they don't. If they keep Steele, they could conceivably begin broadening the appeal of the party, assuming he's got the guts to continue to speak his beliefs. However, by keeping Steele, this allows the divisions in the GOP to become more pronounced and antagonistic"

I think that would be a net win for the Republicans, no? These divisions have a way of vanishing around election time.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 13, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: sm98yth | March 13, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Everything Steele says is dumb. RNC needs to remove him. I am refusing to donate anything to RNC until he is removed.

Posted by: mascmen7 | March 13, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

ALL of my attempts to post substantive comments here today have been "held for the blog owner" -- and I do NOT believe the message is emanating from Wa-Po. So I ask all readers here to please help restore free speech in America:


Do something -- tell your story to the American Civil Liberties Union (link below).

And read in the "comments" section the ongoing account of a journalist in search of his First Amendment rights.

Then demand that ACLU renew its free speech fight by filing a class-action suit against unconstitutional, rogue government surveillance operations.



Posted by: scrivener50 | March 13, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Five steps the Republicans must take to survive:

Quit trying to control women. Women have ALWAYS been in charge of their bodies and will ALWAYS be. Yes, even your wives and daughters.

Shut up about your religion. Our country was founded on religious freedom and your party shrivels and dies every time you let Tony Perkins or another evangelo-terrorist speak for you. Enjoy the freedom.

Represent citizens instead of your 'philosophy'. Have a little talk with those really stupid Governors who are refusing stimulus money that could substantially improve the lives of the people in their states. Put your WHOLE Country First -- no, I mean really.

Stop hating. There is limit to the disrespect you can foist on other people simply for the sake of raising more money and votes from your base. Among your 'values, cling to the values of restraint and understanding and recognize that you don't walk in everybody else's shoes, nor they yours.

Admit your mistakes, correct them and move on. Stop cutting taxes while you run up huge defecits, stop lying to the people who trust you. Get rid of the scum in your party who seek power to govern without compassion or inclusion of the minority view. Be adults instead of selfish, spoiled brats.

So there's a start. Give 'em a try. You might survive the next election cycle

Posted by: bgreen2224 | March 13, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"The last thing the party needs now is further chaos at the top, which is what would almost certainly ensue if Steele was ousted.'

Too late! The man is what he is -- a loose cannon. Further drama cannot help but ensue. It's a battle to the death between him and Lush Limbaugh -- like a WWF championship in clown shoes.

Posted by: drindl | March 13, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Five reason why he stays:

1) he can kiss Rush's a$$ and smile about it
2) he does what he's told
3) he's substantiates the GOP view of minorities
4) he's can fetch and step
5) he knows how to back-pedal

Posted by: xconservative | March 13, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

There is considerable dissatisfaction with both parties. The need for a viable third party is more important today than ever before. But until the strangle hold on the voting rules, controlled by Democrats and Republicans, that is not likely to happen. There is a need for a fiscally responsible party that will start to cut entitlement programs and return to basic work values that made our country strong. The religious wing nuts need to go to church and the government needs to maintain strong separation of church and state. Get control of illegal aliens and change the anchor baby law, stop paying social security to immigrants and people that do not pay into it, don't send any federal funds to so called sanctuary cities. Start weeding out government unions and their bloated overheads. Ban foreign lobbyists(yes we allow foreign countries to lobby our government). Forget cap and trade, UN tax resolutions and Law of the Sea all programs to redistribute our wealth to third world countries and expand socialism.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | March 13, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse


You have nailed it. R's can't afford more drama. They simply need to call Steele into the woodshed, from which he will emerge stating that he "misspoke."

Basically, his political stock is very low but he will be given a chance to see if he can orchestrate a Congressional win in the Gillibrand district. If not, then he is done and the heck with drama--there will be change Republicans can believe in.

Posted by: jshaver001 | March 13, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

No wonder the Republicans as a party are floundering when as Ken Blackwell put it "Chairman Steele needs to reread the Bible, the U.S. Constitution and the 2008 GOP Platform". Shows just how screwed up their priorities are.

When candidates are elected to Congress they take an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." So their first priority should be to the Constitution not the bible.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | March 13, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Those are not five reasons why Steele will stay.

They are five reasons why Steele 'should' stay.

All five reasons presume that the actors involve will make the right decisions and not act out of haste or emotion. Basically, the list of 5 Reasons only makes sense if you believe that recent past performance is no guide at all, and everyone will suddenly become calm, cool and adult over what is a rapidly overheating situation.

Here's an edit to the Five Reasons that doesn't presuppose so much:

1. There will be more drama. If recent past performance by the important players is any indicator, there will be more drama. It just won't stop for no reason.

2. Symbolic suicide. Removing Steele would send the exact wrong message, but proponents of such a move would argue and believe that the message coming from Steele has been the exact wrong message and removing him would stop that.

3. If not Steele, who? If Steele has become, by default, the indispensable RNC chairman, then the Republican Party is in even more trouble that previously indicated. Some will sure argue that forcing a crisis by moving to remove Steele may be the best way to force a better candidate to come forward.

4. Procedural problems. I don't see how this is a serious problem. What, are there no lawyers left in the Republican Party?

5. Positive movement. The placement of these allegedly credible people can be taken as an argument to remove Steele. Proponents could point to the competent staff in place now and see that these people can be trusted to keep things going while the chairmanship issue is sorted out. I can actually be credibly argued that Steele hasn't been forced out at this point in part because of fears that there'd be no one to mind the store.

The 5 Reasons only work if everybody involved make the right decisions and acts rationally. Given recent past performance that's a pretty risky assumption.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | March 13, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

it all depends on his ability to rule over the diverse branches of the republican party (isn't it a hoot to think of the republicans being diverse?)..there is
1. the moderate branch..they are middle of the road, and may from time to time vote for a democrat..
2. the religious branch..by religious, we are talking christianity..
3. the really rich..they want to CONSERVE their wealth..they send the message to the other branches..
4. the redneck faction..guns..thinly veiled racism..
5. the brownshirts..the activist thugs..think rove..think limbaugh..
tough gig for steele..
i bet he does not succeed..

Posted by: w04equals666 | March 13, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Steele will be gone by MEmorial Day 2009.


Posted by: swanieaz | March 13, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Steele will heed Blackwell's warning in spades. He will get to work by getting out of the way . . . of the media. From now on, he'll be quiet as a church mouse and listen while preachers Perkins and Huckabee get the dwindling revival crowd all jacked up with their talents on loan from GAWD. Steele's in the big GOP tent. He's the one setting up all the empty folding chairs.

Posted by: optimyst | March 13, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Re Utah governor Huntsman: I'm a liberal Democrat and I was very impressed when I heard Huntsman interviewed on Weekend Edition on NPR several weeks back. He principally talked about moving state employees to a 10 hour day, 4 day week (except for critical emergency personnel, of course) in a move to cut government costs. He had migrated many government permitting functions and such to the Internet prior to creating the 4 day week,which he said was driven by trying to cut energy costs enough so that he might be able to avoid furloughing workers. I found myself saying, "This is a Republican...from Utah?!?"

Posted by: jhpurdy | March 13, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I will take the job, for half the money; at least I am a true Conservative. What is it with the Republicans picking these RINO's?

Posted by: yokohlman | March 13, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday Mr. Steele was in Portland. He raised about 200,000 dollars, which is of course pocket change (even in these times in this state) for a candidate for Governor (Tiernan, a right wing has been, who is dead-on-arrival).

Steele said:

"At this moment, we have to acknowledge that their team has a better game plan, their team has the better players and their team has the winning way,"

"What is important for us to do as a party is to adapt to the new realities that the Democrats have created very successfully."

He is either a visionary or he is toast.

In a palpable way, he was attacking Rush Limbaugh (and the person he was shilling for!) as being wrong for and about the future of the GOP.

But did't we deconstruct this topic yesterday?

Posted by: shrink2 | March 13, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is putting together a very interesting résumé as he preps for a presidential bid in 2012. The latest feather in his cap? A package of bills that will significantly expand not only the number of Utah residents able to receive health care insurance but also the accessibility of services."

Sounds like this guy bears watching. He might be timing the ideological shift in the GOP perfectly. My guess is that if the GOP stays reactonary & hard right with their 2010 candidates, they will lose seats or stand pat. If they move towards the middle, they're more likely to pick up seats. In either of those cases, a moderate candidate will be looking good for 2012.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 13, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Reason #1: Because the racists that run the GOP realize it is bad PR to admit they appointed a token.

Posted by: hiberniantears | March 13, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Steele just needs to accept that he's a token and a puppet. Then he needs to learn his lines. Then all the Repubs will be happy happy happy.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | March 13, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Reasons: Non-repairable and/or obsolete.

A defect Steele.
Steele normally is a great "asset" to invest in and most widely recycled, it’s just too bad this one's been contaminated.

Find a steel that devoted exclusively to cherish and defend the great American principles of individual liberty, constitutional government, sound money, free markets, open to friendship, honest free trade and diplomacy as foreign policy of peace and prosperity.

Give us what we've ask and will invest in it. It's maybe too late that they've been vanished. Sad...

"Never invest in failing asset" - Gold & Silver

Posted by: josephle2k | March 13, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Friday Night Lights IS one of the best shows on television - agreed.. Let's hope Numbnuts Broadcasting Company doesn't cancel it!

Posted by: dd1101a | March 13, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse


Read the original report, listen to the full audio transcript and see comments and follow-up at:


(posted by a crusader for the restoration of free speech in America.)

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 13, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Finally, the last reason for honest Christian folk to support dishonest, greedy, pension robbing, warmongering idiots has gone & now we can look forward to many years of democrat gov.

Posted by: transmute | March 13, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse


Do something -- tell your story to the American Civil Liberties Union (link below).

And read in the "comments" section the ongoing account of a journalist in search of his First Amendment rights.

Then demand that ACLU renew its free speech fight by filing a class-action suit against unconstitutional, rogue government surveillance operations.




(Please forward this post to Washington Post legal counsel.)

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 13, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

If you want to know why the republican party is falling apart just look at their values. They are all against many private decisions like abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research.

America, the land of the free, likes the fact that we have a 4th amendment that lets us make our own choices.

If you start telling us what we can and can't do, then you will start losing our support.

That is why the democrats are winning. They are the party of equal rights and freedom.

You want to have a gay marriage? That is your choice, do what you want and leave me out of it. You want to have an abortion because you are poor and cant support the kid? Your choice. You want to do drugs and party all night? Your liver, not mine. As long as you do not apply your problems to mine, I don't care what you do. That is what America is founded on, and that is how I like it.

Posted by: Independent4tw | March 13, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Do you ever get the sense that the FIX is the CNBC of politics.

He wont call out BS when its smells like it and looks like it. Steele wont go because they dont want drama.... STEELE IS DRAMA!!!!

Links to articles about Dems bashing Obama, while he is still getting ready for 2012 50 DAYS INTO OBAMAS PRESIDENCY!!!!!

Doesnt mention Congress approval rating going up because THATS NOT GOOD FOR THE GOP COMING BACK. Because Chris needs the horse race.


I dont Twitter, so TWITTER FAIL.

Posted by: PJF311 | March 13, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

All I have to say is that the Repubs have their priorities laid out clearly:

Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state and the man who may have put Steele over the top by eleventh-hour endorsement in the RNC race, was particularly stinging in his criticism.

"Chairman Steele needs to reread the Bible, the U.S. Constitution and the 2008 GOP Platform," Blackwell said. "He then needs to get to work or get out of the way."

Like all religious extremists, they place their religion above the law. If the Repubs get back in control, I hear we are going to start stoning heretics, burning witches and all the conservative family values that they mouth but never practice.

Posted by: HappyInMaryland | March 13, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Re: Friday Night Must reads;

Robin Givhan should concentrate on the meaningless frippery of the fashion world and stop making judgemental statements about people outside of the industry she covers. Her comments on Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama are why I never read ANYTHING she publishes.

Those who can, do.

Those who can also communicate, teach.

Those incapable of contributing to society become professional critics.

Posted by: bizecology | March 13, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

This idiot Steele is symptomatic of the republican party dysfunction. I wish there was a fiscally conservative party that was also scientific, enlightened, and forward looking- maybe I am asking too much. The current administration apparently isn't too confidence inspiring either, given wall streets reaction to Geithner's piecemeal approach, and China's recent comments indicating that they are worried about our ability to pay off all of the debt that is being amassed. China really should cut off our credit line- that may be the only thing that will stop this government from spending us into bankruptcy.

Posted by: davideconnollyjr | March 13, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Someone should remind Gibbs that NC State Alums try to refrain from speaking to Tar Heels as much as possible as to not get infected with the rare form of Argyle Sweater Around the Neck Fever that seems to infect every male student that attends UNC.

Posted by: AndyR3 | March 13, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse


In reference to Michael Steele weathering the storm, his pro-choice advocacy could really put him on the ropes. Your strongest point is no. 4 -- i.e., procedurally, it's just hard to oust him.
No. 3 could be a factor, especially considering that the runner-up to the position, the man Steele barely beat, is Katon Dawson, who for 12 years belonged to a segregated country club. Democrats would have a field day if he were chosen after Steele gets booted.

As for No. 1 - Steele himself is drama personified and there is no indication he is getting better.

No. 2 - As for the GOP sending "the exact wrong message about who the Republican Party is and where it's going." There is little indication that proper messaging and broader appeal have been a concern of the Republican Party. That is partly why they're in the jam they're in. If this was a top concern, they would have stood four-square behind Steele in his relatively mild criticism of Limbaugh and not let the latter hijack the party. Steele losing that battle hurt the party dearly.

No. 5 - Could be a factor. But positive movement on fund-raising is way more important.

Posted by: mypitts2 | March 13, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Conservative Republicans will never stand to have an RNC chairman how even flirts with being pro-choice.

Steele will be gone by the end of summer.


Posted by: parkerfl1 | March 13, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Ken Blackwell says that "Chairman Steele needs to reread the Bible, the U.S. Constitution and the 2008 GOP Platform" and then "needs to get to work or get out of the way"????

As far as I am concerned, the US Constitution and the Bible DO NOT go together. Most Americans believe in the separation of church and state, as set forth in the US Constitution. If Ken Blackwell's statement reflects the nature of the GOP Platform, then the Republican party has no chance of political survival. Perhaps they should all take a course or two in constitutional law (and economics)?

Posted by: louisegertrude | March 13, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

In addition to having been Ohio's secretary of state, he was also Chief Elections Official of Ohio and honorary co-chair of the "Committee to re-elect George W. Bush" during the 2004 election, and was responsible for shorting democratic districts on voting machines, which was the primary cause of the Bush's winning Ohio in 2004 and thus the election.

Posted by: edwardvirtually | March 13, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Well Mr. Steele it is about time.

The true Conservative believes in the individual. Each individual is empowered to make decisions, and the responsibility to live with the results of those decisions.

The Republican Party has, for too long, been held hostage by the Christian Right. Rush's right.

Both Rush and the Christian Right have failed to embrace individual rights. They are all about individuals suffering the results of bad decisions, just not on having the right to make those decisions in the first place.

Republicans keep holding up Regan as a idol, when they should be reading and thinking about Goldwater, someone even Hilary could and did support.

Posted by: kl305 | March 13, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Re Steele: The Republicans are damned if they get rid of him and damned if they don't. If they keep Steele, they could conceivably begin broadening the appeal of the party, assuming he's got the guts to continue to speak his beliefs. However, by keeping Steele, this allows the divisions in the GOP to become more pronounced and antagonistic

Re Huntsman: He probably is one to watch (at least until some dirt is dug up on him). Palin will be a footnote by then, particularly as her opportunism at the expense of her family surfaces. No surprise that Bristol and Dude Jr. have split!

Re Corzine: bye bye

Posted by: RickJ | March 13, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

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