by John Hawkins | March 3, 2009 12:08 pm
When Michael Steele originally announced his intention to run for RNC Chair, I said some very nice things about him,
Michael Steele would be an excellent selection as well. He’s young, charismatic, gets it, likes the blogosphere, is popular with conservatives, and understands how to pitch younger voters.
Moreover, when the RNC Chair race turned into a two man race between Steele and Katon Dawson, I was strongly, publicly pulling for Steele.
Just in case you’re wondering – yes, I do still support him. However, his recent performance has been worrisome for a number of reasons.
Any Republican politico should know that you don’t trash Rush Limbaugh. He’s very popular with conservatives, he’s a tremendous ally of the Republican Party, and in Steele’s case, he has been one of his supporters.
Now personally, I don’t think Steele was pulling a John McCain and trashing a conservative just to get kind words from the press. I think he was hit with a meme the Democrats are trying to establish, that Rush Limbaugh is the “head of the Republican Party,” got caught flat footed, and responded poorly.
However, it’s worth noting that may have been his biggest flub, but it wasn’t his only one. On the same show with D.L. Hughley, he let Hughley’s comment that the Republican National Convention looked like Nazi Germany pass without comment (My friend Michelle Malkin and I disagree about this even after watching the tape. Her take was that Steele said “You’re right.” I watched the same tape and thought he let it pass completely). If the Chair of a Republican Party isn’t going to stand up and disagree when someone calls his side Nazis, then who is?
There are at least two problems with this.
#1) Michael Steele’s greatest strength is supposed to be his ability to communicate. That hasn’t exactly been on display so far.
#2) The biggest concern people had about Steele was that he is a moderate who can’t be trusted to represent conservative positions. Referring to Rush Limbaugh as “incendiary” and “ugly” doesn’t exactly allay that concern.
Personally, I think Steele’s biggest problem so far is that he seems to have caught that “whipped dog syndrome” that so many Republicans in D.C. have been infected with. His first impulse always seems to be to apologize for things.
How about ripping the hides off the Democrats instead? We’re having a nationwide debate about a radio talk show host. Meanwhile our radical, liberal President, Barack Obama, is destroying the stock market, running trillion dollar deficits, nationalizing industries, and planning trillion dollar tax hikes. How about, perhaps, knocking his block off for that — and if you don’t feel comfortable doing that until he gets lower approval ratings, how about hitting the other Democrats who are working hand and hand with him to ruin America’s future?
Moreover, you don’t have to kiss Rush Limbaugh’s ring — or for that matter, anybody’s ring in the Republican Party — but, it would be nice to see a little more deference and respect paid to the long suffering base of the Republican movement and its representatives. It’ll be a great day when so many Republicans stop savagely attacking their own side even as they blow baby kisses to the Democrats to show them that they’re really nice guys.
PS: I do find Steele’s comments a little worrisome and think he needs to up his game, but I do still have confidence in him and think he’ll be a huge asset to the Republican Party. I think he just needs a little more time to get in the rhythm of things.
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