Michael Steele, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee has to go, and quickly. Several reasons.
He is ineffectual as a recruiter and as an assembler of the coalitions of the various organic groups that constitute the Republican Party at the best of times. He is even less effective at being the voice of the Republican Party on major policy issues. (The fact is that he is rarely even on television, for example.) The two shortcomings have the same cause: Steele is too much of a gentleman for the times, when so much that is fundamental is at stake. He does not inspire confidence among rank-and-file Republicans. He does not inspire fear in the Democrat leadership. He will never roll in the dust with Obama and bite off his ear. Michael Steele is the kind of guy who brings a small megaphone to a knife fight.
Recently, one time, only one time, Michael Steele was caught playing the race card. He intimated that he was judged by higher standards just because he is black. That was one time too many. Even if it’s true, saying it in public shows self-indulgence. For the record, I don’t think it’s true. I suspect the reverse is true: Republicans have been accused of racism so many times that they tend to be overcautious in that area. Big lies work in the long run.
The same self indulgence would explain some of the unreasonable spending in his Steele’s circle.
The Republican Party needs a brutal fighter, armed to the teeth, who is also austere and self-disciplined. That’s in in order to capture or ally itself with the tea party movement. The other possibility is that the tea party movement will become a Tea Party and compete with the Republican Party. As a rule, third party challenges tend to take votes from those most like them and to facilitate their adversaries’ victory. Thus, in 1992, third party Ross Perot gave the presidency to minority candidate Bill Clinton. And I am not referring to Clinton as the “ first Black President” but to the percent of popular vote that earned him the presidency: 43%. Thus again, in the 2,000 presidential election, there is a good chance Al Gore would have won if Ralph Nader had not taken many “progressive” and “green” votes from him. (I will always be grateful to Ralph for this.)
The primaries are just around the corner. That’s the right time for the traditional, but experienced Republican Party to become one with the energetic but inexperienced tea party movement. Michael Steele has to go so that reasonable people my have a fair chance of reversing the Obama disasters.