The latest gaffe by RNC Chairman Michael Steele lends the perfect opportunity for the GOP to rid itself of their divisive and at times embarrassing party leader. In a rant reminiscent of the late Pennsylvania Senator John Murtha on Thursday, Steele suggested the war in Afghanistan was a lost cause and cannot be won. “This was a war of Obama’s choosing,” Steele said. “This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”
Steele’s undermining of our war effort was a stupendous error. Republicans have a myriad issues to effectively debate and defeat this President and Democrat Congress, but the management of the war in Afghanistan is simply not one of them and deflects focus from the true disasters of the Obama presidency. He has conceded all moral authority to lead the Republican Party by betraying the President and US military in this manner.
Unfocused and self-absorbed, Steele’s tenure as RNC Chairman includes a long history of political blunders. Last April, he faced widespread criticism over exhorbitant spending after financial reports showed that the party used tens of thousands of donor dollars for luxury hotels, private jets and other questionable expenditures. This scandal was potentially devastating. Republicans’ most important issue leading up to the crucial elections next November is the wanton disregard for fiscal restraint on the part of the opposing party and here we see RNC filings capturing widespread attention for outrageous expenditures including one at an adult nightclub for nearly $2,000 at Voyeur in West Hollywood, which features topless dancers wearing horse bridles and other bondage gear while mimicking sex acts. This, in of itself, warranted Michael Steele’s immediate resignation. Instead of dealing with the spending scandal on its own merits, Steele shamelessly played the race card, proclaiming he is held to a higher standard because he is black. “I don’t see stories about the internal operations of the DNC that I see about this operation. Why? Is it because Michael Steele is the chairman, or is it because a black man is chairman?”
In an interview with GQ just a few weeks earlier, Steele purported that the Republican Party selected him as their leader on the basis of race. Asked if he would be the RNC chairman were he white, he gave a long pause and replied, “The answer to that is I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s a very good question. And it says a lot about, I think, where the party is right now that I can’t answer it.”
All this came on the heels of a controversial exchange with Rush Limbaugh in February whereby Steele inexplicably challenged the most popular host in the history of radio. “Let’s put it into context here,” said Steele. “Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it’s incendiary. Yes, it is ugly.” Limbaugh quickly exposed Steele’s naivety as a tool of the left, saying, “Michael Steele has been around long enough to know that the liberal media will use him by twisting what I say or what others say. He took the bait, he bit down hard on the bait, he launched an attack on me even though the premise of what was said to him was false. He took the bait and he went for it.”
However, the most troublesome aspect of Michael Steele’s tenure as RNC Chairman has been his support squishy moderate Republican candidates over principled conservatives. Most notable was his unapologetic support of liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava against conservative Doug Hoffman in the Republican primary for New York’s 23rd Congressional District last January. “I support the Republican nominee as the Republican Party chairman, and that’s the way it should go, right?” mocked Steele after criticism of his endorsements of the pro-abortion, tax-and-spend liberal. Scozzafava eventually dropped out of the race when Hoffman won conservative support as an independent, but Democrat Bill Owens prevailed as Hoffman languished without any support from the Republican establishment.
Michael Steele has no business continuing as RNC Chairman as critical mid-term elections rapidly approach. The GOP is not the same disjointed and overwhelmed party that stood helpless as the country embraced “hope and change” eighteen months ago. Our nation has been horrified by the consequences of unfettered liberalism and is ready to make things right in November. However, the Republican Party finds itself led by a pro-abortion, pro-amnesty, pro-affirmative action supporter of political moderates. Michael Steele’s departure is long overdue and the latest in a long list of political blunders provides the impetus to make this happen right now.