GOP prepares as calls for Steele’s resignation grows

EXCLUSIVE: GOP prepares as calls for Steele’s resignation grows

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele speaks at the Rhode Island Republican Party Convention on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 in Cranston, R.I. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin)Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele speaks at the Rhode Island Republican Party Convention on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 in Cranston, R.I. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin)

By Ralph Z. Hallow

Updated: 12:55 p.m. on Saturday, July 3, 2010

     

With Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele facing a barrage of calls to resign, North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth, a social conservative, told The Washington Times on Friday he is quitting his post to prepare a possible challenge of Mr. Steele after November’s midterm elections.

Also on Friday, prominent neoconservatives led by William Kristol and Liz Cheney began a growing chorus demands that Mr. Steele step down now, before the Nov. 2 midterm congressional and gubernatorial elections and before he can decide whether to seek reelection to a second two-year term in January.

Mr. Emineth said what moved him to consider a bid for national chairman is what he called Mr. Steele’s dismal failure with big donors who are giving to other, more trusted GOP campaign organizations as polls continue to show Republicans, if adequately financed, stand a good chance of regaining control of Congress.

“I was shocked at the last RNC meeting to learn how little money we got from our major donors,” Mr. Emineth told The Times.

Mr. Emineth said he is resigning as state chairman to devote more time to his expanding burrito-manufacturing business. Resigning now has the added advantage of freeing him to campaign for national party chairman after Nov. 2.

Like other RNC members, Mr. Emineth has refrained from criticizing Mr. Steele until now, and until now no prominent Republican has called for Mr. Steele’s head.

What suddenly triggered resignation demands from the influential neoconservatives wing of the GOP — its foreign-policy hawks — was Mr. Steele’s saying in Connecticut on Thursday that Afghanistan is President Obama’s war and one that should not have been fought in the first place. (Click here to see the video.)

The social and neoconservative wings of the party, with their shared concern for the safety of Israel and focus on “Islamo-fascism,” have decided that Mr. Steele — the author of numerous gaffes in the past — has crossed the line this time.

On Friday, Mr. Kristol, editor of the neoconservative Weekly Standard, said in an open letter to Mr. Steele: “Your comment is more than an embarrassment. It’s an affront — both to the honor of the Republican Party and to the commitment of the soldiers fighting.”

Ms. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, told Politico that the “chairman of the Republican party must be unwavering in his support for American victory in the war on terror — a victory that cannot be accomplished if we do not prevail in Afghanistan. I endorse fully Bill Kristol’s letter to Chairman Steele. It is time for Chairman Steele to step down.”

In his missive, Mr. Kristol pointed out that the “war in Afghanistan was not ‘a war of Obama’s choosing.’ … It has been prosecuted by the United States under Presidents Bush and Obama. Republicans have consistently supported the effort.”

Saying on Fox News’ Special Report that Mr. Steele “has to go,” another prominent neoconservative intellectual, Charles Krauthammer, called Mr. Steele’s apostasy on Afghanistan “a capital offense.”

Skepticism about the war is shared by many traditional conservatives such as commentator George F. Will.

“There are, of course, those who think we should pull out of Afghanistan, and they’re certainly entitled to make their case. But one of them shouldn’t be the chairman of the Republican party,” Mr. Kristol said.

Hinting that Mr. Steele’s stand might undermine the war effort, the Democratic National Committee jumped on RNC chairman’s remarks, circulated on a video of his appearance at a small GOP fundraiser in Connecticut.

Among members of Mr. Steele’s own committee, however, the disappointment with him has grown in proportion to the disappointment with his fundraising efforts.

“I have raised more money per capita for my party in my tiny state than New York or any other big state has raised for its party, but North Dakota gets no financial support from the RNC,” Mr. Emineth said,

“The real contribution from a chairman is the ability to raise money from major donors,” said Mr. Emineth. “We raised $400,000 in a single night in Fargo, North Dakota. Chairman Steele has managed to raise only $2 million from major donors all told.”

“At times his hands-off approach to managing the national committee and his miscues have hurt the party,” Mr. Emineth said. “He has been disappointing to many members.”

In later posting the following words on the RNC’s website, Mr. Steele appeared to eat his earlier words on Afghanistan — and stand by them at the same time.

“As we enter the Fourth of July weekend, I proudly remember standing with Maryland National Guardsmen on their way to the Middle East and later stood with the mothers of soldiers lost at war. There is no question that America must win the war on terror.

“During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Barack Obama made clear his belief that we should not fight in Iraq, but instead concentrate on Afghanistan. Now, as President, he has indeed shifted his focus to this region. That means this is his strategy. And, for the sake of the security of the free world, our country must give our troops the support necessary to win this war.

“As we have learned throughout history, winning a war in Afghanistan is a difficult task. We must also remember that after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, it is also a necessary one. That is why I supported the decision to increase our troop force and, like the entire United States Senate, I support General Petraeus’ confirmation. The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan.”

 

 

Calls for Steele’s resignation grow louder

Calls for Steele’s resignation grow louder

Rick Moran

The RNC chairman’s comments about Afghanistan were pretty clueless, but I think the growing chorus from GOP heavyweights for Michael Steele to step down is a cumulative effect of his verbal gaffes rather than this particular instance of idiocy.

Bill Kristol:

You are, I know, a patriot. So I ask you to consider, over this July 4 weekend, doing an act of service for the country you love: Resign as chairman of the Republican party.Your tenure has of course been marked by gaffes and embarrassments, but I for one have never paid much attention to them, and have never thought they would matter much to the success of the causes and principles we share. But now you have said, about the war in Afghanistan, speaking as RNC chairman at an RNC event, “Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama’s choosing. This was not something that the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.” And, “if [Obama] is such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan?”

Needless to say, the war in Afghanistan was not “a war of Obama’s choosing.” It has been prosecuted by the United States under Presidents Bush and Obama. Republicans have consistently supported the effort. Indeed, as the DNC Communications Director (of all people) has said, your statement “puts [you] at odds with about 100 percent of the Republican Party.”

I think he should have resigned after the fund raising scandals last spring, but GOP insiders thought differently. Now he has not only undercut his own party, but has shown himself to be out of touch with candidates for office who support our mission in Afghanistan.

Steele will likely force the GOP to fire him, knowing how bad it would look for the party to fire one of the few visible blacks in a leadership position. He has banked on this before, but it might not save him this time.

We Need Something Stronger than Steele

We Need Something Stronger than Steele

By Selwyn Duke

Most of us place politicians down at the level of used-car salesmen, personal injury lawyers and Hollywood actors.  In fact, they’re much like actors, only their acting is generally a bit better.  But we tend to miss the point about our leaders.  The problem with politicians is that they’re trying to please us.

Mind you, I don’t mean they’re trying to please those of us who read and render commentary. They don’t have to worry about us fringe types – we don’t really command many votes.  We’re like a pesky fly they can’t quite swat (although they’re trying to with measures such as the Fairness Doctrine).  My point is that if they were trying to please God, they would be godly men.  But as the great Alan Keyes has proven, that doesn’t tend to win elections.  So the successful ones try to please the masses, but this doesn’t make them massive men.  It makes them minor men.
A case in point is Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who recently proved his Lilliputian status in a now notorious GQ interview, one showing that the best way to get a politician to change positions is to change his audience.  And the problem wasn’t confined to just what has drawn him the most criticism: Abortion.  But let’s start with that.  Here is the portion of the interview dealing with it:
Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?
Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.
You do?
Yeah. Absolutely.
That’s pretty clear, right?  Well, this is perhaps where Steele said to himself, “Oops!  Did I really say that?”  So, after opining that Roe v. Wade should be overturned for constitutional reasons, here is what transpired:
Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?
The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.”
Is this what you call a “save”?  Women have the choice to opt for abortion because they can vote along with the men in their states on the matter’s legality?  So now Steele can go to leftists and claim he has said that abortion is “absolutely” an “individual choice.”  He can talk to traditionalists and say that he has touted states’ right to settle the issue.  He’s pro-choice.  He’s pro-life.  He’s pro-states’ rights.  He’s pro-whatever you want him to be.  He’s for everything and against nothing.
Given how Steele has also stated that Republicans needed a hip-hop strategy, interviewer Lisa Depaulo also asked him about rap music.  And after saying he enjoyed P. Diddy quite a bit, he said,
“I guess I’m sorta old-school that way. Remember, I came of age with the DJ and all this other stuff, so I’m also loving Grandmaster Flash, and that’s not hip-hop, but… Um, you know, I like Chuck D. And I always thought Snoop Dogg was-he just reminded me of the fellas back home. So I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed him.”
But then Steele said he also liked “Bing Crosby, Sinatra, [and] Dean Martin.”  Hey, you wouldn’t want to offend any musically-inclined constituency.  And reiterating his old-school passions, he continued, “I’m a big Pack Rat.  I love the Pack Rats from the 1950s . . . .”  Depaulo corrected him and pointed out that the proper name was the “Rat Pack.”  He’s a great fan, though.
Now, since I guard my tongue, I’ll characterize hip-hop simply by saying it’s cultural trash.  Of course, if I were a hip-hop aficionado, I’d use a different word (I also wouldn’t know the term “aficionado”). I’ll also say that an affinity for hip-hop indicates greatly corrupted judgment and taste, and I’d like leaders who operate on a slightly higher cultural plane.  Then again, it’s also possible that Steele doesn’t really listen to the Pack Rats or the Rap Rodents and was just being a pandering possum.  Perhaps it’s like Hillary Clinton’s statement when running for the Senate in New York, “I’ve always been a Yankees fan.”  No, Hillary (and Steele), actually, you’ve always been a ceiling fan – you specialize in spin.
As for the GOP’s political fortunes, if your only concern is getting people in office with “R’s” after their names, slouching commensurately with the culture certainly helps.  But leave me out of it.  My primary concern is spreading Truth, not spreading R’s.  For if a political movement is to do any good at all, it must represent and extol virtue.  And, for such a movement to succeed, it has only one viable option: Address problems on a cultural level and raise people up morally so that they’ll be receptive to the message (this is why I’ve written so much about the culture).  Trying to present a package of virtue in a wrapping of vice won’t work.
Then Steele said, “And some call them [rappers] urban terrorists, which I think is an offensive term.”  Really?  I find it offensive that he thinks validly labeling cultural terrorists is offensive.  He went on to say,
“But you know, they miss the point of what hip-hop is. Hip-hop is about economic empowerment. You’re talking about a generation of men from, you know, P. Diddy to Russell Simmons and the like who have created empire from their talent.”
Uh, yes, so have the Mexican drug cartels.  So have Larry Flynt and Hugh Hefner (note that pornography is among the most lucrative of rackets).  These are empires of sin, and it’s no secret that vice sells better than virtue.  But is this to be congratulated?  Does it profit a nation to gain the world but to lose its soul, Mr. Steele?
Following up on this topic of “minority outreach,” there was this exchange,
Why do you think so few nonwhite Americans support the Republican Party right now?
Cause we have offered them nothing! And the impression we’ve created is that we don’t give a damn about them or we just outright don’t like them.”
Wrong.  The leftist media have given minorities this impression of the party of Lincoln and abolitionism while casting the party of George Wallace in a positive light.  Steele went on to say,
“I think the way we’ve talked about immigration, the way we’ve talked about some of the issues that are important to African-Americans, like affirmative action… I mean, you know, having an absolute holier-than-thou attitude about something that’s important to a particular community doesn’t engender confidence in your leadership by that community.”
So what is the strategy?  Are we supposed to say, “Look, we were wrong to be right, but here’s why we’re right”?  Are we supposed to embrace open-border policy and affirmative action?  Should we compromise our principles just a bit and offer them an affirmative fraction?
I’m also sick and tired of how conservatives have been cowed into being apologetic.  Who has this “holier-than-thou attitude,” Mr. Steele?  All I see are pandering Republicans such as you.
But this is another example of entertaining corruption.  Securing our borders is a matter of upholding the rule of law, maintaining cultural cohesiveness and public safety.  And opposing affirmative action stems from a desire to be fair and to avoid facilitating irresponsibility and mediocrity.  If people won’t accept this, the remedy is not to lower the principles but elevate the people and make them worthy of the principles.
Steele also played the race card in the interview, saying,
“There are people in this country right now who would look at Barack Obama and still refer to him as ‘boy.’ Period.”
Who would these people be, Mr. Steele?  When was the last time you actually experienced such a thing?  Now, if you mean that someone somewhere in this nation of 300 million people may be so inclined, perhaps, but insignificant fringes don’t warrant mention.  It has been estimated that we have about 100 active serial killers in the country, too, but it would be silly to speak of them as if they’re a political and cultural force.
The interview touched on education as well, and Steele made this comment,
“. . . there’s a black kid who just left a public-school system in which he’s using a ten-year-old book in a classroom that barely has lights, and he’s getting a poor education.”
Yes, he is getting a poor education, but it has nothing to do with lights or books.  It’s a function of a spirit of permissiveness, relativism and corruption that besets our whole culture, leaving schools and families bereft of Truth, love and discipline.
Steele is right about the problem of using a 10-year-old book, however.  Students would be better off using 60-year-old books.  Then they would be exposed to more Truth and less politically-correct social engineering.
If I were a standard commentator, I would now emphasize that Steele is a sub-standard politician.  But the truth is that he is quite standard.  He isn’t evil; he isn’t even Machiavellian.  He’s just an example of what political parties tend to produce: Men of our time.  But what we need are men of the timeless.  Only people who aren’t slaves of their age, and thus can penetrate the veneer of lies obscuring the Truth today, can transform the culture.
And “culture” is the word.  When I say “We Need Something Stronger than Steele,” the “we” doesn’t refer to Republicans, as salvation doesn’t lie in the political realm.  I don’t even mean conservatives.  I mean that we need spiritual and cultural revolutionaries.
As I’ve written before, unless we can take the cultural reins and stop the leftward drift, all is for naught, as the political just reflects the cultural.  And the liberals understand this.  They’ve altered the culture not through the Democrat Party as much as through academia, the media and entertainment.
But effecting such substantive change isn’t easy, and it explains why the chairman of the Republican Party would talk like a 1980s Democrat.  That is to say, politicians pander because it’s easier to change positions than hearts.

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Michelle Malkin on Michael Steele