This week the movement to give RNC Chairman Michael Steele the boot came out into the open. Steele’s alleged crimes against the Republican Party include, insulting Rush Limbaugh, but his biggest crime is not knowing his place, and calling for the Republican Party to change.
Consider the email that made it into the media from North Carolina committee member Dr. Ada Fisher via The Hill, “I don’t want to hear anymore [sic] language trying to be cool about the bling in the stimulus package or appealing to D.L. Hughley and blacks in a way that isn’t going to win us any votes and makes us frankly appear to many blacks as quite foolish.” Before you think racism, keep in mind that Fisher is one of three black committee members.
Fisher is also upset that Steele insulted Rush, and fears that Limbaugh’s supporters won’t give to the GOP anymore. She can’t seem to handle the idea that the Republican Party has to change. The implication of her comments is that not only does she not want her party to change, but she also doesn’t want it to appeal to blacks. Even though I made fun of Steele’s hip-hop comment at the time, I do understand his basic point that his party needs to do more to shape their message, so that it is more appealing to non-traditional Republican voters.
It seems that the GOP bigwigs aren’t happy with Steele because he doesn’t know his place. Fisher points to his appearance on D.L. Hughley’s show as a bad thing, but Steele didn’t deliver a terrible performance. He sounded like a moderate, which is not the direction that the GOP is poised to go in. Appearances on shows like Hughley’s are part of Steele’s plan to reach out to voters. However, it seems that many in the GOP believe that this shouldn’t be the chairman’s role.
She claimed that Steele is an inept leader, “I have never seen such ineptness in our GOP leadership, and I thought we handled the 2008 elections very poorly.” Fisher did not support Steele in the RNC election, and has been a long time critic of his, but I think what Fisher calls poor leadership is actually a philosophical difference within their party, between those who think that the GOP can stay the same, and those who see the need for change.
Michael Steele’s biggest crime is that he is trying to do something that the GOP isn’t ready to do. However, Republicans are getting what they deserve from Steele. They elected someone who isn’t even a member of the RNC to lead them. I would suggest that they elected him more because of the color of his skin than his ideas. Republicans needed a black face to put on television to counter Obama, and this was the role they chose Steele to fill. His job was supposed to be to put a black face on an overwhelmingly white party. He was never supposed to actually change the party, and because of this, I think Steele’s days are numbered. He’ll be lucky to last a year in his current position.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association