Thursday, January 14, 2010

Criticisms of Steele Seem Disingenuous

See the article below for a blow by blow of the criticisms being leveled at GOP Chairman Michael Steele published in the . But allow me to comment on one of the most ridiculous criticisms mentioned.

Steele is being vilified by some because in response to a question by talk show host Sean Hannity as to whether Republicans would take back the house during the mid-term, Steele demurred by indicating that it might not happen. He went on to say what Republicans need to do to make it happen, but rightly pointed out the squandered opportunity Republicans had when we controlled the house.

Not being a betting man, I would still bet that the same people criticizing Steele for not raising his fist and declaring that we would win the house in 2010 would be the same people who would have condemned Steele for having the lack of professional humility to actually assert such a success could happen and how dare he improperly set expectations! It's one thing to deal with a hostile media and with a progressive democrat party. But, folks, come on... let's stop the nonsense of criticizing our own to the media just because your horse didn't win.

Maybe its time to give the winning horse the benefit of the doubt and start betting on the winner. Dang, I'm not really a betting man, but if I were...

GOP losers target
Michael Steele
By SHAWN STEEL 1/14/10 10:11 AM EST

Shawn Steel points out that Michael Steele racked up zero debt and raised more than $80 million, outperforming Obama's Democratic National Committee. Photo: AP

After Republicans won two major governorships on his watch, you would think RNC Chairman Michael Steele would be quite popular with the Washington GOP. In fact, 2009 was the best year for the RNC since 1993 to 1994, the early years of Chairman Haley Barbour’s era.

Moreover, Steele racked up zero debt and raised more than $80 million, outperforming Obama’s Democratic National Committee. Steele fired much of the RNC’s dead wood, recipients of too-costly benefits packages.
So what’s the fuss about?

There are essentially three areas of attack.
Steele was widely quoted suggesting in an interview with Sean Hannity that Republicans would not take back the House in this year’s midterm elections. But later in the interview, Steele explained that Republicans need to act like conservatives to secure the House.

Conservatives don’t trust House Republicans. During the Bush years, House Republicans voted like drunken sailors for more government growth and a historically high level of earmarks. Then they promptly lost control of the House. Conservative estrangement played an important role in this, which Steele emphasized in the Hannity interview. As Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said after the 2006 elections, Republicans lost the election because they lost their way.
Since starting as chairman a year ago, Steele has traveled to more states and communities than most Republican leaders do in a lifetime. He meets with donors and speaks to inner-city ministers. He effortlessly glides from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to Republican Women Federated. No previous chairman has done this. Steele is a national figure, appearing regularly on TV and conservative talk radio.

Then Steele is hit for writing a book, “Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda.” Perhaps the critics ought to read his book before forming an opinion. Leaders write books about what they believe; this is part of winning elections.

Finally, Michael Steele was criticized for accepting speaking fees. Republicans understand that effective CEOs often have outside incomes. CEOs also write books and get paid for speaking engagements and serving on boards.
Steele’s critics fall roughly into three categories. The first group is the RNC dissident losers. Last year’s RNC battle for chairman was tough but historic. The dinosaur RNC ghosts, who once dominated key RNC committees, controlled the agenda and enjoyed exclusive invititations to private parties in the Bush White House, were isolated. There are about a half-dozen left; some have served on the RNC for more than 20 years. Today, they have little, if any, influence.
The second group is made up of Republican D.C. vendors, anyone considered to be “professional” in politics. During the Bush go-go years, the RNC paid millions to carefully favored vendors. The howling you hear is the groans of those who no longer receive unearned no-bid contracts. They don’t like the new sheriff.

Both the RNC ghosts and the aggrieved vendors were active participants in the RNC for a long time. They are unhappy. They dine in the best restaurants, and that’s where they meet with the third class. When disappointed party losers have a grudge, they share it with the press. The mainstream media locusts have a field day seizing an opportunity of showing “major” Republican divisions. The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Huffington Post and “MSMBC” have turned on all spigots in attempts to shut down Steele.

It is the old Washingtonitis syndrome: If you lose your influence, attack the person on top. Most conservatives trust Steele. His wins in New Jersey and Virginia, along with the $80 million raised, fortify his success. With the upcoming RNC winter meeting, Steele is more popular than ever.
Shawn Steel is California Republican Party national committeeman to the RNC. He is a former chairman of the California Republican Party.

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Shawn Steel is California Republican Party national committeeman to the RNC. He is a former chairman of the California Republican Party.
© 2009 Capitol News Company, LLC

1 comment:

RudiZink said...

Excellent post, Bruce.