I can’t really find too much to argue with what Michelle Malkin said here regarding RNC Chair Michael Steele’s recent comments (audio and video here of Steele’s comments and Rush’s response) about Rush Limbaugh and how Steele fed right into the mainstream media/lefty (but I repeat myself) playbook in agreeing with their over-simplistic characterizations of Rush Limbaugh – and of the convention goers at the GOP National Convention. For the last comment, where he didn’t speak up and protest when the interviewer (CNN’s D.L. Hughley) said that the GOP convention looked like “Nazi Germany,” Steele owes every single conservative an apology. You’ve got to stand up for your party, Michael!
As far as his comments on Rush Limbaugh, the gang at Hot Air make some good points here that also speak to what this “issue” is about and how Steele is someone in a position to have to try and play things “down the middle” now, and most of the commentary there seems to be at odds somewhat with Malkin’s analysis. No way would Steele outright say he wants “Obama to fail” because he would fall into the media’s trap of trying to pigeonhole conservatives. But he could have easily said that it’s more of a thing of wanting to see America prosper and succeed, but not as a result of the socialistic policies taking root but instead because of the strong spirit and determination of the American business owner and worker.
It’s certainly not up to Steele to explain and rationalize for Rush, but anyone who watched Rush’s speech this weekend knows what was at the heart of what he was saying, and it was that conservative ideals aren’t just good for conservatives; they’re much better for America than the socialism disguised as “compassionate liberalism” this country is being force fed thanks to Barack Obama and his administration, and the Democrats in Congress. There was a way Steele could have argued that point without coming across as a Rush devotee – AND without throwing Rush under the bus. As I’ve said a thousand times before, it’s not so much what you say, but how you say it.
With Barack Obama already setting the tone in DC in terms of trying to paint everyone Republican as a mindless “RushBot,” it’s important for Steele, Cantor and other prominent Republicans to make it clear that they speak for themselves and, oh yeah, that there are many conservatives and conservative pundits – including Rush – who think similarly because they too are … gasp! … conservatives. What Steele did here, again, was to feed into every media stereotype there is as it relates to Rush and the conservatives who listen to him. This will, unfortunately, set the standard for arguments from him along these same lines for months to come, where he will do everything he can while on liberal news networks to try and “appeal” to lefties who wouldn’t touch the Republican party with a ten foot pole, and he’ll do so by being “agreeable” to certain liberal myths about conservatives in order to “fit in.”
I’m not sure what else to add to this. I know I rambled on a bit but my thoughts on this were all over the place. I guess I should have just written one sentence and said: “Michael Steele, I am disappointed in you.” I’m one of many conservatives who have talked him up over the last several years as being a rising star in the party, as one who could help rebuild it and get it back on the map. But if he’s going to continue to treat conservatives with this kind of contempt and not stand up for them when they’re compared to one of the most vicious regimes in the history of the world, then I will no longer considermyself as a part of his support network.
Update: Steele has revised/clarified/whatever his remarks on Rush and has apologized for saying things that don’t bring the party together. Whatevs.