Is Steele really prepared to lead the GOP? PLUS: More on the efforts to demonize Rush

Posted by: ST on March 4, 2009 at 11:09 am

Ed Morrissey has a thoughtful analysis on the topic of Steele here, which leads me more and more to thinking that Steele isn’t ready for showtime at all. He’s gone from GOP rising star to one of the most despised in the GOP in the timespan of about a week, and as Ed details in his post, a lot of it has to do not just with Steele’s mocking of Rush Limbaugh’s speech from this past weekend in which Rush made the case for a government that runs based on conservative principles – which are good not just for conservatives but for everyone, but also his failure to repudiate D.L. Hughley when he compared the GOP convention to “Nazis.”

I’m interested in your thoughts as to whether or not you think Steele must go, or if you think he should stick it out and try to make his way through the storm of controversy he has generated within the party.

Related to all this, The Politico this morning writes in depth about the Democrats and their continued attempts at painting Rush Limbaugh as the face of the GOP, which The Fix noted yesterday has been aided by the WH via Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Quite frankly I find it both disgusting and disturbing that the WH at its highest levels are resorting to use it for campaign purposes. Make no mistake about it; that’s what’s happening here. Barack Obama pledged last year to not use the WH as his campaign HQ so as not to politicize it, but I guess we can just chalk that up to another one of his many promises that have apparently expired.

The goal here is to demonize Rush Limbaugh (as “more toxic” than Rev. Wright!) and characterize anyone who would agree with him in any way as “out of touch” and “mean-spirited” and “partisan” – that way virtually no legitimate criticisms of the Obama administration and the Democrats running wild in Congress will be taken seriously. As I’ve noted before, Obama set this tone very early on in his administration. Of course none of this takes into account that both parties have prominent people within it who espouse views that most of them agree with on a general level – the Democrats have them with the Daily Kos and HuffPo crowds, who they’ve gotten quite cozy with over the years, and the GOP has them with Rush Limbaugh’s listeners. People are naturally going to gravitate to public figures they can relate with and to, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, the Obama administration would have the American people thinking that this is a dangerous thing simply because Rush puts to the airwaves the feelings, thoughts, and ideas so many conservatives across this country have.

Obama claims he’s someone who will “reach across the aisle” but that’s really a bunch of BS – as I’ve pointed out before. He’s quietly laid the foundation for making any conservative idea look petty and unworthy of serious consideration (and let’s not forget how the MSM aids him in this), while he puts on a public face of “bipartisanship.” It’s classic bait and switch, and “conservatives” like David Brooks fell for it hook line and sinker and in the process helped get one of the most deceptive politicos in modern history elected.

I’m starting to understand Bill Clinton’s frustration with Obama last year more and more. Some of it, of course, had to do with the fact that the press clearly adored Obama and not Hillary Clinton, but I suspect another part of it had to do with the fact that Obama clearly can tell a slick lie even better than Bubba himself as he did when he promised the American people he would “change” Washington’s (DC’s) old ways. He hasn’t, won’t, and never intended to. “Washington’s old ways” are working out for him just fine. But what it means for the state of legitimate disagreements and debates in this country is another – very serious – matter altogether.

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15 Responses to “Is Steele really prepared to lead the GOP? PLUS: More on the efforts to demonize Rush”


  1. The White House’s decision to nail the Republican Party to a “cross of Rush” is straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook, which Obama knows well: personalize, demonize, and thus disarm your opponent. Again, we tried to tell the nation, but would they listen? :-w

    The disturbing thing is that this could easily work: among large segments of the Center-Right to Center-Left spectrum, Rush has a reputation for being an extremist firebreather. It’s unfair, but it’s a result of both his own eagerness to “take on the enemy” and the other side’s success at painting themselves as reasonable and him as not.

    Obama could easily do this same thing, because he has a great ability to seem thoughtful and reasonable, even when he’s channeling Alinsky.

    Regarding Steele, he should take Byron York’s advice (linked by Ed) and lie low for a couple of months, particularly since he still needs to get a staff in place.

  2. Carlos says:

    One of the most disgusting topics pushed by Steele is that Rush “wants Obama to fail.” I am a listener and have only heard him say that in the context of Obama’s socialist programs. Rush has frequently noted that, yes, he would love to see Obama succeed but only if that success is beneficial to freedom and the citizens of this country.

    In other words, Obama (through Emanuel, Carville, the MSM in general, etc.), Steele and others are lying through their teeth in their arguments.

    And now Kathleen Parker has joined the chorus in her latest column.

    So, I guess it’s true: if a lie is told often enough by enough people it becomes the truth. If that weren’t true the donks would be out of business this morning, and then what would all the pR’s (pretend Republicans) do?

  3. omapian says:

    The RNC has an opportunity to declare the 111th Congress as the best money could buy. Less than 60 days into its term, they reneged on the Constitutional obligation to “secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our prosperity.” They set up future generations as indentured servants to pay for the mistakes of our generation.

    Steele can attack this congress in order to gain seats in the mid term and avoid the distraction generated by a well trained political organization. In 2010 there will be 435 local elections to the House of Representatives and 33 Senate Seats. The position of President is occupied until 2012. It is time to get focused.

    We are a people who were founded upon self-evident truths, who now deny truth in the name of political correctness. We know the difference between right and wrong. This congress makes a distinction between morally right and legally wrong. If there is no controlling legal authority, forget the morals, it is legal. Then they attempt to be legally accurate without volunteering information.

    It is time to volunteer information!

    With the best of intentions, elected representatives of the people set out to provide equal opportunity for all people to have affordable housing. Representatives created legislation and provided funding while bureaucrats shifted focus from equal opportunity to equal outcome. As results were studied, banks did not make mortgage loans available to all people in all parts of the community. They discriminated. Some on the basis of risk- return, some on personal bias. As a result of such studies, earnest legislators either permitted, encouraged, or required financial institutions to make money available to individuals who lacked either the capacity or the inclination to repay.

    The increase in potential buyers, coupled with limited quantities of basic entry level housing, drove up prices. Entry level homes could be ‘flipped’ -sold at premium prices. Homeowners with basic accommodations were able to take advantage of this market by selling and moving on up to more substantial homes. Developers built new upscale homes at upscale prices. Little, if any “affordable” housing was actually added to the mix.

    Sincere salesmen earned commissions as competitive mortgage practices encouraged consumers to purchase more housing than they needed or could afford. Special interest groups acted on behalf of the powerless and accepted donations from the banks to find new mortgage applicants. Congress created agencies that packaged and sold risky loans with an implied government guarantee. State and local taxes took a percentage of every sale. With the addition of new homes came the development of shopping malls. Even the Supreme Court got on board allowing states to use eminent domain to take advantage of the spurt in development. Everybody was getting a piece of the pie and grateful individuals and influential groups rewarded legislators with contributions and votes.

    Whenever an individual, family, nation or government consumes more than it produces there will be a economic crisis. In our time, when the bubble burst, banks and stock holders lost substantial amounts while bankers, legislators and special interests walked away rich. The 111 Congress protects their sponsors by passing the costs to the taxpayers. Congress knows after government life, there will be rewards in speaking engagements and working for the contractors that do business with the government. And it is all perfectly legal.

    If Steele, and the GOP, are not ready to make this case to the American public, it may be time to rethink membership in the Republican party. There is no need for a two party system when one hand washes the other.

  4. NC Cop says:

    Let’s not forget all the lapdogs in the media who are spreading this stuff like a disease. What do you think would have happened if the Republicans had gone after a private citizen who is known to criticize them?

    The liberals would have been howling about intimidation, bullying tactics, and a police state.

    Things are getting very bad in this country much sooner than I expected.

  5. gunnypink says:

    I agree with Rush, regarding Steele and the RNC. The RNC is not the republican party, it is the fund raising arm. When Steele calls registered repubs, they hang up on him; except, that is, for the blue dog repubs who helped to give us RINO McCain for presidential candidate.
    Hopefully, the day will come, soon, when the blue dogs will get tired of funding the RNC, and will take there allegiance elsewhere, or put their money away.

  6. Mike Kistler says:

    Steele knows that to win elections we must win the moderate and independent voters, who think Rush is an obnxious loud mouth. Sorry if saying that hurts your feelings, but the base is gonna vote Republican anyway.

  7. Lorica says:

    Steele knows that to win elections we must win the moderate and independent voters,

    HAHAHAHA!!! That’s just funny. We just had an election in November in which John McCain got 8 million few votes than Obama. In 2004 over 140million people voted, but in 2008 only 120M voted. Now McCain was, not by much mind you, but was more moderate than Bush, so what happened to the missing 20million votes??? According to your thinking we should have kicked Barack right back to Chicago. What happened then??

    Let me tell you what beat McCain. It was the fact that he is a moderate, or Democrat light so to speak. It was his continued willingness to reach across the aisle and work with people who only used him. It was the fact that the Federal Budget raised over a trillion dollars under GW, and the Reps in Congress. It was the fact that the Reps espoused one thing, but actions were completely the opposite. It was the base who was tired of electing people who lied to them, that is what beat the Reps in this election. So many moderates wanted to be apart of this “historic” election. Yippie skippy!! It is time for the Reps to get back to their conservative ideals, and actually put them back in practice. If moderates can’t handle less taxes, smaller goverment and less intrusion by that government, then go vote Democrat, cause I could careless what your opinion is. These are ideals that unify, unless you are a power hunger Democrat. – Lorica

  8. Carlos says:

    And that, Mr. Kistler, is the crux of the discussion. If the party “leaders” go to the center to pick up 1 million votes but lose 2 million because that move is seen as abandoning the principles of the party, then what good is the move?

    On the other hand, if it moves a little more to the right and loses 1 million but picks up 2 million votes of those too disgusted to vote for a socialist-light, then doesn’t the advantage go to moving to the right?

    All the “leaders” have to do is figure out who they really want as their base: nincomepoops who are not grounded in anything, or those who wish to adhere to a Constitution that had served us well into the twentieth century?

  9. Mark DiBois says:

    MJD says

    Steele, Djindahl(sp) , Palin… does it really matter??? the fact is that the GOP is completely void of anyone capable of leading. It has been for some time now. The biggest problem the GOP has had since 1994 is it’s inability to govern.
    As long as Obama maintains his charisma he will continue to dominate over republicans and he (Obama) knows that.
    Even if you dispise liberals (and Obama) as much as I do you have to give them credit for one thing… they stick together in lock step no matter what…. they don’t deviate from their liberal left wing agenda not matter how much we or the people who elected them scream about it, something conservatives and especially the GOP has never done.
    So unless we on the right can come up with someone who can compete with this pop culture messiah.. and find some real cohesiveness in principles accross the board…I fear it may be all circling the drain for the GOP…

  10. SamHermanMD says:

    Michael Steele stupidly allowed himself to be punked. He also allowed the GOP to be played right into a vicious race-baiting game. If the GOP forces him to resign, the mainscream media will portray the GOP as racist. If he quits, he will be seen as a loser. If he supports Rush, he is seen as an extremist.

    Way to be played, Mikie. This is national politics, not the Maryland Amateur Hour.

  11. omapian says:

    Three years ago, the left was attacking Ann Coulter and conservatives were distancing themselves from her. Today the President attacks Rush and RIHNOS are defensive while conservatives and the MSN are paying attention. I posted this in Feb 06 and think it is still valid today:
    When conservatives use logic and reason to advance a debate they have a limited audience. Ann uses rhetoric and attracts attention. It is easy to dismiss the solutions she offers, but much harder to dismiss the facts she brings to public attention.
    Rush is a big boy, he can take care of himself. Conservatives don’t have to run from their principles simply because Rush endorses those same principles.

  12. Brontefan says:

    . . .they stick together in lock step no matter what…

    Yeah! with the help of the entire mainstream media, journalists across the country, the academic world that has promoted this liberal [socialist] agenda for over twenty years, and Hollywood celebs. It is easy to be on the secular progressive side when you have all the cards in the deck. For years, these people hated Bush with a vengeance & repeated lies. The basic premise is if you repeat the lie often enough and loud enough–it becomes truth. I just want to know when it became fashionable to hate my own country? No, the basic difference here is that on one side you have the Kool Aid drinkers and on the other side you have independent critical thinking people who love this country, our Constitution, and conservative values. The lock-step you are referring to reminds me of when I was teaching high school and asked by my principal to sign a false document–in order that the administration wouldn’t get in trouble for denying a student the right to an administrative hearing. I refused; my principles and values cost me my job!

  13. Carlos says:

    Mark D B, you hit the nail on the head, except you credit them for it. Libs/dems do stick together like glue while Republicans argue the finer points of everything because the Republicans are the critical thinkers, the libs/dems sheep (who have no base core beliefs to be themselves) follow anything that sounds pretty and civil and humane because they refuse to look beyond theory and accept results as proof of anything.

    To my way of thinking, in general terms anyway, the libs/dems are the “some of the people all of the time” Mr. Lincoln was talking about.

  14. Michael Steele needs to get his act together real fast. He’ll either figure it out soon, or we’re in for a whole series of embarrassments.

  15. Lorica says:

    Michael Steele’s biggest problem is that he believes that another “brother” was going to give him a fair shake, and that just has never been the case, just go ask Clarence Thomas. Hughley came on as a good “brother” and then once the interview started turned into just another Dem hitman. Instead of having a fair interview, he allowed his bias to show up and Steele wasn’t prepared for that. BUT Steele is a very smart man, and he is not about to allow this to happen again. He will know that just because the interviewer is black, doesn’t mean that he is going to get a fair shake, and in all actuality it probably means that Micheal Steele will be viewed more as a traitor to the black cause, just because he is a Rep. – Lorica