Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Michael Steele's greatest hits (and his real problem: the truth)

I'm so old I remember when conservatives would point and laugh at things Howard Dean said. Then he kicked their asses and they had to sit  down and shut up, of course.

GOP chair Michael Steele's words and deeds have been referred to as "screw-ups" and "gaffes" -- and some of them, like the expense report for the nights out at the lesbian bondage club, certainly are -- but the main reason the dude is in hot water is because he's the head of a political party based fundamentally upon hypocrisy. So he gets in trouble every time he lets slip a brutal truth.

For example, "Obama's war of choosing" is blindingly false and even ridiculous.  "Afghanistan is unwinnable", on the other hand, is quite true, yet it obviously contradicts the tough-guy facade the GOP has invested decades constructing, thus cannot be spoken aloud (by a Republican). More truth that penalizes Steele:

In a March 2009 interview with CNN, Steele was asked about the White House’s position that Rush Limbaugh was the leader of the GOP. He strongly denied that claim, insisting that he was the party’s top leader. “Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh's whole thing is entertainment,” Steele said. And he trashed Limbaugh’s over-the-top remarks about Obama. “Yes, it is incendiary. Yes, it is ugly,” Steele said, prompting Limbaugh to declare Steele as unfit to lead the party. Steele later apologized to Limbaugh, insisting he did not want to “diminish his voice.” Later, he strangely suggested the Limbaugh flap had been “strategic” on his part. “It may look like a mistake, a gaffe. (But) there is a rationale, there’s a logic behind it,” he said.

And more, the kind that the hypocrites in the Republican party just cannot tolerate:

In an interview with GQ’s Lisa DePaulo, Steele said abortion is “absolutely … an individual choice” and said the question of legality should be settled by the states. The comments prompted criticism from several top social conservatives, including Gov. Mike Huckabee. Steele, who is pro-life, later said his words had been taken out of context.

And still more:

Perhaps the most important role of a party chairman is to be a cheerleader for candidates and their campaigns, even in the most dire circumstances. But in January, Steele told Fox NewsSean Hannity that not only was he not sure if the GOP would regain control of Congress, he wasn’t sure if Republicans were ready to govern. “Are we ready? I don’t know,” Steele said. Candidates “looking to run” have to hew to the GOP's core principles, he added. “If they don’t, they’ll get to Washington, and they’ll start drinking that Potomac River water and they’ll get drunk with power.”

Beyond Steele, however, there is the simple cognitive dissonance associated with being an African-American Republican. Or a Hispanic Republican. Or a Log Cabin Republican.  These things exist in nature (as rare as they may be) and, stranger still, these creatures appear comfortable in their environment. They do not thrive, but they do survive.

A more current strain of this cerebral dichotomy can be found in the deficit hawks peacocks that spawned the Tea Party fringe movement of the GOP; "no" to all government spending -- even the extension of jobless benefits -- except for the wars and police actions around the globe.  Olbermann had a segment just last night on our now-unbelievable defense budget, the dawning pragmatism that it must be reduced coming from Ron Paul and a few more TeaBaggers -- and more carping about that, combined with a call to keep increasing it, from no less than the likes of Sarah Palin.

See? More truth larded up and turned rancid with conservative hypocrisy. Michael Steele just makes this mistake more often than the rest of the Republicans. They call that "lack of message discipline".

No comments: