12.31.2009 0

Too Hot Not To Note: Michael Steele Has Lost the Support of His Party

  • On: 01/14/2010 09:25:12
  • In: Conservative Movement

  • ALG Editor’s Note: In the following featured commentary from Newsmax, Ron Kessler discusses the current controversy inside the Republican party.

    Michael Steele Has Lost the Support of His Party

    By: Ronald Kessler

    Michael Steele was supposed to drive the Republican Party out of the wilderness. Instead, he is driving the party to distraction.

    The latest flap involves the release of the Republican National Committee chairman’s book, “Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda.” Steele failed to inform Republican congressional leaders that the book was coming out, and many of them learned about it only through Steele’s television appearances.

    But many see criticism over the book as a pretext for what really is disturbing a range of Republican leaders: Steele’s public comments, which can be described only as bizarre.

    Case in point: Steele told Sean Hannity of Fox News that the GOP cannot win back a majority in the House in 2010. Besides the fact that everything points to big Republican wins in the next election, the job of head of a political party is to be a cheerleader, not a detractor.

    This came during a week that otherwise was rosy for Republicans. Two veteran Senate Democrats announced their retirements. New polls showed major GOP projected gains in congressional elections in November. Polls also showed President Obama’s popularity at a low point.

    But Steele chose this moment of triumph to diss his own party.

    After that comment, key Republican congressional leaders such as Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the minority whip, called Steele to bawl him out.

    In response to such criticism and fears that he is undercutting Republican recruitment efforts, Steele lashed out in a radio interview with ABC News.

    “Get a life,” Steele snapped. “If you don’t want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program.”

    “It was all of his own making,” says a key GOP insider. “There was no controversy until he went on a TV show and opened his yapper and made a controversy. Then he gets knocked into line, smacked into line, and he tries to fix what he’s broken.”

    The episode followed others in which Steele seemed to go out of his way to thumb his nose at fellow Republicans. In remarks that CNN aired on March 1, Steele said that he, rather than Rush Limbaugh, is “the de facto leader of the Republican Party. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh’s whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it is incendiary. Yes, it is ugly.”

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