Go With the Army You Have
I did not support Michael Steele for Chairman of the Republican Party, but was perfectly happy to give him a chance to prove himself. That all pretty much went out the window the moment he decided to start throwing the race card around against Republicans when feeling threatened.If Michael Steele left tomorrow, I would not cry. As it stands now, the RNC under Michael Steele has raised a massive amount of money and spent a massive amount of money. There will not be much if any to hand over to state parties by November for the various victory funds.That said, the GOP won in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts, draining resources along the way. If we are going to blame Michael Steele for all the bad, we should at least charitably credit him for the good too.Were Michael Steele to leave the RNC tomorrow, what really would have changed? The incestuous culture of consultants will still be there sucking the same money from the building. The narrative will shift to the GOP throwing out the black man. Steele would become the sympathetic victim at the hands of evil racist Republicans who really always wanted that racist country clubber from South Carolina to be Chairman anyway.It serves no good purpose to try to oust Michael Steele right now. A two-thirds vote would be required. The votes aren’t there. The process would be ugly and would be a distraction. Steele could in various ways use RNC dollars to defend himself instead of beat the Democrats. The Democrats would use the opportunity to smear the GOP even more. Pursuit of removal would be folly.At the end of the day, though, it is not all Michael Steele’s fault. A lot of the blame for things these days is being foisted up by a press all too happy to highlight Republican problems and ignore Democrat problems. Some of what is happening is within Steele’s control and some of it is not. The Democrats and some Republicans have happily peddled the story about Michael Steele’s incompetent management, some because of very real concerns, but some to distraction from other issues.Here we are in April, more than a year after his election, having the same debate we had before his election — from spendthrift ways to management skills to consultants milking the RNC. All of the present problems derive from known knowns. Were the RNC leadership to replace him it would be because they are embarrassed, not because they have all of a sudden grown wiser.And this is the Achilles heel of the whole GOP structure right now. From the Chairman of the Party to the Congressional leadership, we have in place a bunch of people who led us out of power who will lead us back into power. Sure, Steele was not there, but those he has surrounded himself with and who advise him and take donor money were as much a part of the problem as the congressional guys.With the exception of the top of the House leadership, there is little indication that any lessons were ever learned regarding the Republican defeats of 2006 and 2008. If the GOP wins big in 2010 it will be in spite of themselves — but they’ll take it, use it, and abuse it.Again — it is April of 2010. The election is less than seven months away. We go into the election with the army we have, not the one we would prefer. We go with Michael Steele and Mitch McConnell and the rest, so suck it up and deal with it.Don’t like it? Join me in beating them in the primaries. Then we can talk.