On Michael Steele
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
Most of you know this. I had to memorize it in 7th Grade English and it has been with me ever since.
Reading the recent antics of RNC Chairman Michael Steele I think it would do him and the party good if he took a bit of time to read this poem and reflect upon it. I wasn’t a supporter of Mr. Steele for RNC chair and nothing to date has convinced me that I was wrong in doing so.
Early in his chairmanship he agreed with D. L. Hughley that the 2008 GOP convention looked like a Nazi rally and that the GOP wasn’t ready to lead. And then there was the fiasco with the RNC funding ads attacking a conservative candidate in the NY-23 race and thereby helping to elect a Democrat.
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Today he went on attack against critics within his party and major party fundraisers telling the people who raise money to elect candidates to “shut up.” The critics have a point. Mr. Steele’s tenure at the RNC has seemed to be as much a self-promotion program as a political leadership role because while he has charged speaking fees and is now promoting a book which benefit him directly both as the recipient of the fees and increasing his personal celebrity he has done little to energize the base. He has downplayed our chances of taking back the House when the 2000 Census redistricting created a majority of Republican leaning seats and dissatisfaction with the Democrat party is running high. The sorry state of RNC finances indicates Mr. Steele’s time would be better spent furiously sucking up to the people he’s driving away and taking the advice of people who are trying to help him.
Mr. Steele’s television performances leave one a sweat soaked ragdoll by the end as you wait for the attack on the GOP or the bonejarring gaffe that is almost certainly to happen.
In Mr. Steele’s intemperate tirade he graded himself a “solid B,” this presumably being a dig at The One’s self rating of a “solid B plus.” Mr. Steele says he can do better.
He should stop hawking his book. He should be speaking to audiences for free. He should be making major donors happy. He should be raising money like there is no tomorrow.
We have a chance to win big in 2010 and right now Mr. Steele looks much more like an obstacle to that goal than a means to it.
We are in a historic position. National dissatisfaction with the Obama regime is high and the lack of leadership shown by the White House has made us less safe at home and abroad, stifled productivity, and made us a laughingstock. Instead of leading the opposition, Mr. Steele has dithered and now