Sunday, March 15, 2009

Michael, Hang in there. I support you.

When the Republicans were going through the process of selecting a new chairman, I watched the debates between the candidates and was impressed by Michael Steele. I was hoping he would be selected, but actually thought he was a long shot.

I was very pleased when he won. I think that after eight years of George W. Bush, we needed new leadership not tied to the Bush Administration. I also thought we needed a new face of the party to show that we are not just the party of angry old white men. I also thought we needed someone with a practical business-like approach to administering and growing the party.

With the party is such disarray, Steele does not have an easy job. The party has always had its factions. Trying to keep the economic conservatives, the social conservatives, the main street Republicans, the neo-con Republicans, and the libertarian-leaning Republicans all headed in the same direction must be much like trying to herd cats. Trying to unite the party has got to be daunting task. I sometimes have the feeling that the animosity within the party and between the factions is deep and bitter, but I hope I am wrong.

I call my blog “A Disgruntled Republican” and I find there are a lot of disgruntled Republicans, but they are disgruntled for different reasons. Face it; a lot of the real activists in the party were less than enthused with the Party’s nominee for president. I thought John McCain was a good candidate and represented the party well. Given the Bush legacy and the economic meltdown, I think McCain did as good a job as anyone could have done under the circumstances. I respect, like, and admire John McCain. I get the feeling however, that a lot of Republicans feel that the nominee was forced on the party by alien forces. Sometimes I feel like the lone ranger, in saying I actually was a McCain supporter. Many feel that McCain was a “RINO.”

One of the favorite epitaphs Republicans throw at each other is RINO for “Republican in name only.” Despite thinking of myself as a Republican and a conservative, I have been called a “RINO” myself on more than one occasion by those who disagreed with my position on this or that issue. Castigating each other for being less than ideologically pure and trying to push others out of the party is not conducive to party growth and harmony. It seems that at any one time that half the party is trying to purge the other half. We don’t need to be the party of the little tent.

Many of the disgruntled are now turning on Michael Steele. Michael Steele is taking a lot heat for his mild criticism of Rush Limbaugh and for a comment he made about abortion. Both issue are being taken out of context and blown way out of proportion.

Below is an excerpt from the GQ interview where Michael made his abortions comments that caused such controversy.

How much of your pro-life stance, for you, is informed not just by your Catholic faith but by the fact that you were adopted?

Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that—I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it… Uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.

Explain that.

The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.

Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?

Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.

You do?

Yeah. Absolutely.

Are you saying you don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade?

I think Roe v. Wade—as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter.

Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?

The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.

This simply does not seem that offensive to me. It is a little confusing and a little inarticulate. An interview is not like writing an essay where one can carefully construct their arguments. If you yourself have ever been interviewed, you are probably a little more understanding than if you have never been in that position. People should take his comments in context of the interview. He is not advocating abortion. He is clearly pro-life.

Here is what Steele had to say about Limbaugh that got him in such hot water: “Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes it’s incendiary, yes it’s ugly.”

Of course Rush will magnify any criticism. With hours a day of radio time to fill and ratings to maintain, Rush loves a good fight.

To see Steele’s comments in context, please follow this link to Politico. Be sure and see the video clip next to the article where, in a heated exchange, Steele makes those comments about Rush. What he said should not be that big of a deal. Steele has wisely, I thought, tried to put the Limbaugh controversy behind him, yet some are calling for his head.

On various blogs and chat groups, I am seeing a growing call for Michael Steele to resign. The last thing we as Republicans need at this time is for a change in leadership at the top of the party. We do not need a party blood bath. I, for one, am well pleased with Michael Steele and his leadership of the party. I am going to send the RNC another contribution and attach a note of support for Michael Steele. Let us cut the guy some slack and support him.

Michael: Hang in there. I support you.

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  1. Steele is certainly a better choice than some of the other closed-minded types in the RNC.

    I was disappointed though for his quick apology to Rush...

  2. I applaud moderation from both parties. There is simply too much extremism in politics today and the average person has nowhere to call home.

  3. When you go against Rush 24/7, you're bound to lose most of the fight, at least in appearance.