I am far from being the only person to admire Michael Steele for having the cojones to want to lead the Republican Party out of the wilderness and away from its white country-club roots, but he has been so comically bad -- and the victim of so many verbal lynchings from Rush Limbaugh and other people who presume to speak for the GOP -- that the ouster of this African-American seems to be all but inevitable.
It may well be the Steele simply is bad at everything except calling attention to his and his party's frailties, but to judge the Republican Party as hopelessly lost, as critics on the left have, only four months after its electoral thrashing is premature. As is calling President Obama hopelessly lost only two months after his inauguration, as some critics on the right have.
Dumping the GOP's version of Roland Burris will be as difficult as sending Blago's hand-picked lawn jockey for Barack Obama's Senate seat back to Chicago. Under party rules, that would happen only if two thirds of the Republican National Committee vote thumbs down.
Nevertheless, the entire spectacle is terribly sad when you consider that if Steele stays he will be continue to be marginalized, while if he goes his successor will in all likelihood be a white country-club throwback.* * * * *The Republicans' self-inflicted wounds call to mind musician-philosopher Frank Zappa, who noted that "You can't be two places at once when you're nowhere at all."
And so it is with Steele's latest policy flip-flop, this one on choice. Having previously said that he was anti-abortion, he has now declared that he is pro-choice and added in the same interview that those homosexual folks aren't so bad, as well.
This puts Steele where the party needs to be if it is going to break out of its hard right-wing shell as the rest of America drifts centerward and out of range of the culture wars that conservative Republicans have so gleefully fought.
But that is anathema to the people in that shell who control the party and are giving Steele fits. And are blithely watching the 650,000 or so people filing new unemployment claims each week move beyond their reach as potential voters because of the party's Just Say No economic "policy."* * * * *Did you know that Saddam Hussein had ties to the 9/11 hijackers and Iraq was invaded to prevent another attack on the homeland?
There is probably no Bush Era canard that has been so thoroughly debunked, but there was Ari Fleischer telling Chris Matthews on "Hardball" this week that "after September 11, having been hit once, how can we take a chance that Saddam might not strike again?"
Fleischer is a member of the Bush Legacy SWAT Team, a group of former administration insiders who are barnstorming the country spreading half truths and lies in an effort to rehabilitate the former president's image and salvage what might pass for a legacy.
Call it a timely reminder that Bush is still casting an oversized shadow on the political party that his words and deeds did so much to marginalize.