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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Steele Death Watch

The reign of Michael Steele is about to come to an end.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is under increasing pressure from within his own party to step down for saying the nine-year old U.S. military conflict in Afghanistan is a "war of Obama's choosing" that history suggests is "probably a lost cause."

Steele has tried to quell the growing uproar by issuing a statement and sending an e-mail to the 162 members of the national committee stressing his support of U.S. troops.

But that hasn't stopped the criticism that continued to swell Saturday.

Bill Kristol was the first to call for Steele to step down following the comments.

You are, I know, a patriot. So I ask you to consider, over this July 4 weekend, doing an act of service for the country you love: Resign as chairman of the Republican party.

Your tenure has of course been marked by gaffes and embarrassments, but I for one have never paid much attention to them, and have never thought they would matter much to the success of the causes and principles we share. But now you have said, about the war in Afghanistan, speaking as RNC chairman at an RNC event, "Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama's choosing. This was not something that the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in." And, "if [Obama] is such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that's the one thing you don't do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan?"

Needless to say, the war in Afghanistan was not "a war of Obama’s choosing." It has been prosecuted by the United States under Presidents Bush and Obama. Republicans have consistently supported the effort. Indeed, as the DNC


The calls will only continue to grow and at some point Steele will have to step down. The comments are reprehensible and inexcusable, and Steele's tenure has been far from great to begin with.

2 comments:

AG said...

Do you really think Steele is the kind of guy who would step down for the good of others?

I don't see that. The RNC is going to have to no-confidence him.

Anonymous said...

Something to think about will be the PR fallout of the RNC firing a black man. The RNC already has a poor public perception regarding its acceptance of minorities, and this will not help them.

I would rather see Steele stay in his position than face the inevitable DNC catcalls of "they fired the only black man who had an "R" on his voter registration card".

Granted, he's every bit as gaffe-prone as Biden, but you don't hear many calls for Biden to step down, and he's actually in a position where a gaffe might damage the country, quite unlike Michael Steele.