Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Steele for RNC Chairman

Sometimes, it’s easy to wonder if the Republican party really cares about winning elections. After his 2004 election, George Bush pretty much gave up on any sort of public relations campaign—he stopped trying to be a national leader and seemed to resign himself to rock-bottom approval ratings. The Republican Congress hasn’t been any better. It has displayed both corruption—Jack Abramoff and the Bridge to Nowhere—and political stupidity—think amnesty for illegal aliens.

The Republican National Committee hasn’t done a particularly good job either. In 2004, the Republican base was composed mostly of middle-aged to older white folks, people in rural areas, and “values voters.” After that election, the RNC announced that it would try to start drawing more minorities, particularly Hispanics, and young people to the party. It failed. Young voters, blacks, and Hispanics overwhelmingly voted Democrat.

It’s hard to see exactly what the RNC does, and I’m certainly not enough of an insider to know exactly where it went wrong. But by all accounts, the GOP get-out-the-vote operation was light years behind the Democrat effort, and its technology obsolete. (Apparently, in some areas Democrat operatives had interactive handheld “checklists” with which to check off voter’s names in real time, which let everybody involved know exactly who and who had not voted. I very much doubt the Republicans had anything like that).

Barack Obama is a political force that would be difficult for anyone, no matter how competent, to stop, but a more efficient RNC could have made things a bit closer, and maybe won a few House and Senate races. The stereotype of Republicans is that they are incompetent, out-of-touch elitists—and the performance of the RNC has pretty much lived up to those expectations.

It’s hard to imagine Mike Duncan staying on as head of the RNC—the disastrous 2008 election may not have been all his fault, but his performance as chairman definitely wasn’t strong enough to justify another term. The RNC will be needing new leadership—and Michael Steele might be the man to provide it.

One reason he’s the man to provide it is that he happens to be the only man running for the job right now (it is rumored that he could officially announce his candidacy this week), which does tend to cut down on the competition somewhat. (Newt Gingrich, apparently, doesn’t want the job). The only other well-known names that have been mentioned for the position are Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, but neither has expressed any real interest. So Steele is in excellent position to get the chairman post (at least outwardly—for all I know, there’s some dark horse candidate secretly rounding up votes as we speak).

Steele is reasonably conservative, which is good. But he’s moderate enough to, at least in theory, reach out to independents, which is more of a mixed blessing—attracting independents is all well and good, but not if it comes not the price of diluting conservatism. This moderatism (Steele is both pro-life and pro-Rove vs. Wade, and has also talked about “restoring the Rockefeller wing of the Republican party) is probably the most serious objection to Steele’s chairmanship of the RNC.

But I think it is balanced by Steele’s articulateness and his image. Steele is frequently found arguing the Republican position on cable news, and arguing it quite well, which is more than most Republicans are able to do.

And he happens to be black, which really shouldn’t be a qualification, but does make for some good P.R. for Republicans (who need all the good P.R. they can get). Perhaps a black chairman might actually do something about reaching out to minority voters, who are a growing demographic and one the Republican party needs. Michael Steele ran a very, very strong campaign for a Maryland Senate seat (although he lost, so maybe it wasn’t as strong as the experts thought it was), so maybe the RNC could improve their get-out-the-vote efforts under his leadership.

Michael Steele isn’t a perfect candidate for the RNC chair, and there will probably be conservatives who oppose his leadership role, which I can understand. But I think he’s the best we’ve got—he is competent and he has ideas (which are in short supply at the RNC at the moment). The Republican party can’t afford another awful election—and under Michael Steele’s leadership, it might not have to.

29 Comments:

At November 12, 2008 at 4:33 AM , Blogger An American that cares! said...

The only other well-known names that have been mentioned for the position are Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, but neither has expressed any real interest

I have not deserted the Republican party, but Unfortunately many of the conservatives deserted the republican party.. Where were the regular conservatives when it came to supporting McCain/Palin?

 
At November 12, 2008 at 6:38 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

" Where were the regular conservatives when it came to supporting McCain/Palin?"

Not sure what you're inferring by use of the term "regular" conservatives. I will tell you this much though, conservatives such as myself that did not support that ticket were standing on principle rather than standing in line to cast a ballot for the failing strategy of moderation.

Steele offers little more to the Party than anything previously touted by the current crop of "compassionates". But, more importantly, to tout Steele in this regard plays (right along side touting Palin for 2012) right into the hands of the Democrats "identity politics" chapter of their playbook.

 
At November 12, 2008 at 7:51 AM , Blogger Bob said...

SOAPBOXGOD: This statement of yours is extremely nobel.

So thank you for helping "President Elect" Barack Hussein Obama, The Messiah. get elected.
I hope you are happy living with him!

 
At November 12, 2008 at 8:22 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

Don't thank me Bob. Thank your sea of moderates in the Republican party. The same moderates that forewent what they learned in 1976 (as I cautioned them in doing) and most recently in 2006.

While it is said that “Moderation in temper is always a virtue... moderation in principle is always a vice.”

And yet again it has bore true.

Remind me again won't you how the bailout was to be this beakon of light in a cloud of darkness. I'm still waiting for that debacle to bear fruit. Maybe the answer lies in bailing out Detroit huh?

 
At November 12, 2008 at 8:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you were a true conservative you would have voted for McCain just because he represents something a little or maybe a lot closer to the principals of a conservative. Soapboxgod you need to get off your box of "we'll make that party pay" the country as a whole is going to pay thanks to dramamaniacs such as yourself

 
At November 12, 2008 at 8:52 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

My intention was never to "make the party pay". The party may operate as it wishes (though I will tell you I and my conservative brethren are actively engaged and building our respective congressional and senate districts anew). Just as the Democratic party has taken for granted the African-American vote, so too had the Republican party taken for granted the vote of the fiscal and more liberty minded conservative.

It is quite a stretch of the imagination to suggest that on matters of fiscal policy or freedom and liberty (as it pertains to Constitutional doctrine) that John McCain was a champion for such causes.

We could certainly go down the list and McCain's positions if it were even necessary at this point to do so.

I am not nor will I ever be a party loyalist. My loyalty is and always will be with an ideology. That ideology of course is with preserving and promoting man's freedom and liberation from the excessive burden of government. That is my fundamental principle and I am committed to fighting for it tooth and nail.

 
At November 12, 2008 at 8:57 AM , Blogger An American that cares! said...

"Soapboxgod you need to get off your box of "we'll make that party pay" the country as a whole is going to pay thanks to dramamaniacs such as yourself"

AMEM to that!

 
At November 12, 2008 at 9:00 AM , Blogger Frank the Carpenter said...

SOAPBOXGOD SAID; "That is my fundamental principle and I am committed to fighting for it tooth and nail"


You know where you can stick your fundamental principles don't you?

 
At November 12, 2008 at 9:16 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

Likely the same damn place you party loyalists can stick your policies of moderation.

;-)

But, in closing I find it necessary to point out the absolute irony in all this. It is an irony that you idiots apparently haven't figured out. As I sit here posting about the principles of conservatism and it's rightful place within the Republican party and it's rightful practice as a means to a just political end, you and yours are clamoring at present for whom?

Michael Steele? Sarah Palin? Bobby Jindal?

Why might we suppose that is?

The answer (provided you can find it) just might astound you.

 
At November 12, 2008 at 9:25 AM , Blogger Myself said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At November 12, 2008 at 9:29 AM , Blogger Myself said...

Considering that the Obama Campaign spent at least $600 million on the general election, helped out by another $350 million from organized labor and another $20 million from ACORN in unofficial “non-partisan” get out the vote efforts. And only God knows how much he got from move on.org and George Sores.

McCain spent $85 million.
You also have to calculate the value of support from the media. Imagine the cost of buying half-hour infomercials on all three broadcast networks every night for six months + full page ads in every newspaper every day for six months + half hour infomercials on three cable news networks, plus Oprah, plus Comedy Central, plus MTV… and you could probably double the amount the campaign raised.
I am not saying this to complain, but I think the Conservative party needs to rethink its position.. The Republican party will never get support from the media, and it will go into every election with this disadvantage. The GOP needs the support of the Conservative party (and it didn’t get it) and they both need some fresh ways of thinking, or they will be a permanent minority regardless of what policy positions they take. It’s 2008 and times have changed, but the conservatives have not.
As do people like the poster above. (Soapboxgod) They are living in the past.

 
At November 12, 2008 at 9:41 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"It’s 2008 and times have changed, but the conservatives have not."

Really? Let us count the ways shall we?

The "conservatives" try to "change" with the times and propose a comprehensive immigration plan and extend an olive branch to Hispanics. Did they get the Hispanic vote this go round? NOPE. Strike One

The "conservatives" try again to "change" with the times and get on board the "green" trend by offering up subsidies for wind, solar, ethanol, etc. did they get the support from the the likes of the Sierra Club and the other environmental movements? NOPE. Strike Two

The "conservatives" make a futile attempt to court the education establishment by doubling the size of the department of education vis' a vis' the debacle known as No Child Left Behind. Any chance these "conservatives" might get some support from the teachers union (say maybe an endorsement or the majority of votes). NOPE. Strike Three

Any idea what happens after 3 strikes?

 
At November 12, 2008 at 11:52 AM , Blogger road warrior said...

I am not sure if steele is the right choice. A lot of people are talking about Ginrich but who want to hear from him again. The liberal illuminati have a strong agenda and we need someone who will be able to fight against it and be strong enough to be heard. I am not sure who that person will be. Maybe Fred Thompson but i am not sure.

 
At November 12, 2008 at 1:06 PM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"SOAPBOXGOD: This statement of yours is extremely nobel."

I did not notice it before but I believe you meant noble. And you're absolutely correct Bob, it is isn't it.

Conservatism and Individualism are indeed morally good and virtuous, not to mention superior, which is why I've no compunction in fighting for them.

 
At November 12, 2008 at 1:53 PM , Blogger Myself said...

So who cares if the nation is destroyed under OBama economically and by foreign powers that hate us, as long as you have your so called principles.
Principles and a dollar fifty will get you on the bus.
You sound like a real jackass.

 
At November 12, 2008 at 3:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

about all we can do is pray for you soapboxgod. Thank God he is not on a soap box.

 
At November 12, 2008 at 3:34 PM , Anonymous cedarford said...

Poor little soapbox, he's a little man lost in his own world, but don't know it..
A stereotypical conservative with principles who is willing to lose and go down defending the conservative principles.

 
At November 12, 2008 at 9:48 PM , Blogger Beth said...

McCain was just too moderate for us "regular conservatives", and seeing as there are other parties besides the Republican Party with platforms and candidates that are actually conservative, we had the opportunity to vote FOR a conservative.

 
At November 13, 2008 at 6:25 AM , Blogger Beth said...

In a free market economy, a buyer should never be forced to buy a certain product, the producer needs to make a good product so that the buyer desires and chooses it.

Well the GOP was selling a defective product this time around, and some of us weren't buying it.

If the GOP wants my vote, they have to earn it.

 
At November 13, 2008 at 6:44 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"A stereotypical conservative with principles who is willing to lose and go down defending the conservative principles."

"...willing to lose..."

Lose and election or two? Yes. Willing to lose the principles? Hell No.

While all of you are exceedingly good at throwing around insults and making arguments, none of the same of you are good at making compelling ones. You are unwilling or unable to refute the examples I've mentioned herein.

Moreover, perhaps neither of you were aware but Goldwater lost in 1964 and yet, he didn't throw in the towel on principle. Reagan faired the same in 1976, and again...he didn't throw in the towel on conservatism. They stood on principle and history shows it served the party well.

Apparently, we have herein, a number of individuals who think that conservatism and its principles are not worth employing as part of a strategy. They have another strategy for "winning".

We're waiting to hear it.

 
At November 14, 2008 at 7:28 AM , Blogger Bob said...

We're waiting to hear it.

Waiting to hear what?
Your on the soap box not us.
So spew all the BS you want to.
The soapbox is all yours.
I'd rather be at my head against the wall, than to Argue with the likes of you?

 
At November 14, 2008 at 7:46 AM , Blogger Matt Rose said...

Soapbox said:.."perhaps neither of you were aware but Goldwater lost in 1964 and yet, he didn't throw in the towel on principle"



Although Barry Goldwater is still a revered figure in the conservative movement and yes he never threw in the towel, but he never won either.

 
At November 15, 2008 at 4:02 PM , Blogger Bob said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At November 16, 2008 at 6:58 AM , Blogger knowitall said...

We need fresh leadership with the GOP, not a rushed decision, as the VP choice was. If the GOP doesn't rush, and the left-wing illuminati govern how we think, it will be a landslide for the GOP.

 
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