Rove, Steele And The GOP

April 5, 2010

There are a few items bouncing around today that combine to help shed light on what's really going on within the Republican Party today, as opposed to what the media might lead you to believe. Let's start with Karl Rove, who has perhaps done more to harm conservatism, than Keif Olberman ever has. That's because he wrapped up Big Government Republican politics, put a bow on it, calling it conservatism, which it never really was. Just ask Mark Tapscott, or see this WaPo article from two solid conservatives.

Now, as we segue over to Steele's comments making news today, for comments not nearly as controversial as they are being played, keep in mind Rove is one of the players linked to something of a shadow RNC, American Crossroads.

How about this for a theory?

1. Establishment Republicans see their power dwindling and they want to control the money.

2. The Crossroads business was hatched before last week when operatives from within this new money-seeking organization denounced their competition, the RNC–these people are going after the same dollars after all.

3. Republicans angry at Steele for saying the truth, that he’s not sure they’re ready to take the helm back, decided to gun for his demise.

While the group may, or not do some good, depending on which candidates it backs, the fact is, it is comprised of the same GOP establishment figures who have been involved with the GOP's betrayal of the conservative base in recent years. Gillespie was the previous RNC chair and dropped off the late balloting before the final vote on a new Chair. So, are these people trying to help, or did they pick up their marbles and go home? Well, we'll see. But my guess is they're interested in more Democrat-lite, open borders and whatever helps to keep them in a power sharing arrangement with an increasingly Leftist DNC. I think they'd join them rather than fight, if it's the path of least resistance to retaining power and control.

Former RNC Chairmen Mike Duncan and Ed Gillespie are said to be involved in the effort, as is former RNC co-chair Joanne Davidson and former White House adviser Karl Rove. Steven Law, top counsel at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will leave his job to head the day-to-day operations of the group.

And that brings us back to Steele. Is he the type of manager best suited for the RNC? I don't know. But the GOP has been winning recently and he has a more wide open shoot from the hip, unapologetic style that gives old GOP hands fits. But then, they always have been a bunch of tight-assed white guys, if you ask me. Does that make them racist? No. And Steele said no such thing. We've come a long way on matters of race in America, but just as Jackie Robinson had to meet a somewhat different set of standards when he went to the major leagues, prominent black leaders in business and politics do experience something similar, though not nearly as bad. And that's all Steele really did here, speak something of a truth.

Unfortunately, some of the same GOP hands that gave us Dede, Crist and Carly freak out everytime some Republican goes off script. They want to control, not just the candidate selection process, but the message from top to bottom. And it simply doesn't' work in this New Media age. Finally, as I've long advocated for a less apologetic, more free-wheeling GOP, I'm not nearly as bothered by Steele as they seem to be.

If I had to pick what looks more like the future for a GOP that can engage more young people, grassroots conservatives and minorities, personally, I'd go with Steele over the GOP old guard. You might disagree. But at least know what we're all fighting about right now. I can assure you, it has nothing to do with strip clubs and booze. While they may, or may not have shown up on expense reports, they've been part of DC politics for years. I'm not defending it, just stating the facts.

And given Rove's and the old guard's willingness to sell out conservatism to create some new catchy brand of GOP politics gives me less reason to trust them, as opposed to Steele, who, for better or worse, is at least willing to tell people what he really thinks. As I've always appreciated the candid over the contrived, it just doesn't bother me as much as it may some.

In the interview, Steele said that black political leaders, such as President Barack Obama and him, are held to an unfair higher standard.

"The honest answer is, yes," he said on ABC's "Good Morning America." "Barack Obama has a slimmer margin. A lot of folks do.

"It's a different role for me to play and others to play and that's just the reality of it. But you just take that as a part of the nature of it.

"My view on politics is much more grass roots-oriented … so I tend to, you know, come at it a little bit stronger, a little bit more street-wise. That's rubbed some feathers the wrong way."

Update: Ed Morrissey weighs in here. I don't really disagree with Ed. The problem we may have now is no great options other than hunkering down to fight against what by far is the biggest enemy, the exploding progressivism we're seeing coming from the Obamanation in DC. These may not be the worst of times, but they are by no means the best of them, either.

Be sure to read it all. However, the party that demands fiscal discipline should model it within their own practices. I agree that the kind of nonsense exposed over the last week or so at both the RNC and the DNC have gone on for years — but that doesn’t mean it should continue or that criticism of it is something extraordinary.

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  1. Phineas says:

    Defending himself by playing the race card, however mildly, is not a good way for Steele to defend himself.

  2. Jayne on the left coast says:

    Playing the race card. The last resort for a failed RNC chairman. He flaps his gum’s all over the LSM. Where is he helping win elections, no where.

  3. Elmo says:

    The mechanics beyond my knowledge or experience. Sure, I could expend the effort. But I don’t think I have the mettle to comprehend the entirety. Let alone the microcosmos.
    The only aside I could add … regards Mr. Steele. A week or two after King Hussein was anointed, on January 20, 2009. Chairman Steele was the FIRST man to stride to the plate.
    The first to take a swing. And the first to put wood on the ball. It’s called LEADERSHIP.

  4. Jeff says:

    so is this what it has come to …
    attacking Rove before Tucker Calson does ?
    guns still pointing in the wrong direction … but its good Huffpo link bait I guess since they hate Rove over there …

  5. Scroot. I ain’t sending penny one to DC period. I’ll pick and choose my own local candidates to support, and the ones nationwide I like.

  6. Miss Marple says:

    I cannot believe you are completely missing the point. Steele is NOT succeeding in raising money or getting an organization going. He is doing nothing but creating controversy and causing embarrassment.
    Have there been questionable expenditures before? Sure. But we are now in an economy where excessive spending is seen as out of touch with the public’s problems. If those expenditures had been at a 5-star restaurant with limousine service and open bar, the problem would have been the same.
    And attacking Rove is simply asinine. I am so disappointed in you that in the middle of dealing with a darn-near communist occupant of the White House you would act like Rove was a huge problem. As far as I am concerned, I would rather have Bush and Rove back in a New York minute, as opposed to Obama and Axelrod.
    Steele may be a nice person. I don’t know him. He is not a good manager and is embarrassing the party.

  7. Ryan Booth says:

    Dan, please read what I’ve compiled and say that Steele shouldn’t be fired. I don’t really think it’s possible.