Perhaps Bill Kristol Should Resign, Instead

July 2, 2010

It annoys me that neo-conservative Kristol now sees fit to grandstand on this Steele gaffe, which actually isn't as bad as it seems, see below, after having not paid attention to so much else. Point being, suddenly it's his favorite ox being gored, so he takes the pulpit. Video of Steele hear.

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.

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.

While clumsy and embarrassing, there is a solid defense for Steele's remark. Look at the US troop levels in Afghanistan. Notice anything peculiar? Obama demagogued on Iraq, using Afghanistan as the imaginary war he actually wanted to fight. And he wanted to fight it with a far more aggressive ground strategy than Bush ever pursued.

2001 N/A
2002 5,200
2003 10,400
2004 15,200
2005 19,100
2006 20,400
2007 23,700
2008 30,100
2009 62,000*

There was a reason for that, just as Steele said. History shows you can not win a ground war in Afghanistan. Yes, we were certainly engaged in Afghanistan pre-2009. But never in the way, or to the extent Obama is choosing to fight this war. He absolutely is fighting a war of his choosing, and if Bush had chosen to fight it this way, he could have done so, instead of engaging in Iraq.

I have every confidence in General Petraeus. But, according to which statement you read, Obama has, or hasn't already set a time-line for withdrawal. And Afghanistan is very much not Iraq. I also very much fear we are looking at Obama's Vietnam. Steele may not have come close to expressing himself correctly in this video. But as his follow up statement says, he is not suggesting abandoning our troops. But the concept behind his rhetoric is not totally off the mark. It was more clumsy, than it was flat-out wrong.

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  1. Yeah, it IS a weak argument… but maybe he’s just looking for an excuse to get a change before midterm campaigns start in earnest… can’s say I’d be disappointed if it happened in a timely fashion.
    I’m not a huge hater of Steele, but even if you just forget all the gaffes… surely we’d do better in the fall under someone else’s tutelage… just sayin, and maybe so too is Kristol.

  2. Landru says:

    It does sound awkward at times, but the gist of it seems to be more the method of prosecuting the war, the escalation of regular infantry vs the special forces-centered approach of the Bush Admin, having Afghans do most of the fighting and using US units as support, intelligence, special ops, air-strikes, etc. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. The Obamunists will do their usual clutching and grabbing at phrases and words here and there and try to be the master propagandists they think they are, but nobody beyond the Kos Kids/Huffpo base will make much of it. Nobody is going to vote in November based on what Steele says. I personally like the guy, but he is just not the best communicator and has said some dumb things-which nobody remembers a week later anyway. He’s a sideshow.

  3. me says:

    You mean… Here.

  4. Rich Fader says:

    Okay, I like Michael Steele, I think he’s a good guy, but clumsy, especially repeated clumsy, is not what I want in an RNC chair. It’s what I want in a DNC chair.

  5. Sara says:

    This isn’t the first, second, or even third time Steele has said something he (and we) later regretted. The RNC chair should a) agree with his party’s platform, and b) be able to properly articulate it. Sarah Palin could do a better job. It’s past time for Steele to go.

  6. brooklyn says:

    WELL said Mr. Riehl.
    I have to agree.
    Do folks like Mr. Kristol want to win?
    Seeing his past judgment on running campaigns, one has to say no…
    The pure amusement of seeing Mr. Obama confronted with his own unethical Political exploitation is utterly priceless.
    The concept of abandoning Afghanistan is not something I would agree with, and I believe the only thing that can defeat the USA is the USA itself in this venue.
    However, Steele is playing the obvious, however clumsy, on how ugly the Democratic Partisan exploitation was, in regards to Our Nation fighting in serious engagements. The Democrats, especially Obama, were as low, unethical, ugly as it gets while Our Finest Served in Harms Way.
    All is fair in this regard, let it fly today on the Obama HYPOCRISY.
    Kristol once made an aggressive advocation for invading Iraq, when the polls predictably turned poor, he grew weak – basically capitulating in public forums. It was not a pretty sight. He has poor judgment, and has inflated this beyond the pale, when he could have used it to his own advantage.
    Not brilliant in any regard.

  7. Dennis D says:

    Barack Obama has done FAR more to rebuild the GOP than Michael Steele.

  8. tonynoboloney says:

    Steele should resign. I’m tired of his making stupid remarks………”uh, sorry that didn’t come out the way I meant it”. Stupid, stupid stupid. The GOP will be shooting itself in its own foot again in November if we don’t dump him soon.

  9. Sissy Willis says:

    I was wondering who shot and promulgated the tape. Perhaps one of those DNC “Accountability Project” citizen volunteers?

  10. Gary Ogletree says:

    Bill Kristol is a national treasure. Dan Riehl, not so much.