Tuesday, January 05, 2010

It’s 2010 and Michael Steele Is Still the Chairman of Nothing

I really would love it if Michael Steele’s ceremonial presence in the Republican Party were something other than a failed ploy at the GOP’s sad attempt to tell the world “Look we’ve got a Black guy too!!!” but I have no interest in lying to myself like so many of my fellow Americans do: These are invariably the same swath of the electorate who won’t concede that Sarah Palin’s ascendancy to the Vice Presidential candidacy in 2008 was just an ill-advised play for that energized Women’s vote they cynically attributed to Hillary Clinton’s having a vagina and nothing else. The Republican power brokers seemingly reasoned: “Well we’ll get a vagina too, and the American people will vote for that vagina instead!” Hence the choice of Sarah Palin instead of qualified, intelligent politicians like Christie Todd Whitman, Linda Lingle, who are also women, also Republican, but have substantive records and distinguished careers as Governors unlike Palin who recently quit her elected office. Michael Steele’s appointment last year is part of this same sad reasoning; it’s an indication of a party mired in a long overdue corrosive entropy brought about by the dishonesty with which is has presented itself to America after the Nixon era.

The GOP still wants me to pretend.

I won’t.
It’s too costly.

Interestingly, the tired Republican ploy of accusing an opponent of doing exactly what they themselves are doing to mask their more contemptuous maneuvers is still the go-to tactic for this party. The nation elected Barack Obama, and the GOP assumed that his “Blackness” was the key to his victory; not Obama’s platform, and not the GOP’s own 25 years of bad economic policy and specifically the last eight years of criminal ineptitude and corruption during the Bush administration. Republicans, instead of assessing their own record honestly as a party, launched one of their classic (read “played out”) initiatives; a whisper campaign to present Barack Obama as a “straw man” and an “empty suit” while offering a “genuine fake” of their own:
Michael Steele.

Regnery Publishing, a “conservative” publishing house has issued a book by Michael Steele called "Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda" in which he reportedly (according to press releases and the AP) asks that the GOP should acknowledge how they “most glaringly compromised [their] principles" since 2000 and hold its elected Republicans accountable. I’d think Congressman Waxman of California who repeatedly subpoenaed Vice President Dick Cheney to no result last year would laugh heartily at Steele’s disingenuous statement. This book of Steele’s promises to be a straight talking to of sorts but is likely to be a rehash of the pro-deregulatory, anti-environmental, elitist, anti-working class, pro-corporate lies and hypocrisy that have been the real platform of the Republican Party since 1980, but let’s be honest:

Is there one single Republican out there in America who gives a single solitary shit about Michael Steele’s thoughts?Is there anyone at all?
Once you’ve been made to apologize to someone like Rush Limbaugh, you have been exposed as the very thing no one is impolite enough to say you are:
a fraud.

This book is the GOP’s attempt to win back the confidence (read “credulity and trust”) of the American people, but that’s not something you can do by lying over and over again. My collaborator MyeCue23 and I have written about this repeatedly on Random Thoughts, but I’ll say it again, America needs real alternatives to the Democratic Party, not an anti-intellectual opposite, but a real opposing dynamic viewpoint from the Right. I say this as a Liberal who actually believes in democracy, not cycles of power grabs for each side of the aisle. I’d vote for Republicans, if they’d they act like Republicans: stay out of people’s personal lives, support small business, support individual rights, stop kissing moral majority ass, stop awarding corporations welfare, stop defending the rich at the peril of everyone else in the world, stop being a de facto lobby for defense contractors. Above all: Republicans need to stop lying if they are to become an actual party again instead of just a special interest group.

I’ll offer one predictable recurring example of something this book will be missing even though I haven’t even read it, and I’ll gladly retract this statement, and apologize if I’m wrong: but I won’t be:
This book of Michael Steele’s will not acknowledge that President Reagan raised taxes and that President George HW Bush raised taxes just two years later, effectively saving the country (That was actually a good thing). Instead Republicans, like Anne Coulter in particular, would rather demonize George HW Bush and ignore Ronald Reagan’s own sober capitulation to reality in the 1980s in order to hold on to the unethical philosophy that insists the answer to all of our problems is letting the wealthiest people in America pay as little in taxes as possible.

In the end, the title of Steele’s book says it all. This book is not a righting of the ship, but a pathetic attempt to improve one’s fortunes by telling everyone that another ship belonging to someone else is sinking. This is wrong on all counts. The biggest lie Michael Steele is telling people with this book is that we are somehow not all in the same boat…

-well that and the lie about him being Chairman of the Republican Party. I don’t believe either one.


Oso said...

very well said.The Republicans should be a loyal oppostion,as you indicated. Keeping welfare state excesses (which I support but being objective)from swinging too far and possibly alienating voters.
I'd forgotten about Reagan raising taxes, you're right. Seems like he slashed income taxes but then doubled payroll taxes and a lot of other things to dump the burden on working people.

SJ said...

Yeah that he did. The difference between Reagan, Bush 41 and the so-called Conservatives of today is that they didn't try to mismanage the economy to the point where it would collapse and thereby enable a wave of privatization as the only way out (Like Bush 43 and his administration tried to recently with Social Security.) Bush 41 in particular did not espouse or believe in supply-side economics, what he called "Voodoo economics."
We need the dummies who have taken that party's public face and identity over to step aside (The Palins, the Wilsons, the Bachmanns) so that we have a real potential for debate and so that we don't feel like we have to unthinkingly vote Democrat down the line. Right now and for the past two decades plus, I've effectively had no choice at all. They don't even have Arlen Spector anymore, I mean what kind of party is that?
Michael Steele is just a joke.

Beach Bum said...

This is a particularly excellent post on so many levels. Had Michael Steele had any balls when he had that blowup with Limbaugh he would have resigned and told the party to pull its head out its ass.

The failure of the republican party to actually hold to its principles is extremely disturbing because when you also consider how the democratic party can't effectively govern with all its factions eager to get pissed off whenever the their special interests are not addressed first any meaningful action is stillborn.

This becomes less a political problem and more of a societal issue with the American people at fault and the only ones able to correct it. As much as we rightly fault the political parties they in the end are only reflections of us.

SJ said...

Brother Beach,
you are so right. So the choice for us, the working people in America who do the living and dying here is between a party that that sells itself as pragmatic but is corrupt, or another that sells itself as principled but is disfunctional and incompetent.
Principles still matter to me so I gues that's the way I'll still vote.

TRUTH 101 said...

I often wonder if Reagan had known his "supply side" economics were in reality what has crippled our economy and led to massive debt... Hell. He had no clue. He was a dupe. Sorry I brought it up.

SJ said...

I think Reagan knew supply-side economics could destroy the country, but like Alan Greenspan, he stupidly and irresponsibly didn't count on the fact that it would ruin the economy. Dangerous wishful thinking on their parts.

TomCat said...

Masterfully done, SJ. The beauty of this is that the GOP's quest to have a 'black guy' is blowing up in their faces. They could not get someone more competent, because their policies are so racist that they might as well have looked for Native Americans to form a Custer Fan Club.

SJ said...

ah man that's funny!
I think it was John Leguizamo said that Latinos for Republicans was like "Roaches for Raid" or something along those lines.