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21 - 2

By John Martin - Posted on 01 February 2009

While most of the country had the Steelers on their minds tonight, I was still thinking about Steele.  There doesn't appear to be as much enthusiasm surrounding his election as I had been hoping for.  Sure, people are saying all nice things about the guy, but few insiders are jumping for joy, or discussing out loud what changes he may try to bring to the party.

For instance: at the time of this writing, there are only 2 mentions of the RNC's new chair in the twenty blog posts on's homepage.  In contrast, those posts mention President Obama 21 times-- each obsessing about what a terrible job Barack is doing, less than two weeks into his term.  Yes, Axelrod should not have mentioned how Obama likes to keep the thermostat up, and yes, we should all be discussing Barack's stimulus bill, but you have to wonder why Steele barely gets more than an honorable mention from these guys.  My guess is that these party-first types are a little uncomfortable with his (polite, congenial) style and his (rational, compassionate, smart) views on what the Republican party is and what it should be.

Here's Democrat Lanny Davis' take:

Michael Steele was positively my last preference for RNC Chair -- since he was, and is, by far, the most effective, articulate center - right voice of the Republican Party, with a firm but friendly manner on TV and, thus, the best possible choice for the GOP to appeal to the broad middle of American society. For all those reasons, I hoped the RNC would not elect him. I am surprised that a party that currently has Rush Limbaugh as its leading voice (my personal preference for Republican Chair) would be wise enough to reject Mr. Limbaugh and elect Michael Steele.

I'm not sure that Steele's election is a rejection of Limbaugh, but Limbaugh's faithful may be little put-off with some of the nuance Steele will bring to the forefront.  Mr. Davis' take is correct, though; Steele could (I said could) help the party appeal to the millions who have been put off with the GOP's usual tactics.

Here's former Republican Congressman (and co-founder of the Heritage Foundation) Mickey Edwards weighing in:

It has been hard to be enthused about the Republican Party, anti-intellectual, nativist, narrow, reactive rather than creative, unconcerned about constitutional violations. Those who claim the party has become the private fiefdom of Rush Limbaugh and other brain-dead airheads have certainly had policies and pronouncements to support their arguments (although, to be fair, the case is somewhat exaggerated). But now there is reason for long-time Republicans (count me in that category) to have hope. Michael Steele is bright, enthusiastic, thoughtful, inclusive. His election as party chairman signals that maybe, just maybe, the party leaders "get it"; that they understand why the nation turned against them, and that they are willing to become creative partners in the task of national problem-solving. Simply put, this is the best I've felt about the Republican Party -- my party -- in years.

I'm sure that some party leaders do "get it."  Unfortunately, the most vocal Republicans in recent years have been those who don't. 


Looking back, McCain was probably the best GOP candiate for President. Bipartisan. Moderate. Against the establishment. But then he got the nomination and realized he had to make the "base" happy and dropped who he was like a hot potato, even selecting the likes of Sarah Palin for VP. While I think Steele is more right-leaning than McCain ever was, will he abandon the things you mentioned that are his best traits in the name of pleasing the base? The lack of enthusiasm from the party may force him to comfort the base while alienating people that have drifted from the party (those who might be willing to give the party another chance.) It's such a balancing act for the GOP these days. Does Steele even know where he's heading?
I may be wrong, but I don't see why a National Committee Chair would generate the same excitement as a candidate.  Isn't the chair's job more organizational and getting elections won for others?

The Chairman pushes policy also.

House GOP leaders dropped plans for making their own speeches at the end of their caucus retreat, and instead handed the rostrum over to Steele to give a pep talk.

"My mom was a sharecropper’s daughter with a fifth-grade education. If my mother knew how to balance budget without taking money out of my pocket, I’m sure that the rest of the folks out here on the other side should know how to do that as well,” Steele said.

 As mucked up as the economy is and he's telling the American people to pull themselves up by their boot straps. At one point, he highlighted poverty and education reform as two issues that could be new areas of focus for the party. I would make a comment on that but I have to go and clean up. My irony meter just exploded.

I've been trying to follow this stuff a bit here, but to tell the truth, when it comes to intraparty politics, I really don't have a clue. 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

The biggest problem with the Republican party as it stands today is that there is this new generation of young Republicans who are even more ideologically narrow and right wing than even the Nixon or Reagan Republicans were. These young Republicans are even more strident and unyielding in their ideology. They listen to Rush, to Sean, to Bill, and everyone else in between and simply regurgitate their talking points. No critical thinking skills at all!

Eric Cantor is one of these new rightward Republicans. The scariest thing is that he is the new face of the party. To me, Boehner is the new Newt Gingrich and Cantor is the new Tom DeLay.

John is one of that new generation of young Republicans, as are many here, and neither he nor they are that way at all.

What makes you come to that conclusion, Misty?

You could say the same thing about many of the new young Democrats.  They watch Keith, read the Daily Kos and Huffington Post and simply regurgitate their talking points.  No critical thinking skills at all!
I think you and Misty both need to read my "call to unity" blog!  LOL    Just teasing y'all......kinda ;-)
There's no question where Keith and Rachel come down on the political spectrum, just as there's no question re: Rush, Sean and Bill.  But there IS a difference; From the latter ones I hear only hate and obfuscation and lies and fact-twisting talking points, from the former I hear opinions supported by facts along with at least occasional respect for opinions from the other side of the line.

When has Keith Olbermann ever shown respect for opinions from the other side? Keith once in a commentary said Bush "should shut the hell up."  He also several times called Bush the "idiot in chief."  The only right wing host who goes that far is Michael Savage who is thought of by most Republicans as a fringe figure.

Keith and Rachel also hardly ever have guests on who disagree with them.  Bill O'Reilly nightly has liberals on his show. Hannity and Colmes also had guests from across the political spectrum.  Rush frequently takes calls from those who disagree with him.

I'm no fan of Rush, Bill or Sean but to say Keith and Rachel are on a higher level of political discourse is simply not true. 

I have a slight disagreement here...While Rachel can be snarky in her commentary (in an amusing way) and is definately far left, she is always polite to guests.

As for the right wing hosts, let's not forget that Hannity still refers to President Obama as "the chosen one" and the "messiah" with "radical associations".   It was one thing to talk this way about him as a candidate, but it is every bit as insulting as "idiiot in chief" when referring to our President.

I just have this thing about showing respect for the office of POTUS, across the board.

I am skeptical of Steele, but I won't go so far as to say he will not do a decent job. If he can recruit candidates that are not beholden to the lunatic fringe (that, Tin, I believe would be a big part of the job as RNC chair) then he could be good. As of now, from what I know of him, I just don't believe he is that far removed from the "we stand on these social issues, and there can be no compromise whatsoever for any reason" mentality.
When steele was first appointed, he said he would take the republicans in a new direction. Two days later he changed that, and said the republican party was just fine, that they only needed good leaders. I went an read up than on our Mr. Steele and I found that he seems to be more of a follower than he does a leader. His view on certain things seem to counterdicts the Repug party. He could have done the party good, but he is already backing down and back peddling comeing out strong like he did that first day. Seems some one put him in his place. Now, as much as I hate to think about this my young Nephew who is african/american said the Steele had it wrong when he said,"Bush is my home boy", because my nephew said Steele the republicans partys "Boy", and he'd better get use to being used by them, because he was elected for that seat to be Window Dressing an not the Chair leadership! If that is true and my young nephew is right, than it's a real sad day for the Republican party. Rush did not have anything good to say about steele either, and it seems to me these days old Rush is more the leader of the republican party than anyone alse is! That to me is a shock, given Rush's poor education, and his prescription drug problems and the fact he has Profoundly stated that he HOPES Obama failes. If Obama fails , we all fail, and if Rush isn't intelligent enough to understand that and he is leader this party, we are all in trouble, wouldn't ya say? I really don't admire any of the news castor or talk radio these days. They all go over board. But when Rush has Senators bowing down and apologizing for putting him in his place where he should indeed stay, I say the republicans better scrap the whole party and start from scratch and kick Rush/Rove down the road , and they can drag The rest of the media kicking an screaming with them.
I for one am very happy with Steele as party leader. I believe he is a real conservative with an impressive track record and a desire to see the Republican party return to goldwater/reagan type ideals. As for comparisons of olbermann and maddow to rush and sean. Its all the same. Except one side is liberal and the other is conservative. Olbermann does take it way too far. Maddow seems as respectful and opinionated as sean and rush. O reilly is a buffoon who loves himself and the sound of his voice more than the country! But we cannot call any of these people the young faces of their respective parties. They are tv/radio personalities, not politicians or elected officials. And thank God for that!
Heard something funny, but somewhat true, on the radio a moment ago. Here it is in summary...... "Obama ran a campaign saying 'we can't afford four more years of Bush politics'. And in 15 days, he has pledged to spend $2 trillion more then his predecessor. Now I ask you, can we afford 4 more DAYS of Obama/Pelosi politics?". IMO, he has a point. But he is unfairly targeting Obama. I believe this unstimulating stimulus package is the doing of Pelosi and her evil minions of chaos. Obama has cut some of the fat himself because paying to hand out contraceptives was a pelosi idea and not a good one. I think Obama presidency will go much smoother and be better for the country if he can put Pelosi in a corner for 4 years
I believe Republicans would work with Obama. And I think they believe in him. But Pelosi is ruining everything. She's trying to castrate Republicans by stifling their voices. She refuses to work with them and then throws this pork filled stimulus package in their face. Pelosi is the reason Republicans are still divisive amidst the Obama dsplay of unity. I believe Obama and Pelosi are very different. Unfortunately, it looks as though Repubs are opposing Obama, rather than Pelosi. Oh. And by the way. 11 house democrats voted NO with the Repubs against the stimulus. Making the opposition of the stimulus the only bi-partisan effort of the whole thing. And has anyone noticed the drastic climb in the purchases of used homes in the months of december and January? Is the housing market correcting itself without the government sending our kids, and their kids, into debt on yet another ridiculous bailout/stimulus package? Hmmm. Maybe the conservative idea of "doing nothing" to help the economy is the way to go! "Government is not the solution to the problem, government IS the problem" -R.Reagan

It's amazing how people butcher this quote over and over again.  This is what Reagan actually said:

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

Why do leave out the first part of the quote?  Because it's inconvenient?

In that same speech, Reagan also said this:

"Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it's not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work--work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it."

I would probably say that government has provided an answer to a problem but not a solution.  Otherwise we wouldn't be dealing with the same problems over and over.
Ok........ "IN THIS PRESENT CRISIS, government is not the solution to the problem, government IS the problem"...... Thanks John. It still works as a good quote! Its even better! Because "in this current crisis" where government spending and taxing is smothering the private sector and the people, "government is not the solution to the problem" of the failing economy "government IS the problem" because of tax and spend habits. Riding on our backs! Not working with us but stifling us and productivity! Excellent point John. Thanks
Oh. And it isn't "butchering" a quote when I quote it verbatim, omitting the first sentence because I felt it was implied. When I use that quote, it is always in reference to whatever current crisis is in question. And the idea of quoting Reagan is to show how well his ideals work as well today as they did back then! Reagan type conservatism works. I wish Obama would try it

You mean like trickle-down-supply side economics?

Reagan ran massive deficits. This election has discreted his philosophy.

He set the foundation for our financial crisis, by constant deregulation and taking away the safe guard of the New Deal.

Reagan is out.

F.D.R is in.

Reagan is out. FDR is in. And that is exactly what the problem is! Good point warsame

Reagan gave us the longest period of uninterrupted economic expansion during peacetime in the 20th Century.  Some 17 million new jobs were created during the 1980s.  Stock market averages more than doubled. 

Reagan's philosophy has only been discredited by those who refuse to look at the facts. 

Brandon, you make an excellent point. Revenue to the government grew, the economy was healthy, jobs were created and taxes were cut. Reaganomics worked and helped us out of a failing economy, much like the one we are in right now. Yet critics claim trickle down economics don't work. No matter how many facts we provide, they refuse to give it credit. But what do you expect from people who believe global warming is real? (Another liberal theory that has yet to be proved) its funny how no facts support global warming, yet they believe. Facts prove reaganomics work, yet they disagree. Its almost amusing! ALMOST

You mean Clinton was president during the longest period of economic expansion during peacetime in the 20th century:

Source -

Reagan started the economic expansion that really occurred continuously between 1982 and 2008.  Yes we had slight recessions in 1991 and 2001, but they were mild.



Are there any democrats out there that actually pay taxes? No wonder they love spending taxpayer money on crap like this stimulus package. They have no money involved! Lol

That was a snarky thing to say... "Are there any democrats out there that actually pay taxes?"  I gave up on the GOP years ago, so I guess that make me a dem, and I pay my taxes fully and on time. 

Do I have problems with the way the government spends some of my money?  Of course.  Do I have problems with the right of my government to collect taxes?  No.  The major issue I have is not with how much I pay, but how it has been abused, especially in the last 8 years... Iraq, tax cuts for the wealthy, reliance on non-workable trickle-down economics, etc.  

I, for one, am willing to eat a higher tax bill if it means universal medical care for all, better infrastructure maintenance, ethical and nonpartisan fiscal oversight in government, and environmental responsibility.

Well mcgraw, being a democrat you should appreciate some good snark. And the comment wasn't directed to those of US who are working Americans contributing our taxes as directed by the IRS. The comment was directed to those democrats who hold office and have been caught not paying taxes due to their appointments to Obamas presidential cabinet. (Geithner, Daschle, and Killifer)

 As for universal health care. Look into what its doing in places that already have it. See how the medical professionals feel about it.

 And your quote "non workable trickle down economics". How "non workable" is it when the revenue to the government increases. Jobs are created, the economy flourishes, and people are happy? Non workable economics rock!!!!!!

I , for one, am willing to eat a higher tax bill if it means universal medical care for all, better infrastructure maintenance, ethical and nonpartisan fiscal oversight in government, and environmental responsibility.


Reagonfan do you still think polosi is ruining it? The GOP are mad because he caped bankers CEO's pay to $500,000. a year. Now the Republicans senators are saying that is wrong? Wrong How? We bailed them out and they wasted our tax dollars, and sense it is our tax dollars our Goverment is now Shareholders, and Shareholders set their salarys. If they can't be responsable on their own accord, we have to hold them responsable ourselfs! Obama has already put in Tax cuts for the republicans, and took out a lot of other stuff they didn't want in the stimulus! Just what more can they do for them. Tax cuts have been tried an failed, and yet they want this tired old idea in this stimulus! also, reagonfan we have never been in this deep! Reagon did help us out of a failing economy, but nothing like this! Unemployment hit 7.6, the highest in 29 years. Steele just fired 100 people on his staff for LOOKS only, and said after review he might hire them back or a few! He pulled a whole show and pony stunt in the middle of  a world crisis and the economy tanking, and put more hands out for employment pay/ and more families endanger of lose of homes/food and survival! If he was a leader, he would have sat them down, and said "This is what I expect from you, and you pull your weight or your fired"! even Obama kept Gates on a few more as to keep things running smooth. He also hired on Gregg, and even if I didn't like the choice, this kind of actions show he is doing all the work in reaching accross the Isle, but he can't do it alone! I think polosi took this stance, because she knew this is where it would end up any way. We have show off senators tearing up the stimulus bill on the senate floor for pete sake, and throwing tantrums like small children. What can we expect next? John Mccain screaming for more tax cuts! Man , I just feel like throwing up my hands and telling these politicians to get their hind quarters down here with us loww income people and live just three months on what we live on, or live on unemployment for three month and than tell us that $ 500,000. a year isn't enough for CEO"s to live on!

Great Job Jupitor, I am in full agreement with you! I am saddened by the continious antagonist that is going on in washington. The American people are suffering dearly by this failing economy. I recall the President expressing to the American people  that a rough draft was drawn out and presented to the republicans regarding how the stimulus package should look, the Republicans agree that the package looked good, it was diverse and full of substance.

Then as the bill continued to be manifested, and the democrats filled in the details of the cost, the republicans  became increasingly fearful, and started to make very negative comments about the proposal. Unfortunately, the party went into sabotage mode. The republicans whined that they were not a part of the decision making process and formulation of the bill; however, the republicans had the opportunity to formulate their own plan/proposal, take the initiative and contact the president, and present their ideas to him and convey to him how the plan would work in a practical sense, but they played the blame game. Typical. In contrast, Nancy Pelosi remained stubborn and had to be nugged by the President to negotiate with the republicans which made the process even more chaotic and antagonistic.

Reagonfan I don't pay tax's at this time!  let's just say unforseen situation put my husband an I on disability at the same time. Unfortunate yes! but I can guarantee you that it is people like us that would use a stimulus check immediately on food,Gas,Medical bill, co payments,Ins, and clothing! We would stimulate the economony! thousands of us would. But bush's didn't give the checks to folks like us. It gave the checks to working families who put it in saveings or fire prove safes for hard times. Or the upper class. My son in law works construction. He has a family, and his goes to into food,cloths,health and etc., because he can't afford to safe it, he needs it now! So a lot of people don't understand Obama's stimulus, like us plain folk do. Mccain couldn't possibly with his millions , and not even know how many homes he owns could understand it. That's why a Lot of Republicans and some Demacrates who earn or come from famililies of millions don't understand the down to earth concept of the stimulus. Ben Nelsen from Neb. is the one I don't understand. He stood by why Bush wasted Billions of dollars on this war, Bailout w/no accountability and now he is bucking the stimulus. He's a man of modest means to boot! I think he is doing what you wish Polosi would do, and thats bending over backwards trying to bring the republicans on board, and I ask you this! do you think it sounds like it is working??????????????????????
Oh I'm sad that we don't have another article to talk about with so much going on! Mike steele has been brought on the carpet for some unethical dealings with campagne funds, and payments that may have been fraudlent. So to admire him, was to quick in comeing. We have  the stimulus package, and whats being scraped now. we have john mccain yelling for more tax breaks, and his own stimulus, I now hear it's been shot down. Ben nelsen is still bending over backwards for the republicans and getting no where fast. Bidens in germany talking repair of our relationship.
jupitor, we have a lot of other threads going discussing most of this, not just blogs.  Look to the right of your screen under Recent Posts, click "more" to see all of them, and join right in.

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