Friday, January 30, 2009

Steele to Head RNC

Former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele has won the race to become the new head of the RNC, becoming the first African-American to lead the Republican Party.

First things first. Congratulations to Mr. Steele, and to the GOP -- this is a historic day for both them.

I also think that this is a good choice for the Republican Party -- which is to say, a bad choice for me, because I'm a Democrat. Mr. Steele is a talented politician. Getting crushed in a Maryland Senate race, one of the bluest states in the union, during a Democratic wave year doesn't change that.

Mr. Steele also has talked aggressively about increasing the party's appeal to non-Whites and women. And when I say aggressive, I mean it's more than just lip service -- he's saying that Republicans have to take these people and their policy commitments seriously, rather than just paying lip service to the ideal of "inclusion" at a cocktail party. Finally, Steele has a reputation as a moderate in his party. Indeed, it almost derailed his campaign for chairmanship. We all know that in primaries one cuts to the base, then tacks back to the middle once the deal is sealed. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Steele develops his approach towards the Democratic majority now that he is in the driver's seat.


PG said...

I'm really, really hopeful about this: I see it as a move toward not only moderation but getting away from Palinism. Steele's family is Democratic, so he doesn't see the opposition as two-headed monsters; he grew up in a city (in Washington!); his family valued education highly and he has degrees from Johns Hopkins and Georgetown; he's taught world history and economics to high school students. If we're lucky, he'll get the GOP to make education reform their centerpiece issue.

Seriously, in these days where I find myself missing William F. Buckley on a weekly basis, I probably would be OK with Steele even if he were much further to the right, so long as it was an intelligent right. A competent opposition may not be good from the Democratic Party, but it's very good for the country. I've agreed with two David Brooks columns in a week, and that's never a good sign for the direction of the Dems.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans are in trouble. They no direction and no leaders. Everytime you turn on the t.v their whining and at this point they just seem like a bunch of copycats...always two steps behind the dems. Don't get me wrong, Steel seems okay..but that party is so out of touch at this point that they now appear to just be pandering, the same way McCain looked when he picked Palin for VP.

I dont know what the Republicans plan is to try to gain ground (other then to continue to try to distruct the country) but they need to find themselves because the day of Reagan is long gone. Regardless of what happens this next four years, I don't see anyone that can compete with Obama at this point in 2012..the man has become too powerful, and should the dems succeed in at least stabling the economy and trying to turn this mess around..Obama can keep the Republicans out of Power for some time. Im talking a few decades. So the Republican party needs to look toward 2016...and if Hillary runs for President, my god, let me just say again the Rightwingers are in trouble.