I supported Michael Steele for RNC chairman, even though I had no illusions that he was going to personally restore the Republican Party. That is going to take a real conservative leader, and Michael Steele is not it. I did think Michael Steele was the most impressive Republican running for any office in 2006.
Since then, Steele seems to have been corrupted, like so many before him, in the process of media self-promotion. He has become a media "star", if only in his own mind. In that capacity, he seems to be seeking the approval of the mainstream media--seeming to think that his job is to promote himself as much as he is building the Republican Party. I have no problem with Steele acting as a spokesperson for the party, like Howard Dean on the Democratic side, so long as he builds the grass roots party apparatus at the same, time, and so long as he puts out the conservative/Republican message. He has no business, however, creating divisions in the Repubican Party because invited to do so by CNN. That is what he did on CNN this past weekend, as Steele let CNN mousetrap him into apparently criticizing Rush Limbaugh. Even though it was overblown by the mainstream media, as Steele should have expected, it was still monumentally stupid and disappointing.
Limbaugh unloaded on Steele today, maybe a little harder than he needed to. But both Limbaugh and I are vastly tired and frustrated with the Republicans out there willing to cirticize Limbaugh, and conservatives, more than they are willing to criticize President Obama, or the mainstream media. Steele said, in answer to a CNN Democratic criticism of Limaubh, that Limbaugh is an "entertainer" (the old John McCain line dismissing Limbaugh), who is "incendiary" and "ugly". This was in the context of Limbaugh's well received (in conservative circles) speech on Saturday to CPAC (could have this acronym wwrong--the reference being to that conservative convention held Thursday-Saturday). Steele new he was on a CNN panel discussing that very speech (covered by CNN and Fox live) for the very purpose of reacting to Limbaugh. Thus, for Steele to be this stupid is inexplicable.
Republican politicians seem unable to resist "distancing" themselves from Limbaugh every time the mainstream media, and Democrats, try to demonize Limbaugh and associate Republicans with him. If Republicans do not learn how to handle Limbaugh, and conservatives in general, better than this, they will never win another major election in my lifetime. I am actually betting on this result, unless Obama bails the Republican Party out (as he may). In that case, though, there may be a Repubican coup and the Repubican establishment may be thrown out of their ear (a result to be fondly desired).
The mainstream media has become such an arm of the Democratic Party that Republicans are going to have to start taking them on directly, and not letting the mainstream media gleefully start these "fights". In this case, as in most cases, it was a self-inflicted wound, as Steele tried to avoid direct endorsement of Limbaugh as a Republican "leader" (the usual media and Democratic trap). It is true that Limbaugh is not a leader of the Republican Party, and cannot speak for the Republican Party. However, for Steele to forget that Limbaugh has more credibility with Republicans, and battle scars firghting for Republicans--including Steele in 2006, than Steele is beond stupid.
Why is it so very hard for Republican politicians to say that Limbaugh is an influential conservative leader, and asset to the Republican Party, even though he does not pretend to speak for Republicans or the Republican Party. Is it mere ego? Is it cowardice?
Whatever it is, it has got to stop. Republicans are not going to win elections rising to bait on Rush Limabugh, or bashing conservatives. I have told you that I do not expect to vote for a Republican in the rest of my lifetime, absent a conservative coup taking over the Republican Party, and I mean it. There are a lot of people out there like, me, and more join us every time a Republican says somethign like Steele said, or otherwise feels it necessary to "distance" the Repubican Party from the person who has to be regarded as the most visible conservative leader at this tie in this country
P.S. Politico.com is a website of liars, worth nobody's time. See previous entries in this blog. I like to point this out from time to time. But there is actually a connection to this entry. Politico.com tried to raise another fight among conservatives by suggesting that Limbaugh had trashed Newt Gingrich in his speech. That is not true. That is just more political lies from the liars at Politico.com. I, on the other hand, am getting a little tired of Gingrich's "American solutions". I think it is a bad idea (figuring out "solutions" by "consensus") yielding bad results. Oh, you have to still regard Gingrich as a conservative, but he is fast making himself a not very useful, and even harmful, part of the conservative movement. Limbaugh said no such thing, and Politico.com lied to suggest he did. As I say, however, I am willing to say that. This blog is entitled "The Maverick Conservative" for a reason, and this is another example. I am also willing to criticize Rush from time to time, without underestimating his present leadership of the conservative movement.
P.S. 2: This enty not proofread. It is not worth my time. I am trying to use spell check on the entries in this blog now, but it is a laborious process for me (eyesight). I did not choose to go trhough that process for an entry which is more of a rant than a real intellectual "article". You will just have to live with the typos in this entry.