Michael Steele Plays the Race Card


“Do you feel that, as an African-American, you have a slimmer margin for error than another chairman would?”

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele was asked this question on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The RNC reimbursed a staffer — since fired — $2,000 for a trip to a Hollywood club featuring topless dancers, simulated sex and S&M scenes. So the Democrats/lib-media broke out the good china.

Steele said: “The honest answer is ‘yes.’ It just is. Barack Obama has a slimmer margin. A lot of folks do. It’s a different role for me to play and others to play, and that’s just the reality of it.”

Good grief. So he and Obama, as fellow blacks, ride in the same boat on troubled racist waters? More people than not voted for Obama because of his race. And given the ever-concerned-about-being-perceived-as-racist GOP, Steele’s race was also a plus — enabling the party to say, “Hey, we’re racially inclusive, too.”

Steele could have said: “Yes, there is a slimmer margin of error — but not because of racism. It comes from the double standard applied to Republicans. I’ll give you just one example. Republican Mark Foley resigned from Congress because of sexually explicit Internet messages to an underage intern. It was such a big media-driven scandal that it helped Democrats regain control of Congress. His Democratic successor, a married man, put his mistress on his congressional payroll. When he fired her, she threatened to sue, and he paid her a six-figure settlement. Not big news.”

He could have said: “According to a Web site by Republican David Frum, the DNC has spent lavishly on parties, travel, hotels and limos — including $6,000 at a D.C. club with stripper poles and go-go dancers. But I guess Democrats and strippers don’t make news like Republicans and strippers.”

He could have said: “For crying out loud, it’s 2010. This is America, where more than anywhere else — regardless of race, ethnicity or gender — you are rewarded or punished based on your performance. Losers whine and make excuses. Winners don’t.”

He could have said: “Gee, when Republicans preach hard work, accountability and strong family values, they call us scolds. When we let our hair down and show that we’re receptive to alternative lifestyles, they call us hypocrites. Can’t win. Seriously, Democrats and their media friends would like nothing more than to divert attention from what’s really going on — the fierce opposition to this administration’s massive expansion of government. Nothing less than the future of the country is at stake, and we’re going to take this country back.”

He could have said: “Black Republicans pose a special threat because black Republicans disarm the left wing’s weapons of racial grievance and the victicrat mentality. Black Republicans are a scary bunch. They don’t follow the script by blaming everything on race, as if nothing’s changed. Like a gay who supports traditional marriage, a Latino who wants the borders secured first, a woman who is pro-life, or a poor person who doesn’t want to soak the rich — we threaten groupthink and identity politics.”

He had a teachable moment — and he blew it. This says a lot about why Steele worries so many. A March National Journal poll of about 100 named “Republican insiders” found that 71 percent considered Steele a “liability.”

Already under fire for incurring expenses thought excessive for travel and lodging, Steele caught flak for the money spent redecorating his office and for the time spent promoting his book.

A major complaint involves Steele’s acceptance of money to give speeches. While this apparently does not violate committee rules, former RNC chairmen disapprove.

Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., who ran the RNC under President Ronald Reagan, said, “Holy mackerel, I never heard of a chairman of either party ever taking money for speeches. The job of a national chairman is to give speeches. That’s what the national party pays him for.”

Jim Nicholson, RNC chairman from 1997 to 2000, said, “(The position) demands so much of your time that you can work 24/7 and not get everything done, so taking time out to speak for the benefit of one’s own bank account is not appropriate.”

Rich Bond, 1992-93 RNC chair, said, “It just doesn’t look right using RNC resources and trading on the title of chairman to make outside money.”

Steele blames his difficulties on the “African-American … slimmer margin for error” — the same hazard that Obama deals with. Honestly. From the traditional media to the punditry class to academia to the monologues of late-night comics, never has any president enjoyed a more groveling, fawning, obsequious, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil, see-no-evil quasi-deification.

How long before the Democrats use Steele’s own words to attack Republicans, tea partiers and others for refusing to accept that a black man has been elected president?

Steele faces Republican trouble from Republican unhappiness about his Republican leadership. This has nothing to do with race. By raising it, he diminishes himself, his party and his country.

  • Michael

    Wow! We miss you so much here in Los Angeles Larry, and reading this perfect article hitting truth right on the head only makes your absence felt so much the worse.
    Great article and great insights as usual.

    • Mary

      I agree. The article was excellent. Steele had an incredible opportunity to respond in an intelligent, thoughtful manner. Instead he took the low road. It says alot about his character, or lack of, and his beliefs. Perhaps he's gearing up for any future attacks on his performance, which, no doubt will be met with the same caustic drivel…if you find fault with me, you must be a racist. Unfortunately this ploy is used because it works. It stops open and honest dialogue, obscures the point and places the so called "racist" in a position where he/she has to defend themselves. I can't say that I'm surprised that Steele played the race card, but I am disappointed by it.

      • eerie Steve

        Karl Rove for head of the RNC.

  • poptoy

    LET HIM. COME NEXT YEAR HE WILL NOT BE PLAYING FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. ALSO HE WILL DO LIKE COLIN THE POWELL AND WANT TO VOTE FOR THE KENYAN. WHO THE HELL CARES. IT IS TIME THIS CRAP GOES AWAY. RACE RACE AND RACE. GEEZ, WHEN IS IT ENOUGH.

  • Arnold Wolf

    Barry S. Hussein Obama has in his actions against Democracy, freedom and justice insured that the his half black past will drive the African American back into slavery.

    The hatred and animosity toward blacks by the action of one (like Greenspan in Europe killing a Nazi) was the excuse Hitler needed for the holocaust of all Jews and the return to slaves under the 'white man'.

    In minorities, all people are placed in the same level of degradation of only one aberrant deviant.

  • http://www.moderatesunited.blogspot.com Barry Cooper

    To me, the issue is we need a kick-ass take no names leader right now who is capable of exploiting this opportunity to actually return to genuine Conservatism–which is true Liberalism–and is instead muddling along with no real plan, no aggressive leadership, and seemingly very little will to win. We are in a culture war between two conflicting visions of our nation, and the Republicans are reacting, not creating. This is not how you win.

    If this guy was doing the job, I could care less about strip clubs. I wouldn't care if he had a private harem. Results are what matter, and he is not delivering them.

    • eerie Steve

      Actually, we should cement the base. Start at the local level and take out individual politicos. Defend what is strong, attack what is weak.

      Me? With gays in the military, I would take a dual spearhead on each coast. Let Arnold and Giuliani target the homosexuals. What they seek is validation from on high, so give it to them. Start with low taxes and personal property. There is no reason that just because you are gay it means you are blue.

      • lucas Smythe

        Oh, so you want to lose the Evangelical vote? that it? Want the base to effectively get disgusted by the "pandering" to a minority (at best) voice in the party and thus effectively remove the chance of regaining back one of the houses of Congress during this midterm? I see. Not too effective a strategy.

        QUESTION: For those out there right here. Right now. Listen up. What if the GOP retakes one of the houses of Congress in November? Who gets the credit?
        And to make the point easier, human nature conclusively demonstrates that people at the top tend to take bows and kudos for things that happen under their watch.
        The question: Dont you think that Steele will be perceived as an effective leader if the GOP retakes one of the houses or comes very close in both houses, effectively making Obama's leadership position with Congress quite fragile?
        Again, the leaders of the winning horse tend to get the credit and are perceived as the winner.
        All Steele has to do is bide his time and wait till after November to see which way the wind blows.

  • kevin Stowell

    ‘Nothing to add, Larry, you nailed it.

  • cochavi1

    His personal morals are relevant. He was also apparently linked, through his sister, to a very suspicious character.

    Well, Steele was all for conservative values until he was criticized. Then he became an Obama supporter.

  • interact

    Within the next couple of decades it is forecast that "White Americans" will become the minority – will all the Affirmative Actions be extended to the new minority?

  • JAYSONREX

    RACE? WHY WOULD ANYONE ABANDON A JUCY BONE WHEN HE/SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO. IT IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT OBAMA WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT BECAUSE SO MANY AMERICANS WANTED TO SHOW THAT THE RACE CARD HAS BEEN LONG DISCARDED. GREAT MISTAKE. IT HASN'T. OBAMA WILL PROVE TO HAVE BEEN AMONG THE WORST PRESIDENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC AND THIS MIGHT COOL THE VICTIMHOOD GAME BLACKS LOVE TO PLAY – MOST PROBABLY LEARNED FROM THE ARAB MUSLIMS, ESPECIALLY FROM THE TOP PERFORMERS IN THIS FIELD, THE SO-CALLED "PALESTINIANS".

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/kwg1 kwg1

      Do you know how to capitalize individual words, or is your "Cap Lock" key permantly stuck in the on position? Capitals are the same as shouting! Articulate your rage selectively if that is it otherwise please use common protocol.

  • Big Elk

    The only racists I've ever met in my 65+ years have been black racists. Definition of a racist is a person who does something or who doesn't do something because of race. Steele is a typical crybaby "woe is me", small black racist.

  • http://shavingleviathan.blogspot.com Jeff Perren

    Steele's answer is deeply ironic given that, in all probability, if he weren't black he would not have his present job. The RNC clearly needed someone at the 'top' who could neutralize Obama's playing the race card. How is that working out GOP leaders?

  • http://maxentropy.squarespace.com Bruce

    What the RNC needs is CONSERVATIVE leadership and $upport for conservative candidates. And, Get Rid of the RINO's! (GRR!). Color is irrelevant.

  • William Jonas

    I agree with Bruce . Race is irrelevant and of little value in determining the worth of an individual . Performance is the most accurate measure of a leader as well as the ability to inspire followers, Steel rates poorly on this scale and the Republican Party is wasting valuable time agonizing over a chairman who has little support or vision.
    They need his resignation very soon to get moving forward by June.

  • USMCSniper

    Any black when confronted with accountability for his actions usually reaches for the race card as his defense

  • trickyblain

    "Black Republicans pose a special threat because black Republicans disarm the left wing’s weapons of racial grievance and the victicrat mentality. Black Republicans are a scary bunch…."

    Could this be the reason that there's not a single, elected black Republican (executive or legislative branch) within the federal gov't?

    • marty johns

      Exactly. Must be Bill Clinton's fault for that, everything else tends to be. Everything's Clinton's fault, everything.

  • George

    There's no difference between Obama and Steele. And no difference between the democrats and the republicans. Alot of lip service. Exact same decisions and policies.

    It's about to come to an end. The federal government has one last chance at reform. Either they oust Steele and elect real conservatives to change the direction of this country or the states are taking serious steps to cut out the federal government entirely.

    MOST of the states have put in place institutions to limit federal law. A large number are openly preparing to ignore ALL federal law and writing language to ignore the federal and high courts. They are a hair's breath away from tax revolts, in my opinion.

    2012 is the last chance for a federal government at all, in the US. The states have lost faith in it and support for it.