Arguments Against Michael Steele

by Sal on November 17, 2008

in Politics

As most people know, Michael Steele is running for the RNC Chairmanship position.  There are many people, including myself, who have been intrigued and excited by this idea.  Erick Erickson over at RedState has some counter-arguments to electing Steele as the RNC chair, and he makes some good points.  Whether or not they are disqualifying to his candidacy remains to be seen, but it is important that we vet any potential candidate for this post, as the RNC chair will play an important role in the Republican success in 2010 and 2012.

Among Erickson’s points:

  • The RNC chair is much more than the “face of the party”.  It is about running an organization, coordinating grass-roots efforts, and managing resources to yield positive election results.
  • Michael Steele has a somewhat liberal Republican record.  He was one of the founders, along with Christie Todd Whitman and John Danforth, of the Republican Leadership Council, an attempt to move the party leftward towards the center.
  • He has stated in the past that Roe V. Wade should remain the law of the land., although recently he has attempted to pull a Romney and try to move towards the right on this issue.

These areas are all thoughtful and concerning points.  I wonder if Steele’s campaign for the RNC is not unlike Huckabee’s bid for the Presidency.  At first, I and others I know were intrigued by Huckabee.  He seemed at the debates to be a real Conservative who articulated principles well.  Yet after examining his record, he became a much larger cause for concern.

My initial enthusiasm not withstanding, I am less sure today about Steele taking over the RNC than I was a week ago.  We may need a two-tiered system like the one that worked under Reagan, with a person in a “face-of-the-party” role, and another as the behind-the-scenes fundraiser/organizer/manager. Whether the former role goes to Steele or someone else remains to be seen, and I remain open to being persuaded either way.

UPDATE: Mike has pointed out to me that Steele’s record is consistently pro-life, and his comment on Roe V. Wade remaining the law was a tactical point based on his view of reality and where we stand today.  Steele has been consistantly pro-life, although his involvement in the Republican Leadership Council, whose stated objective is to minimize the Social Conservative wing of the Republican Party, is something that I still feel needs to be looked at.  I apologize to Lt. Gov. Steele for mischaracterizing his position.

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Hip Hop Republican » Blog Archive » Call to Action-SUPPORT MICHAEL STEELE !!!!!!!!
November 21, 2008 at 7:41 pm

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Mike November 17, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Ok wait a minute. There is a huge difference between a pro-life candidate saying Roe v. Wade should stay in place for the moment (even GW Bush cloaked his language at one point) and Mitt Romney.

The National Right to Life Cmte. endorsed Steele in the 2006 race when he was a little squishy on tactics through his Roe statement. Romney went from pro-choice (running for Senate in MA) to pro-life (when thinking about running for President) back to pro-choice (when running for Gov. of MA) and back to pro-life again (when running for President). Romney and Steele aren’t even in the same ballpark on the opportunism front.


Sal November 17, 2008 at 12:15 pm

True, to a point. His involvement in the RLC is concerning to me. I’m also not saying that I think the arguments presented are persuasive or disqualifying, but they are definately worth investigating so that we don’t end up with buyer’s remorse. Steele should be vetted, as should any other potential candidate for the RNC position.


Mike November 17, 2008 at 12:21 pm

No one is saying Steele shouldn’t be vetted. But he shouldn’t be smeared either. Steele is a pro-lifer who gave an awkward answer vis-a-vis tactics that didn’t even trouble the National Right to Life Committee. Comparing that to a man who changed his position four times, all at the exact moment he needed to, to suit the office he was seeking is just beyond the pale.

Defending someone from an outrageous charge is not the same thing as saying he shouldn’t be vetted. Whatever vetting occurs should be accurate. That’s all.


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