Sunday, August 08, 2010
Say That Again?
As President Obama's approval numbers tanked again last week, Michael Steele donned a red hat, emblazoned with the logo "Fire Pelosi," and kicked off a six week bus tour. He was jubilant as he spoke to a crowd in Kansas City, predicting that he and the RNC would send Pelosi to "the back of the bus."
One could be forgiven for thinking that one's hearing was faulty. But a few weeks ago -- speaking about the war in Afghanistan -- Steele said, "This war was of Obama's choosing. This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in."
And shortly after assuming the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, Steele claimed that Obama's election was a fluke: "The problem we have with this president," he said, "is we don't know him. He was not vetted, folks. . . . He was not vetted because the press fell in love with the black man running for office." The longest primary season in American political history somehow did not register with Mr. Steele.
Alot of history has not registered with Mr. Steele. On the subject of the stimulus package, he said, " Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job." He was, of course, conveniently forgetting that he used to be the Lt. Governor of Maryland.
His gaffes have not gone unnoticed. William Kristol has suggested that he should be guided to the door marked Exit. Steele, however, has an answer for his critics: "I'm very introspective about things. I'm a cause and effect kind of guy. So, if I do something there's a reason for it. . . It may look like a mistake, a gaffe. There is a rationale, there is a logic behind it."
Mr. Steele's logic increasingly eludes even members of his own party. Perhaps that's because he has -- in the now famous words of one of George W. Bush's advisers -- left "the reality based community." There was a time when those who checked out of that community resided in the Twilight Zone.
This entry is cross posted at The Moderate Voice.