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January 9, 2010 12:01 PM   Subscribe

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has been an interesting character in the Republican party. His attempts at rebranding the GOP and their online presence has been mocked on the Blue and the web at large. He now has a new book out to his own party's surprise, and has made statements on the RNC's financial outlook and electoral future. Many conservatives are now looking down on Steele, which begs the question: Has Steele gone rogue?
posted by mccarty.tim (57 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
no, he's a maverick. now the ticket of mccain-steele in 2010 is unstoppable.
posted by mordacil at 12:06 PM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Every time I see Michael Steele I think of this. So does Jon Stewart.
posted by ericb at 12:12 PM on January 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


The problem with the book (and his speaking fees as well) as that the RNC chairmanship is a fulltime job, and he's prohibited from taking outside work while he holds it. I think he'll be fired fairly soon, and with good cause. The RNC is bleeding money, and he should be out there fundraising and doing his job.
posted by empath at 12:13 PM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]




Apparently he also tried to claim the book was written before he was RNC Chairman.

...
posted by lazaruslong at 12:21 PM on January 9, 2010


Apparently he also tried to claim the book was written before he was RNC Chairman.
Which is funny, because it obviously wasn't, unless Steele has access to a time machine or something.
posted by Flunkie at 12:28 PM on January 9, 2010


He's also a red state person, kind of rusty with technology, and guilty of trying to put lipstick on a pig. Which begs the question: Has Steele gone rouge?
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:28 PM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know...

Rogues are backstabbers and pickpockets.

Sure, that's synonymous with politician, but hardly a selling point.
posted by Balisong at 12:31 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Steele and Palin are the result of Republicans acting out all the bad things they imagine Affirmative Action creates.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:34 PM on January 9, 2010 [22 favorites]


It's funny to entertain the idea of a conspiracy on Steele's part, if only for a moment. Growing sympathies towards a splinter faction of the Republican party which believes in purifying the party ideology even at the cost of victory in the short and even medium turn. A position which provides a fair amount of difficult to see power over the party's fate and direction. A "Prosperity Gospel" which encourages enriching oneself as it is morally right to do so, even if it is logically irresponsible.

No, Michael Steele couldn't be intentionally sabotaging the Republican party as a whole, relying on grassroots measures to support teabagger candidates, permitting moderates to fall by the wayside in favor of opponents who are either inevitable in another pro-Democratic cycle or weak enough to not survive a re-election bid without a split opposition.

It's still a bit funny to think about. Really, it seems like Michael Steele is looking out for Michael Steele, aiming his pitiful efforts in the direction he feels is best rather than thinks about, and is shaping up to be the difference between a serious Republican wave which could return the House and push the Senate close, and a faltering resurgence hindered by bloody primaries which gives the wounded Democrats enough breathing room to enter 2011 in about the same state they entered 2009.
posted by Saydur at 12:37 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


well christ, it was either the token black man or a man (Katon Dawson) who entered politics because:

"[the] trauma of being forced to attend integrated schools, saying: "Government reached into my life and grabbed me and shook me at the age of fifteen. I remember how blatant it was that government just thought that they knew better, that government just thought they knew better what to do in my school.".

Dawson is/was just a veneer away from publicity supporting the KKK, and I say that not to be inflammatory, but as just part of his history...

It'll be interesting to see who Steele is replaced by. I can't really hope that Dawson re-emerges as the RNC head because I don't want blatant dickheads like him in power... but it sure would be symbolically accurate of the current GOP. perhaps it'd help drive away more moderates from the brand, I'd trade Ben Nelson and Lieberman for a Snowe and/or Collins.
posted by edgeways at 12:43 PM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Steele and Palin are the result of Republicans acting out all the bad things they imagine Affirmative Action creates.

As Jon Stewart said when Steele got the job, fairly obviously as a response to Obama's election, "You guys know that it doesn't work with just any black guy, right?"
posted by fatbird at 12:44 PM on January 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


As Jon Stewart said

I recall Seth Meyers on SNL's Weekend Update saying something like: "you guys know it's not just any black guy, right?"

Steele wasn't put in the post to lead the party, and if he did not realize that at the time, he's certainly figured it out.
posted by longsleeves at 1:05 PM on January 9, 2010


My bad: I think it was Seth Myers, actually.
posted by fatbird at 1:16 PM on January 9, 2010


Rogues are backstabbers and pickpockets.

Sure, that's synonymous with politician, but hardly a selling point.


Yes, but if you don't bring a rogue with you, you're gonna miss out on a lot of nice loot.
posted by wildcrdj at 1:17 PM on January 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


The first politician to officially "Go Warlock" gets my vote.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:19 PM on January 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


Why is the GOP broke if Steele has gone rogue? Unless, in an act of chaotic evil he's somehow funneled the funds to himself.

Oh wait, he just wrote a book in a job that forbids him to take other jobs. He did.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:45 PM on January 9, 2010


Well, there's an elected Pagan in Queens.

Granted, I won't be happy until one of them goes full-Wiccan.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:46 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


We've already had GWB try to "Go Necromancer" with all the time he invoked Reagan...

Besides, isn't "Rogue Steele!" a great 80s-esque post-apocalyptic movie title? You can see it: Wesley Snipes as Michael Steele, once-great warrior king, fighting a battle against the Evul Librul Lords that cast him down, raising an army of right(eousne$$) because he knows God has put him there!!

It could do pretty well as a straight-to-DVD.
posted by mephron at 1:55 PM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I believe you're thinking of Winter Steele, mephron.
posted by hippybear at 2:17 PM on January 9, 2010


Tell you what, saying that you're anticipating nice gains but probably not enough to retake the house in 2010, when you're down almost 80 seats, is not a roguish thing to say. Sounds cautiously optimistic to me. Somewhere in the neighborhood of realistic!

Also: If unemployment is under 8% on election day, I anticipate meager midterm gains for the Republicans. If it gets worse, well, fuckin' Warlock/Shadow Priest 2012 will be off and running.
posted by Mister_A at 2:17 PM on January 9, 2010


I think what America really needs right now is a War on Necromancy. All of our media currently is fixated on killing zombies. Clearly, people who make corpses come back to life are our biggest villain in the collective unconscious.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:18 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nothing like Keeping it Steele! (skip to 1:20 if you want to skip the goofy rambling).
posted by yeloson at 2:20 PM on January 9, 2010



I think what America really needs right now is a War on Necromancy. All of our media currently is fixated on killing zombies. Clearly, people who make corpses come back to life are our biggest villain in the collective unconscious.


But with a zombie labor force we could compete with Chinese manufacturing! If you aren't in favor of necromancy, you HATE AMERICA.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:38 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or Blue Steel, a plan to mount nuclear missiles on the Concorde (really!). I think that is where Zoolander got the name.But it would be cool to mount nuclear missiles on Michael Steele, too.
posted by autopilot at 2:49 PM on January 9, 2010


The only way a party member could object to Steele as spokesman is because a vapid, corrupt buffoon too accurately captures today's Republican.
posted by minimii at 2:55 PM on January 9, 2010


TRMS skewered Steele last night. He won't be around much longer.
posted by netbros at 3:05 PM on January 9, 2010


Which is funny, because it obviously wasn't, unless Steele has access to a time machine or something.
Eh, he theoretically could have written most of it, then edited it to reflect current events.

Look, this guy is funny, but republicans all laughed at Howard Dean when he was DNC chair, up until the 50 state strategy delivered the entire congress and senate to democrats.

Just because someone seems laughable when you view things through a partisan filter doesn't mean it's a good idea to laugh them off as not being a threat. I really have no idea how well he's doing as RNC chair, because all anyone talks about are his gaffs.

Lets not get complacent here.
TRMS skewered Steele last night. He won't be around much longer.
Oh right, because if there's one thing that republicans care about, it's Rachel Maddow's opinion :P
posted by delmoi at 3:30 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


as i tweeted and blogged earlier: I LOVE MICHAEL STEELE! he's the best thing to happen to the GOP since, like, FOREVER!

i <3 even harder the Virgin Islanders, Guamians and of course, that fierce delegation from PUERTO RICO that ended up giving him the votes he needed to win the chairmanship.

that it was BROWN SKINNED REPUBLICAN MIGRANTS the ones who gave the GOP a crazy black man for a chairman is all sorts of awesome :D
posted by liza at 4:02 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really have no idea how well he's doing as RNC chair, because all anyone talks about are his gaffs.

Take a look at the lagging RNC fund raising and recent special election results as WELL as the trail of gaffes. People laughed at Dean because of one sound bite, but the guy was competent from day one and didn't make a media spectacle of himself.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:05 PM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think Steele is just great. I really hope he stays on as Chair.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:46 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


If the RNC's bank accounts are nearly empty, it might explain the added emphasis on purity tests for which candidates to support. With less money to go around, it's better to spend it only on people that reflect the "brand."
posted by drezdn at 6:10 PM on January 9, 2010


I LOVE MICHAEL STEELE!

Watching this party slowly and publicly rot from within, exposing the truly crazy marrow, has been a true gift from on high.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:58 PM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Rogues. Warlocks. Shadow Priests. Chaotic evil. How weird/awesome is it that this thread, of all threads, has gone Dungeons & Dragons? Next you know we'll be making jokes about cold Steele and the Obamaslayer.

But yeah, Steele's being on the outs with the GOP casts a desperate light upon some of his weirder decisions. A little animated Michael Steele that walks out into your browser window and comments on websites? Yeah, that's a well-considered idea.
posted by JHarris at 7:22 PM on January 9, 2010


really? no one has gotten all pedantic about "begs the question" usage yet? Well allow me...
posted by reverend cuttle at 7:42 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


K, Rev. Sorry, I didn't know.

I'm being conservative in the self-loathing, as I've noticed the mods tend to delete my threads when I start dumping on them. It's not that I like deletion, I just am not a very good salesman.

In the future, I will beg questions at only very appropriate times.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:46 PM on January 9, 2010


reverend cuttle: “really? no one has gotten all pedantic about "begs the question" usage yet? Well allow me...”

Which begs the question: what will prescriptivist linguists do when the rest of us, descriptivists and non-linguists alike, decide to use phrases however we'd like to use them, rather than according to their rules?
posted by koeselitz at 8:01 PM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Take a look at the lagging RNC fund raising and recent special election results as WELL as the trail of gaffes.

People said the exact same thing about Dean, although in his case it was because he was intentionally directing money to state parties.

Look, if you report and read only negative things about the other side, you end up with unrealistic expectations of your opponents. For example, we all laugh at the teabaggers but "The tea party movement" actually polls pretty well nationwide.

My only point is that if we count our crows before they hatch we'll be eating them. Um, or something like that. It's just that, we don't want to write off the republicans and only pay attention to their mistakes. Steel does have some allies, including Newt Gingrich. His detractors aren't even willing to put their name on their criticisms.
posted by delmoi at 9:39 PM on January 9, 2010


Rogues are backstabbers and pickpockets.

True, which is part of the reason they're a great role to ascend with. High dexterity means they tend to hit, which means they advance weapon skills relatively quickly. And they can advance in the ones that matter, too: long sword, #twoweapon, and dagger, which they get an extra toss on with missile weapon. Plus they start with 10 daggers. And a sack for protecting scrolls and potions and gold, on top of the lockpick. Everybody says the Barbarians are easier, but I don't buy it.

Unless, in an act of chaotic evil he's somehow funneled the funds to himself.

Chaotic is certainly classic rogue alignment, evil's up for debate. Still, the evil part isn't necessary for embezzling. Chaotic good or neutral might even funnel funds to themselves, depending.
posted by weston at 9:40 PM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know why, but I find it amusing that Michael Steele was Mike Tyson's brother in law, for a while.
posted by electroboy at 9:58 PM on January 9, 2010


Which begs the question: what will prescriptivist linguists do when the rest of us, descriptivists and non-linguists alike, decide to use phrases however we'd like to use them, rather than according to their rules?

Okay, get this: my wife and I just had this very discussion. We're in an inebriated state, and I was posting a social message, and I was grousing about "its"/"it's" confusion — and then suddenly realized that its just not necessary to have the apostrophe.

Now, colour me shocked. I mean, I a guy who is resisting dropping the "u" from his English. But in real terms, the apostrophe doesnt, at first glance, provide any additional information that we cant figure out from context.

I can see that the apostrophe is as doomed as the letter "u" Or inside quotation punctuation, for that matter

Welcome to abbrv English, folks. Wr gonna see changes.

Differentiating "beg the question" and "raise the question" and "pose the question" and "ask the question" are all gonna be the same thing, and they're all gonna be reduced to "beg2?"

Ugh. I don't know whether to dread it or welcome it. I like my "u" convention! I like my apostrophes! I like the subtleties of language! Humbug. Get off my lawn!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:45 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I tend toward desiring English-as-spoken, which allows for using all sorts of sloppy writing, like "gonna" and "ain't" and weird-ass punctuation. I do rather dislike symbols. It needs to read aloud as a voice in my head if we're going to properly communicate, IMO. Of course, there I go use a cheezy acronym and assuming it doesn't look like some stupid letter soup instead of a voice that says something that ends up meaning "in my opinion" in the same sort of way as I meant it.

Shit, this communication stuff is too hard.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:51 PM on January 9, 2010


I'm gonna go beg the question now. Bang the exclamation, if you know what I mean. Get me some of that slurp the semicolon.

Punctuation is sexy.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:53 PM on January 9, 2010


Oops. Pulled a Palin in my rant! “Differentiating…are all gonna be the same thing,” er, yah. Whatevers, eh. <wink&gt
posted by five fresh fish at 10:57 PM on January 9, 2010


Look, this guy is funny, but republicans all laughed at Howard Dean when he was DNC chair, up until the 50 state strategy delivered the entire congress and senate to democrats.

Howard Dean isn't an idiot, and despite the way the "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGH!" played, he isn't a buffoon.
posted by orthogonality at 11:25 PM on January 9, 2010



People said the exact same thing about Dean, although in his case it was because he was intentionally directing money to state parties.


No, what? No. Some people didn't buy the 50 state strategy, but when implemented it worked. It was backed up by stellar fun raising regardless. Steele has yet to implement anything that worked, he sunk loads of cash into special elections and lost. The fund raising is not good, despite a lot of things you could galvanize conservatives around.


Look, if you report and read only negative things about the other side, you end up with unrealistic expectations of your opponents. For example, we all laugh at the teabaggers but "The tea party movement" actually polls pretty well nationwide.


Huh? No. Sort of.


In the national telephone poll of 1,000 likely voters released Monday, 23 percent said they preferred to vote for a candidate from the yet unformed “Tea Party” for Congress in 2010. The Republican Party trailed the non-existent political organization by 5 percentage points, getting the support of 18 percent of respondents.

Democratic candidates were preferred of 36 percent.


It polls well compared to Republicans, but not compared to Democrats. I'm not sure how that can be considered a point in Steele's favor.

I know Maddow is having fun with this, but that is just hopping on the bandwagon for schadenfreude, displeasure with Steele from Republicans has been widespread. The election results and fund raising is bad, quantitatively, these are the things you judge a party chairman on.

Nobody is saying this means Democrats will not lose seats, barring an economic miracle they certainly will, but Steele as chairman will make those gains much less than they could be.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:31 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


My favorite Michael Steele moment was when he ran for office and tried to make people think he was a Democrat.
posted by bardic at 12:14 AM on January 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Michael Steele is like Carleton from Fresh Prince all grown up and just as dorky.
posted by Biblio at 10:21 AM on January 10, 2010




Which begs the question: what will prescriptivist linguists do when the rest of us, descriptivists and non-linguists alike, decide to use phrases however we'd like to use them, rather than according to their rules?

Beein-ho Nyarlatho-tep br4444 teewo-gr''awk bawth !goont
posted by reverend cuttle at 4:47 PM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bad Harry Reid! Obviously, he hates black people. Sneaky damn bastard!

I'm surprised Joe Biden didn't say it. AFAIK, the guy hasn't lived up to his reputation yet. I keep expecting some atrocious gaffe that causes an international scandal, and as far as I can tell, Biden is kept locked up in the playroom.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:07 PM on January 10, 2010


Biden pretty much DID say that already, back during the primary.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:42 PM on January 10, 2010


Classy!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:39 PM on January 10, 2010




Which begs the question: what will prescriptivist linguists do when the rest of us, descriptivists and non-linguists alike, decide to use phrases however we'd like to use them, rather than according to their rules?

Twitch reflexively, shake our heads sadly, and quietly write off the speaker for making a (apparently intentional) usage error, much like we do when someone says "irregardless" or "for all intensive purposes."

Your linguistic freedom fighting is less noble than you think it is
posted by Mayor West at 6:27 AM on January 11, 2010


I go one step further and just write off anyone who uses the phrase (outside of technically-oriented works about the history of philosophy of logic that I don't read anyway).

If they're using it in the commonplace sense, they're hopelessly addicted to the tritest of cliches, and should use any of the myriad non-cliched phrases that could be used to indicate that something inspires or leads to some question.

If they're using it in the technical sense, or if they use the expression "petitio principii," they're hopelessly addicted to pedantic, obfuscatory jargon. Anyone who would complain that someone else's argument begs the question or write "petitio principii!" should instead state in simple, clear English that the offender has somehow assumed the very thing they're claiming to prove, which any person literate in English can understand.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:49 AM on January 11, 2010


I recently heard that "going rogue" has been a British term for unprotected gay sex. That thought makes me laugh every time I hear it.
posted by agent of bad karma at 8:52 AM on January 11, 2010


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