Michael Steele: Get a backbone!

I sat down on Saturday and watched Michael Steele on DL Hughley Breaks the News (that show is great. Consider it fully recommended by yours truly). I had to admit that I really started to like Steele. His description of the Republican Party that he learned to love growing up really sounded like the party that I could support or at the very least understand. I was even more impressed with how he was willing to stand up to Rush Limbaugh and admit that some of his stuff is "ugly" "divisive" and "entertainment". It was a profound comment coming from as he put it "the de facto leader of the Republican party."

But alas the love affair with Steele was short lived yet again. On Monday morning Mr. Limbaugh decided that he wanted to attack Steele on his radio show. Limbaugh essentially gave Steele orders as to what he needs to do to bring back the GOP. And what did Steele do later that day. He apologized to Rush and in the same token offended many people who were impressed with his candor on Saturday.

What Steele did to me was insulting on many levels. It is clear that he has some deep feelings about Limbaugh that came out on Saturday night. And frankly his opinion on Rush is probably more universal among members of his own party than not. Very few Republican lawmakers or elected and selected officials have come out in opposition to Limbaugh's sometimes vitriolic messages. But Steele did. And he did it by explaining the ideals of the Republican Party that many people don't know or remember. By apologizing for his feelings he has insulted the office that he was selected for. Needless to say he makes himself look very insignificant at a time when he should look like the most significant new voice of the Republican Party.

The way I look at it Michael Steele's move was terrible. He probably should not have went afyer Limbaugh on Saturday. It was politically dangerous. But I was glad that he did. He had the chance to boldly speak for members of his own party who don't want Obama to fail like Limbaugh has wished on many occasions. He had the chance to play to a more moderate base, which the GOP clearly will need to reach out to as the midterm and presidential elections loom. Instead he walked in, got berated by Limbaugh for speaking his mind and did what he should have never done. He apologized. I would like to know for what. He was not insulting to Limbaugh. And he spoke truth to power. As a black man who has worked his entire life to reach the position that he has, he should understand how younger people of color and others around this country will look at his move. From my point of view and the point of view of many I have spoken to the past few days his move smells of racial stereotypes that I won't print here. Don't fall prey to those Steele. Stand up for what you believe in. Do not become the token black official by giving up on your convictions. You and this country have come too far for that.


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