Is it just me, or has RNC Chairman Michael Steele proven himself to be wholly unprepared for prime-time? I will spare you any further quarterbacking on the Rush Limbaugh fiasco, but Steele’s latest comments in GQ are just plain bizarre.
On Gay Marriage:
Steele: I think that the states are the best laboratory, the best place for those decisions to be made, because they will then reflect the majority of the community in which the issue is raised.
Steele: The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.
GQ: Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?
Steele: Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.
GQ: You do?
Steele: Yeah. Absolutely.
Say what you want about Peter Torkildson and his tenure as GOP chairman in Massachusetts as far as results, but at least he knew his role a chair. He knew he was to bring all factions and wings of the Republican Party together under one roof with the goal of electing Republicans, regardless of stripe. I don’t recall one time, other than personal conversations, that Peter publicly spoke about gay marriage or abortion. He let the membership of the state committee and the party’s platform speak for themselves and kept to raising money, recruiting candidates and winning elections.
Michael Steele has failed to do that. He has succeeded in only offending several key GOP constituencies. He is supposed to represent the party as a whole, be the voice of the party, not of himself. I was excited about Steele becoming the RNC Chairman, granted mostly for superficial reasons. But the RNC needs a leader and someone who can rebuild the party. Steele has, thus far, failed to be that leader. He hasn’t been in the position very long, and maybe he will grow into it, but the party doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for him to overcome growing pains or to develop the qualities of a leader.
Time for him to go? Probably not. Time for him to become the leader the party needs? You bet! Otherwise, the next RNC chair will have to explain why the party made such a big mistake in picking Steele in the first place.
As an aside, the issues of abortion and gay marriage are not what I am debating here, it is Steele’s inability to grasp his role as chairman. I have my own opinions on his statements on the two subjects and how they are crazy and would be happy to discuss them in the comments.