Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Republican Civil War Continues

The selection of Michael Steele as RNC chair was clearly a dumb, dumb idea based almost entirely on some lame-brained effort to put a black face on a white party.  And at this point, I'm not exactly sure it wouldn't have been better to just have sent out the standard RNC nut and put him in blackface.  Because Steele has been an even worse PR man than he's been a party chairman.

And so I'm reading in the conservative Washington Times about how Steele hired friends to work for the RNC and paid them double or triple what their predecessors made.  And that's just not a smart thing to do.  You can hire friends and pay them the same, or hire competence and pay them double; but you really shouldn't do both.  Particularly not when you're working for an organization that relies upon donations and you have no real metrics to judge success with.  

And Steele really should have been ready for this.  Of course there was going to be pushback when it became known that he did this.  I mean, this is politics.  So anything that looks a little iffy can always be used against you, so you've got to be prepared with a good response.  And that's what makes it all the more startling to read this sort of response from the RNC's Communications Director:
"Salaries aren't secret, just something that we're not going to talk about outside of our [Federal Election Commission] filings."
Wait, that's your final answer?  Holy shit, why not just come out with a cliched "no comment" and be done with it.  Now granted, the whole story has the markings of a hit-piece intended to make Steele look bad; and so perhaps this dude actually said something decent which just didn't make it in the article.  I don't know.

But that really doesn't matter, as that "defense" shouldn't have been said ever.  Because it only makes it look like Steele's got something to hide.  A proper response would have been something like: The Republican image is really in the toilet and so it just made sense for us to hire the best people, which requires the best wages.  Or words to that effect.  Sure, it would have sounded sketchy, seeing as how cronyism generally isn't synonymous with competence.  But sometimes it is.  And his argument could be that he knows these cronies were worth it, which is why he brought them along with him.

But no.  Instead, we're treated to a "I don't want to talk about it" defense that only makes Steele look worse.  And the fact that it came from the Washington Times and is labeled an "exclusive" shows that his Republican enemies have the long knives out for him.  And frankly, I'm torn about the whole thing.  Michael Steele is a huge joke that only keeps getting funnier, but internal Republican squabbles are pretty funny too.  

Overall, I'm just hoping that his enemies are strong enough to keep crippling him, but not able to muster the strength to topple him; due partly to the conservative inability to admit to mistake.  And so the old-guard will continue to undermine the new-guard's efforts to save the party, which will make the entire team increasingly weaker as time goes by.  Honestly, I predicted the eventual civil war between the various Republican factions for many years now, but I never realized it could be this much fun.


ex DLB said...

You know you can't believe anything you read in a liberally biased rag like the Washington Times.

As to GOP civil wars, the one going in Ky between Bunning and McConnell has the promise of a brouhaha. I'm waiting for the charges of senile old fart vs Lincoln Log Republican to break out.


Fatcats at failing banks being bailed out by the taxpayers get big bonuses. Why be shocked that fatcat buddies of Michael Steele get big salaries? We know these people are greaseballs. What surprises me is that anyone of reasonable intelligence expects them to act with integrity and concern for anyone else.

Johnny Pez said...

the whole story has the markings of a hit-piece intended to make Steele look badYup, just look at the by-line. Ralph Z. Hallow was the Moonie Times guy who ran those exclusive stories about how the RNC was pulling the purse strings out of Steele's hands. Ralph clearly has a source among Steele's enemies at the RNC who keeps feeding him this stuff.