Michael Steele: McCain should have hit Obama on Wright

posted at 8:30 pm on November 14, 2008 by Allahpundit

So reports Matt Lewis, per Steele’s conference call this afternoon with bloggers. And that’s not the money part:

Steele also warned that we shouldn’t “soft-pedal” our attacks on Barack Obama, “just because the President of the United States happens to be a Black man.” This, of course, presents the argument that Steele — an African-American — could be a more effective critic of Obama than could his white Republican colleagues.

He added that “the Obama campaign played the race card beautifully.”

David Harsanyi says he was more explicit than that:

The most interesting aspect of the call focused on the perceived ability of Steele to take on Barack Obama more ferociously and avoid the tedious race-card ploy used by some Democrats. When asked if he would be able to criticize Obama more freely, Steele said “I think because I’m an American I will be to do it” and that “bad policies don’t have color, they’re just bad policies.” Good answers.

Having him up top could reduce the Absolute Moral Authority deficit superficially, but will it really “avoid the tedious race-card ploy”? Remember, this is a guy whom the nutroots have been known to photoshop as Sambo for the crime of being black while conservative. If anything, I suspect, electing him will feed racial politics by leading the left to frame The One as “authentically black” vis-a-vis the Republican “house slave” or whatever progressive witticism they’ve coined for him this month. Which isn’t a reason to vote against Steele, needless to say: On the contrary, maybe that’s the point — to bait them and let them show off how “enlightened” they really are. They won’t be able to resist.

Even so, an unnamed Republican source says don’t get your hopes up:

But one influential Republican believes that RNC members are going to insist that the next chair come from the RNC.

“As to the new chair, don’t pay any attention to people who aren’t on the RNC,” he told me. “This is not a good thing, but the current RNC believes only one of their own should be chair. Maybe a dozen have a clue politically — and that’s being very kind. None (as chairman) could be an ideas leader or command the substantive respect of Republican senators or representatives.”

If that’s true, if Steele’s doomed to lose to some RNC crony, it’s doubly unfortunate insofar as not only will the base be disappointed, but it’ll hand the Democrats an easy talking point about the prospects for black politicians within the GOP as compared to their own party. Not just for that reason but partly for that reason, I hope he pulls it out.


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Comments

What all liberals and most blacks don’t understand is that conservatives would vote for ANYONE with like ideology. We will never convince them of it, don’t try. Just support like minded people and people in power must show that conservative principles work best and universally. That’s why the Republican governors are so important.

Cindy Munford on November 14, 2008 at 10:34 PM

Spirit of 1776 on November 14, 2008 at 10:20 PM

Hmmmmn… not really, my guess is that the people who represent us, the politicos, are a long way removed from the realities on the ground: people *do* mix with all races in the workplace. Maybe in 10 or so years’ time as people mingle and intermarry more, it will be less fraught? The Bushies (Jeb and his Hispanic wife) are maybe a little ahead of us, or a harbinger, but liberal derangement rules him out in the near future.

Fortunata on November 14, 2008 at 10:35 PM

David Shuster told me that “you folks” was a little racist.

Bugger David Schuster.

Straight question, what do you mean we can make a difference? The GOP has integrated and supported minorities in the party, but they are degraded from their own ethnic groups. I’m not trying to be difficult, I’m trying to understand what you are alluding to our power as – more McCain like appearances apologizing for not supporting MLK day?

Spirit of 1776 on November 14, 2008 at 10:20 PM

All I’m saying is to not be afraid of being called racist when you know that you have the truth on you side. (The Obama campaign should have cured most white people of that fear anyway.)Don’t get angry when that cudgel is used; just know what you’re dealing with.

BTW, I don’t think that it’s smart to use Dem/Liberal/Left principles in order for the party to be able to attract a few minorities to it. If you build the party on principle, the like-minded will come. There may be fewer minorities than the Left or Left-indoctrinated individuals says that the party should have. So? Black Americans have fallen victim to a planned and well-executed form of modern-day slavery. Conservatives would be doing us no favors by offering yet another form or lying down like whipped curs instead of pointing to the type of freedom set forth by the great communicators of conservative principles like Buckley and Reagan.

Don’t become them. Learn to be confident in being you.

baldilocks on November 14, 2008 at 10:36 PM

What all liberals and most blacks don’t understand is that conservatives would vote for ANYONE with like ideology. We will never convince them of it, don’t try. Just support like minded people and people in power must show that conservative principles work best and universally. That’s why the Republican governors are so important.

Cindy Munford on November 14, 2008 at 10:34 PM

Apparently the RNC didn’t get the memo if they vote down Steele.

eski502 on November 14, 2008 at 10:36 PM

Cindy Munford on November 14, 2008 at 10:34 PM

Great minds, sister, great minds.

baldilocks on November 14, 2008 at 10:38 PM

Don’t become them. Learn to be confident in being you.

baldilocks on November 14, 2008 at 10:36 PM

Thanks for explaining. But don’t worry about me. :)

All I’m saying is to not be afraid of being called racist when you know that you have the truth on you side. (The Obama campaign should have cured most white people of that fear anyway.)Don’t get angry when that cudgel is used; just know what you’re dealing with.

Indeed, I welcome the use of the canard. The more it is used falsely, the more quickly it becomes a mockery.

Spirit of 1776 on November 14, 2008 at 10:41 PM

Not you personally but you white conservatives.

baldilocks on November 14, 2008 at 10:42 PM

baldilocks on November 14, 2008 at 10:42 PM

I knew what you meant ;)

Spirit of 1776 on November 14, 2008 at 10:45 PM

Spirit of 1776 on November 14, 2008 at 10:28 PM

I won’t say what I have but my radius is a 100yds. I go to the range and do small silhouettes to simulate longer distance shooting and do some plinking when I can…If some day down the road I want to get …whatever…I want to be able…and that is now really on the table…. those who dodge that question, loose me.

jerrytbg on November 14, 2008 at 10:45 PM

I’m getting a mite tired of Allah worrying, again, (what? something like 4 or 5 times now?) about another Sambo episode or an “Uncle Tom” smear on Michael Steele. Buck up, Allah. Convince the RNC that Michael Steele is THE man to have for Chair.

And none of the mewling, fraidy cat stuff over some people who may call Michael Steele a “Republican slave.” Michael is beyond that. Leave the gutter talk worrying elsewhere, Allah.

Kokonut on November 14, 2008 at 10:54 PM

jerrytbg on November 14, 2008 at 10:45 PM

Allow me to simply add that “It’s not the law-abiding citizens, it’s not the person who uses it as a hobby.” is a fundamentally flawed understanding. The 2nd amendment never was intended to be about a hobby or even hunting. It’s the non-negotiable right of a citizenry to be armed to defend against tyrannic governments.

I think Steele might do a good job, but we need to have a clear eye about who he is and how he thinks.

Spirit of 1776 on November 14, 2008 at 10:54 PM

This is going to be an uphill battle. When you take into consideration the left and their lap dogs (media) and add a group of conservatives who went off the farm, led by W, it’s tough. I love our current president for all he has done to keep us safe but I loathe this compassionate conservative crap. Opportunity is better than any hand out. And we have to counter the garbage our kids are being taught in school. Our history and our founders cannot be totally discounted by the blight of slavery. This just in, I don’t know of any country that didn’t have slavery in their history. The bright spot I am currently looking forward to is how the media is going to get bit in the butt. They are due, I don’t know how or when but I believe it will be beautiful to behold. And I hope it comes at the hands of bloggers.

Cindy Munford on November 14, 2008 at 10:58 PM

I’m for Steele. He lives up to his name.

Gilda on November 14, 2008 at 11:10 PM

BTW, I don’t think that it’s smart to use Dem/Liberal/Left principles in order for the party to be able to attract a few minorities to it. If you build the party on principle, the like-minded will come.

baldilocks on November 14, 2008 at 10:36 PM

I couldn’t agree more.

There may be fewer minorities than the Left or Left-indoctrinated individuals says that the party should have. So? Black Americans have fallen victim to a planned and well-executed form of modern-day slavery.

I call it the cult of victimology, because it functions much like a cult, IMO, the way people are ostracized for blasphemy.

Conservatives would be doing us no favors by offering yet another form or lying down like whipped curs instead of pointing to the type of freedom set forth by the great communicators of conservative principles like Buckley and Reagan.

Don’t become them. Learn to be confident in being you.

I think eventually, if conservatives stick to their guns, we will reach a critical mass where, perhaps coupled with a significant event or development, most minorities will no longer fear ostracization from the cult. Eventually there will be enough people who’ve already left the cult who’s values more closely resemble their own that they will no longer see a downside or feel alienated.

Not to suggest there aren’t some Republican’s that hinder this process, but I think the MSM in conjunction with Democrats have slowed this inevitable development by many years.

FloatingRock on November 14, 2008 at 11:12 PM

Spirit of 1776 on November 14, 2008 at 10:54 PM

Agreed…that’s why I do small silhouettes.

jerrytbg on November 14, 2008 at 11:12 PM

The bright spot I am currently looking forward to is how the media is going to get bit in the butt. They are due, I don’t know how or when but I believe it will be beautiful to behold. And I hope it comes at the hands of bloggers.

Cindy Munford on November 14, 2008 at 10:58 PM

Same here!

4shoes on November 14, 2008 at 11:13 PM

it will be beautiful to behold. And I hope it comes at the hands of bloggers.

Cindy Munford on November 14, 2008 at 10:58 PM

LOL! I think it will, as more and more people realize that we never really agreed with all those newspaper columnists and TV pundits, and now? Now we just don’t care.
Hold fast and stand your ground, chick. I will, as I face a slightly subdued Thanksgiving around all our liberal friends and acquaintances.

Fortunata on November 14, 2008 at 11:17 PM

And I hope it comes at the hands of bloggers.

Cindy Munford on November 14, 2008 at 10:58 PM

Ed had to take a call yesterday from the legals in Ca representing the govenator about something he blogged yesterday… the politicians are paying attention keep it up!

brianpierre on November 14, 2008 at 11:21 PM

“the Obama campaign played the race card beautifully.”

Michael Steele is absolutely correct! The Democratic party played this election based on race AND gender. Their party depends on the majority of African-American votes, otherwise they do not have a chance to win. They play on their sympathy and look at the decay/corruption of many major cities in America for decades – shame on them!

corvettelady on November 14, 2008 at 11:53 PM

brianpierre on November 14, 2008 at 11:21 PM

Interesting, is there any more information about the call, is there a thread I should read?

Cindy Munford on November 15, 2008 at 12:04 AM

I am absolutely certain that Mr. Steele is the right man for the chair. Mr. Steele is cunning and wise, and can negate most of the liberals talking feces.
I also believe that AA voted high for the prop Yes #8) a base we need.
Latinos is another in which we can do better.
Hoping the RNC pulls head out of Orphas and in line with the rest of us.

hawkman on November 15, 2008 at 12:08 AM

Which isn’t a reason to vote against Steele, needless to say: On the contrary, maybe that’s the point — to bait them and let them show off how “enlightened” they really are. They won’t be able to resist.

My thoughts exactly.

I loathe the identity politics game as much as anyone, but this fallacy of the “enlightened” Left that stands up for blacks, women, and hispanics must be combated with everything in our arsenal. These bastards must be exposed for the fraud they are.

Sarah Palin is round one.

Steele is round two.

By the way, we should take bets on what Huffpo and Kos will call him this time? Shall it be “race-traitor”, “house N-word”, or just the good ole “Uncle Tom”?

Hawkins1701 on November 15, 2008 at 12:22 AM

“As to the new chair, don’t pay any attention to people who aren’t on the RNC,” he told me. “This is not a good thing, but the current RNC believes only one of their own should be chair.”

Yeah, cuz they’ve done such a SWELL job the past two years.

Hawkins1701 on November 15, 2008 at 12:24 AM

I think eventually, if conservatives stick to their guns, we will reach a critical mass where, perhaps coupled with a significant event or development, most minorities will no longer fear ostracization from the cult. Eventually there will be enough people who’ve already left the cult who’s values more closely resemble their own that they will no longer see a downside or feel alienated.

FloatingRock on November 14, 2008 at 11:12 PM

It won’t be long.

This last election is paving the way for a new beginning for conservatism. I see many reasons to be optimistic.

Always…but, especially now, is the time to stick to our principles.

The race game is over. The new game is…finally…about ideology. Black conservatives are about to come out of the woodwork and take leadership positions in the conservative movement, from grassroots to national levels.

I know, I know…we don’t want to play identity politics, but in the long run, this will be the first step in taking a long journey toward the new American awakening.

There are so many conservatives in this country. They just don’t know it, yet. It is for the love of freedom that the dormant conservative lurking in most hearts will flourish.

Do not compromise. The time is near.

Saltysam on November 15, 2008 at 12:27 AM

We need to get the list from each state and fax them a request to support Steele. Speaking for myself, if Duncan is given the job again or someone as inocuous as Duncan, that is the last time I donate to the RNC…. this isn’t a good-ole-boy club, this is about getting the best person for the job at this point in time.

Rapunzel on November 15, 2008 at 12:33 AM

If that jacka$$ Dean could manage to wrangle an Obama win, I think anybody with 50% more intellect than that turd should be viable. Don’t care what color, just give us someone who’s got the smarts.

Big John on November 15, 2008 at 3:27 AM

What all liberals and most blacks don’t understand is that conservatives would vote for ANYONE with like ideology.

Cindy Munford on November 14, 2008 at 10:34 PM

True, and well worth repeating.

That said, on a superficial level, Michael Steele has a lot going for him in the telegenics department. One great thing about him is that he looks like an accountant and that’s a spectacularly good thing.

He just looks fundamentally trustworthy, authentic and solid. This shouldn’t matter but it does. He’s got the intellect and communication skills to deliver the fiscal conservative message, as do some others, but in Steele’s case they’re wrapped in a strongly credible package.

Steele may never be cool but the guy just reeks of competence and conviction. I hope he gets the RNC chair because he really is a great personification of Republican values.

Gilda on November 15, 2008 at 4:33 AM

he should have him, soon and hard and consistent, doing it with 3 weeks left in the campaign, dumb.

rob verdi on November 15, 2008 at 5:34 AM

It would not have made the slightest bit of difference if McCain had made an issue of Wright or not.

Water, bridges, dead horses.

The truth is by the time the election finally rolled around people were focused on the economy. They voted for the guy most likely to extend their unemployment benefits.

Terrye on November 15, 2008 at 5:42 AM

I think Michelle is one hot mama. But what is up with that pic of her in the PJs Media TV ad (Nov 12). She looks like she spray painted her hair a battleship grey color. Not to mention the unflattering facial expression.

And they use it in an ad? Hmmm.

kevinkristy on November 15, 2008 at 6:26 AM

If anything, I suspect, electing him will feed racial politics by leading the left to frame The One as “authentically black” vis-a-vis the Republican “house slave” or whatever progressive witticism they’ve coined for him this month.

Man Allah, I confess I don’t get you sometimes. To write that says to me you actually believe there is something true and valid in the progressive world view.

There isn’t.

Identity politics is a prison – as Baldilocks said, slavery even – and I can tell you as one who tip toed around the edges of that form of politics down here and seen how it has entrapped and entangled people including myself – that there is nothing more liberating than dumping that worldview.

Look as an outsider, I said on the other thread that I liked what I have heard and seen of Steele and asked if he was a contender for President (and to tell you the truth, compared to what I know of Obama, I’d have been thrilled for you all if you had Steele as President elect now. Steele strikes me as a man of conviction and principle and action without the theatrics and arrogance and spin.)

Obama is about as “authentically black” (and do ponder the sheer nonsense contained in that phrase Allah) as I am. Steele who has had to endure the outrage of being called “house slave” and “Oreo” (some of our indigeneous Aussies here get “coconut” etc) knows precisely the bigotry and hate and irrationality and yes, racism of the left’s politics. As he says, there is no race in policy. There is no race in character. It’s the left that jeeps that construct of race alive and continues to enslave people.

That Steele is prepared to go after them on his terms and not play by their terms, says to me there’s a man who believes in what he stands for (and boy does that get people’s attention). And to be prepared to put himself in the frontlines says to me there’s a man who does indeed live up to his name.

And if I may be so presumptious to advise, you should be chosing a person who best represents you and what you stand for, not one whom you think your opponents may find palatable. If you do that, then you’ve already lost the war.

saint on November 15, 2008 at 7:13 AM

P.S. Note the update at Townhall:

Update: I’ve added audio below. Now that I listen to it again, I believe that the first time he referenced the “race card,” he said “Obama played the race card in reverse beautifully.” This doesn’t change the point of what he said, but I just wanted to correct it for accuracy….

saint on November 15, 2008 at 7:33 AM

What all liberals and most blacks don’t understand is that conservatives would vote for ANYONE with like ideology. We will never convince them of it, don’t try. Just support like minded people and people in power must show that conservative principles work best and universally. That’s why the Republican governors are so important.

As this election for RNC shows you are only partially right. Steele won’t lose because RNC members are racist. We have no evidence they are either way. He’ll lose because he’s not a crony. See what conservative base has yet to accept (though they seem to be figuring it out more and more these days) is that the Republican party only cares about its own influence and power in the short term. The sooner the conservtive base figures that out they can start replacing these partisan hacks with real ideologues. With the election of Obama we’re hoping our side has started that process too.

DeathToMediaHacks on November 15, 2008 at 8:08 AM

cowering to claims of “racist” is for weenies. we need to stand up and speak the truth, and openly challenge and discredit all race-baiters.

marklmail on November 15, 2008 at 8:22 AM

saint on November 15, 2008 at 7:13 AM

Great advice and I think that is pretty much how the thread played out. Being a minority Republican requires some real back bone. We don’t get to vote on this one but the last effective RNC chairman was Haley Barber.

Cindy Munford on November 15, 2008 at 8:36 AM

The RNC is a good-old-boys-and-girls club. Some of the committee mmbers have served for decades. When there isn’t a Republican president to make the appointment of the RNC chair, sometimes the committee does make an uninspiring pick of an insider.

I happen to know Mike Duncan and I’m a fan of his, and I think the RNC will be in good hands if he is reappointed Chairman. But I would really like to see Michael Steele get it.

rockmom on November 15, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Having him up top could reduce the Absolute Moral Authority deficit superficially, but will it really “avoid the tedious race-card ploy”? Remember, this is a guy whom the nutroots have been known to photoshop as Sambo for the crime of being black while conservative. If anything, I suspect, electing him will feed racial politics by leading the left to frame The One as “authentically black” vis-a-vis the Republican “house slave” or whatever progressive witticism they’ve coined for him this month. Which isn’t a reason to vote against Steele, needless to say: On the contrary, maybe that’s the point — to bait them and let them show off how “enlightened” they really are. They won’t be able to resist.

Bingo. Highlight the racism inherent in the Left — they choose identity politics and slice and dice Americans into various groups and try to pander enough to each group to gain power. “Me tooism” Republicans fall into the trap of following that strategy and thus become Democrats-lite. Be the party of Lincoln and have core principals that apply equally to all.

rbj on November 15, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Ever see a set of instructions that show the right way and the wrong way to do something? Steele should get it for now because the emphasis will be on blacks leading. We need a black leader to show the ‘right way’ blacks can lead. Obama is going to screw it up for blacks and those wanting to keep black leadership in a positive light after Obama pees up the pool water so to speak, are going to want to turn to another black leader and Steele should be in position for that jump. Right now Obama is the ultimate black leader just becuase he’s black and made it that far and how dare we think Obama has flaws. Sorry but he sucks. We need another black leader to show how its done correctly. Look up ‘President’ in the dictionary and Obamas picture is there with a circle and a line through it. He is a bad choice and as I said once before blacks could have and should have done better with such a historical decision such as that. We need a class act like Steele to put up the comparison elsewise Obama will be what future blacks think a black leadership is. I dont even look at Steele in that manner but we have to admit blacks voted for Obama for one reason and one reason only.

johnnyU on November 15, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Wait a minute!! Steele shouldn’t get the job simply because he’s black…or “we need a black” or he’s photogenic, or anyone “other than”…..He should get the job because he is QUALIFIED!!! The other attributes are supportive but they are secondary….He is Qualified, intelligent, well spoken, and confident…He seems happy to be in his own skin and I’ll bet it doesn’t make a damn to him….I like the guy and he always makes sense to me…Hope he is around for a long time doing good for conservatives…

b4lucy on November 15, 2008 at 3:57 PM

There is no such thing as “the race card.”

Constant Parrhesia on November 15, 2008 at 4:04 PM

What all liberals and most blacks don’t understand is that conservatives would vote for ANYONE with like ideology

What he said.

And also – the right should not try to play the left at their own game: identity politics. It is disingenuous and cheapens politics.

Identity politics is by its nature is irrationally prejudicial: the ideas need to win out, not gender and race. One cannot help what colour or gender one ends up with, one can determine what ideas to embrace.

Win the battle of ideas and no number of useful idiots screeching ‘racism’ can change the game.

Ares on November 15, 2008 at 5:58 PM

By the way, we should take bets on what Huffpo and Kos will call him this time? Shall it be “race-traitor”, “house N-word”, or just the good ole “Uncle Tom”?

Hawkins1701 on November 15, 2008 at 12:22 AM

“House-N” has already been reserved by Kos for Dr. Rice.

And I’m always amused at “Uncle Tom” when used as an epithet. Uncle Tom — the character — was true to his Christian beliefs and refused to raise a hand against any other human — including his supposed “master”. He also refused to divulge the hiding place of two escaped slaves to that self-same “master”, and died for that insubordination at the hands of said “master”.

His death, the death of a good and decent human, at the hands of an evil and depraved human who was supposedly his better in society, was the ultimate statement by his creator (Harriet Beecher Stowe).

It’s liberals who most often use the “Uncle Tom” epithet, and they are the ones least apt to want to go to war, so I’m a little flummoxed by the contraposition of concepts here. Perhaps they think Uncle Tom should have ratted on the girls…

unclesmrgol on November 17, 2008 at 12:49 AM