It begins: RNC member calls for Steele’s resignation

posted at 7:25 pm on March 5, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

This didn’t take long.  An RNC member called for Michael Steele to resign as chairman of the party after a series of strange gaffes in the media left him floundering for footing, and after reports of chaos within the GOP’s leadership.  The call comes from Dr. Ada Fisher, an African-American herself and the head of the North Carolina party, who called Steele’s performance inept:

Michael Steele should resign as Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman, according to a committee member from North Carolina.

In an e-mail to fellow RNC members obtained by The Hill, Dr. Ada Fisher, North Carolina’s national committeewoman, said Steele is “eroding confidence” in the GOP and that members of his transition team should encourage him to step aside. Fisher added Steele’s personal e-mail address to the e-mail.

“I don’t want to hear anymore [sic] language trying to be cool about the bling in the stimulus package or appealing to D.L. Hughley and blacks in a way that isn’t going to win us any votes and makes us frankly appear to many blacks as quite foolish,” Fisher wrote.

Fisher, who is one of three black members of the national committee, backed South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson, whom Steele edged out in the final round of voting to win the chairmanship in late January. She has voiced repeated opposition to Steele, sending dozens of e-mails to committee members even after Steele won election slamming him for any number of chips that have fallen awry.

Fisher may have an axe to grind, but her response may indicate a rising level of buyers remorse at the RNC.  The Hill doesn’t mention the one incident that will be sure to have angered the committee, Steele’s lack of rebuttal when Hughley characterized the 2008 Republican Convention as looking like a Nazi rally.  Since the RNC staged that event and participants came from the state organizations represented at the RNC — including Fisher herself — the lack of response on that may wind up being more troubling than the Rush Limbaugh contretemps, which has apparently already been smoothed over.

It’s too early to dump Steele, although his performance on the Hughley show was particularly bad.  Pushing him out after less than four weeks is a little unfair.  He deserves more of a chance to atone for his mistakes and correct his errors.

But I would also say that the time for atonement and correction may well be closing.  Instead of focusing on being a pundit in the immediate term, Steele should be replacing all of the people he fired when he won election as chair.  In fact, that should have been his first priority, as the party needs to start working now to build momentum for the midterm elections in 2010.


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Comments

Oh for heaven’s sake, give the guy a break. At least he is speaking up. I didn’t even know who the last RNC Chair was and I was a precinct leader in my county. So, I am VERY PLEASED with Michael Steele and his avid and boisterous and enthusiastic defense of our conservative beliefs. It’s about damn time we got someone with some steel (hehe)!

From a 63-year-old grandma who knows we all make mistakes and have some missteps when — guess what — we’re actually DOING SOMETHING.

Thank you, Michael, for actually doing something unlike your predecessor who gave us John McCain. EGAD! The party needs to get a clue.

doncow on March 6, 2009 at 12:48 AM

Thank you, Michael, for actually doing something unlike your predecessor who gave us John McCain. EGAD! The party needs to get a clue.

doncow on March 6, 2009 at 12:48 AM

A gunner shooting his squad in the back is doing something….of course keeping his eyes on his firing lane and the flank may be more productive….

sven10077 on March 6, 2009 at 12:51 AM

A gunner shooting his squad in the back is doing something….of course keeping his eyes on his firing lane and the flank may be more productive…

It is your opinion that he shot the squad in the back. I believe there are many who also feel he is making good use of his time in front of the cameras to get the word out that the RNC is a new game in town. No one, not Reagan, not Lincoln, not Washington, not Kennedy, ever made it through a month without making mistakes that the media blew out of proportion. Look up your history. If we throw out every single person who misspeaks we’re going to have no one to elect to anything.

doncow on March 6, 2009 at 1:01 AM

It is your opinion that he shot the squad in the back. I believe there are many who also feel he is making good use of his time in front of the cameras to get the word out that the RNC is a new game in town. No one, not Reagan, not Lincoln, not Washington, not Kennedy, ever made it through a month without making mistakes that the media blew out of proportion. Look up your history. If we throw out every single person who misspeaks we’re going to have no one to elect to anything.

doncow on March 6, 2009 at 1:01 AM

I’m sorry though I try to be savvy I am not as experienced in living as you are….

Can you refer me to the quotes by the aforementioned wherein they agreed their compatriots were like a rally of the enemy in the greatest war their nation has ever fought in please?

sven10077 on March 6, 2009 at 1:16 AM

Can you refer me to the quotes by the aforementioned wherein they agreed their compatriots were like a rally of the enemy in the greatest war their nation has ever fought in please?

DL said that, not Steele. He was just not quick on the uptake. If you have ever been in Toastmasters or Dale Carnegie you learn there is the speech you plan, the speech you give, and the speech you wish you’d given. You always miss something. He missed it. He didn’t say it.

doncow on March 6, 2009 at 1:39 AM

“John Pope won’t do, he just won’t do” –Lincoln on Gen. John Pope during the Civil War.

“Michael Steele won’t do, he just won’t due” –me copying a much better man’s words and updating them for today.

During the first terrible two years of the Civil War Abraham Lincoln had to shuffle many Union commanders around-dismissing some altogether, accepting resignations of others, subordinating some, and sending one to fight the Sioux.

It was hard to do. Politics, soldiers sentiments, enemy movements, national morale…they all factored in. One of the men he shuffled, George B. McClellan, was fabulously popular with the troops–and with the opposition party (Democrats). McClellan would later parlay his unpopular dismissal into a Presidential bid against Lincoln.

But Lincoln knew what kind of war he was waging. He was a man of principle–of convictions. Popularity paled in comparison to losing. Lincoln knew, as did some of his commanders, that war meant fighting. Lincoln needed a fighter. Not a theorist (Peggy Noonan). Not a man who froze under fire (Michael Steele). But a fighter.

When asked to dismiss Gen. Ulysses S. Grant from the Western Theatre, Lincoln responded, “I cannot spare that man, he fights.” Then he settled on Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to head the entire army–against strong opposition and threats to his re-election chances. Grant was hated by the Eastern/Washington establishment; he was rumored to be a drunk and sneered at for not “dressing” the part.

After his promotion, he made mistakes–yes, but he pursued the RIGHT enemy (Lee’s army–not his own), he FOUGHT (he didn’t pander and sit on a fence), and he WON (not compromised as did Snowe, Collins and Spectre).

Grant was no angel. Sad mistakes were made and men died. But he was the right man for the job. Today, the South is with us, and thank God for that.

Michael Steele just won’t do. He just won’t do.

The Simon and Garfunkel Republicans won’t do either. Give us a Johnny Cash. Give us a Ring of Fire, not a Scarborough Fair. (even though S&G are wonderful musicians!)

Montana on March 6, 2009 at 1:42 AM

DL said that, not Steele. He was just not quick on the uptake. If you have ever been in Toastmasters or Dale Carnegie you learn there is the speech you plan, the speech you give, and the speech you wish you’d given. You always miss something. He missed it. He didn’t say it.

doncow on March 6, 2009 at 1:39 AM

the man has a responsibility to control our narrative not let some gangbanging thug third rate z list comic roll him…..

he failed.

His REAL job is organizational efforts and fundraising….he is failing……

we face a guy who raised a half a billion dollar much of it RATHER illegal and he refuses to gird his loins to go for the throat….

I am an Ohioan, we should have went with Ken Blackwell a known quantity who would have an organization rising, not be trying to out urkel Barry O, and would rip the head off of a comic who called our party Nazis….

the rest is noise.

sven10077 on March 6, 2009 at 1:43 AM

Btw, I heard Hughley’s show is now kaput. As in over. Over and out.

Montana on March 6, 2009 at 1:58 AM

Btw, I heard Hughley’s show is now kaput. As in over. Over and out.

Montana on March 6, 2009 at 1:58 AM

well “mission accomplished”….

what the h*ll was steele doing on it anyway when he has a staff and organization to build????

The democrats put their teens in charge we need adults.

sven10077 on March 6, 2009 at 2:00 AM

I think that Steele should be put on notice that you don’t serve as the head of your party by letting comparisons to Nazi rallies go unchallenged, when they are said to your face.

Truth is, every conservative at the forefront should learn German history–probably starting with the “Teutonic Renaissance” (Wagner and Goethe, et al)–just to be able to speak to the inane epithet “Nazi”, in order to be competent. It’s all they know how to do since it became Stalin’s tactic to blame everything he didn’t like on “fascism” and was imported here by the CPUSA.

I’m hoping that Mr. Steele will shake the rust off and do better next time.

Axeman on March 6, 2009 at 2:19 AM

It’s too early to dump Steele, although his performance on the Hughley show was particularly bad. Pushing him out after less than four weeks is a little unfair. He deserves more of a chance to atone for his mistakes and correct his errors.

Why? A capable competent RNC Chair should have been able to hit the ground running. Steele just hit the ground.

SKYFOX on March 6, 2009 at 5:19 AM

It’s so nice to see that you are all having a kumbaya experience with Michael Steele! It’s so nice that you are worried about his “feelings”…

Think about that while your party is being kicked in the teeth by the democrats in two years (as it is right now) and you have no one to fight back for you because your party chairman is Democrat Lite.

But at least you can all “feel” good about yourselves…

I, for one shall be looking for a party that wants to man up, grow a pair and take on the RATS at every front and fight the good fight! Michael Steele won’t and doesn’t know how anyway being the bafoon that he’s shown himself to be.

sabbott on March 6, 2009 at 5:19 AM

Montana on March 6, 2009 at 1:42 AM

Very insightful post. I agree with you completely.

kanda on March 6, 2009 at 6:24 AM

I thought a McCain/Steele ticket would have been the greatest “EVAH” !!!

kamasm on March 6, 2009 at 6:53 AM

Michael Steele is now on radio guest hosting for Bill Bennett’s program Morning in America.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 7:14 AM

Michael Steele is now on radio guest hosting for Bill Bennett’s program Morning in America.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 7:14 AM

Thank God…..I was afraid he might make some hires and start recruiting more ward reps….

good to know that the GOP is now “The Mike Steele Show”…..

sven10077 on March 6, 2009 at 7:17 AM

As yet on the program nobody has called for Steele’s head. But it’s still early.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 7:19 AM

As yet on the program nobody has called for Steele’s head. But it’s still early.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 7:19 AM

His call screener will not allow that to happen….

you got a number for the show?

I’ll call him out.

“Hey Mike why is it okay for Obambi to ge BFF with the weather underground and never get called on it but the leader of the GOP as you’re called to let a z-list comic call our convention a Nazi Rally?”

seriously zap me a number and I’ll call.

sven10077 on March 6, 2009 at 7:20 AM

It’s like the Twilight Zone, that the incident with Rush and the Nazi comment didn’t happen.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 7:27 AM

It’s like the Twilight Zone, that the incident with Rush and the Nazi comment didn’t happen.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 7:27 AM

Steele is a tad Clintonian in his responses for my taste….

but hey he’s gonna help us retake New England…..ask him about his stunning Senatorial victory.

sven10077 on March 6, 2009 at 7:29 AM

I always got the impression that the Nazi comment was more damaging than what Steele said about Rush. Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps once Steele apologized to Rush the base decided to let bygones be bygones.

That is a tribute to how much sway Rush has over the Republican party.

By the way earlier in the radio program Michael Steele referred to Obama is in the process of imposing a Marxist configuration. Where did that come from?

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 7:34 AM

He sure is making the rounds on the conservative talk circuit and Bennett probably graciously took the day off just to let him do damage control. Stick a fork in him, AFAIC, he is done.

OmahaConservative on March 6, 2009 at 7:35 AM

What is AFAIC?

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 7:37 AM

As Far As I’m Concerned.

OmahaConservative on March 6, 2009 at 7:40 AM

Call the show 866-680-6464

OmahaConservative on March 6, 2009 at 7:44 AM

A woman (Renee) just called in saying Steele ‘was like watching the Blue Angles fly’ using that to compliment Steele. I just can’t believe this. Where have these people been in the last few days?

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 7:47 AM

A woman (Renee) just called in saying Steele ‘was like watching the Blue Angles fly’ using that to compliment Steele. I just can’t believe this. Where have these people been in the last few days?

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 7:47 AM

Steele and Bennett are in Operation Circle the Wagons mode…which had this just been a catfight between Rush and Steele I’d be game for….as a proud “former Nazi” not so much….

Steele has to go or SarahPac will grow.

sven10077 on March 6, 2009 at 7:50 AM

I hope SarahPAC grows but not in this manner. But alas, money is money. i don’t think Sarah is going to send the money back and neither would I expect her to.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 8:04 AM

A half an hour to go. Michael Steele is having a good morning. A caller just called Michael ‘a great man’. Steele is really engaging and funny.

Where was this Michael Steele last Saturday night?

I guess this was the same question people were asking after watching Sarah Palin destroy Biden in the debate-why wasn’t she like this during the Couric interview?

The disparity in both performances is amazing.

Now Steele is praising Sarah Palin–wonder if he has heard that conservatives are pledging only to contribute to SarahPAC. He is now defending Sarah in the wardrobe incident.

Steele then ended his comment by saying “Rush said it best–words mean something.”

Boy, I can’t believe this. This is the twilight zone times 10.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 8:31 AM

Steele is now calling out members of the Republican Congress who ‘are getting it wrong’. And he used a sports analogy–if a player isn’t doing his job the coach replaces him.

This makes me want to take up drinking again.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 8:41 AM

WOW! I don’t want to be around when the alarm goes off on the wrist watch that Hughley is wearing, and he has credibility in the way he wears his tie, and grooms his hair.

MSGTAS on March 6, 2009 at 8:42 AM

Steele then ended his comment by saying “Rush said it best–words mean something.”

Boy, I can’t believe this. This is the twilight zone times 10.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 8:31 AM

Money talks(our rage and paucity of donations), BS walks(his GOP in The Hood routine with DL and such)

sven10077 on March 6, 2009 at 8:44 AM

Steele is now calling out members of the Republican Congress who ‘are getting it wrong’. And he used a sports analogy–if a player isn’t doing his job the coach replaces him.

This makes me want to take up drinking again.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 8:41 AM

Just took my morning constitutional and tried calling in the whole 40 minutes….line was busy the whole time…

sven10077 on March 6, 2009 at 8:45 AM

And Hughley loses his job and Steele, at least by this morning’s performance’ has come up smelling like roses’.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 8:45 AM

I can take being labeled a Nazi or racist from the likes of DL Hughly, after all venomous vituperation is what the left does best. What I find inexcusable is that Michael Steele hasn’t apologized for letting it slide and somewhat agreeing with the former Bloods gangster.

OmahaConservative on March 6, 2009 at 8:53 AM

Ease up. This guy is on the same page now. Let’s see what concrete things he’s done in a couple of months.

marklmail on March 6, 2009 at 8:56 AM

It’s like the Twilight Zone, that the incident with Rush and the Nazi comment didn’t happen.

technopeasant on March 6, 2009 at 7:27 AM

I don’t care about him and Rush, but Steele has said nothing regarding the Nazi comment. To me, he’s a turd floating in GOP pool. The RNC should do what I just did, and flush him down the toilet. We need serious people, and he’s silly.

BuckeyeSam on March 6, 2009 at 9:11 AM

He sounded weak to me. Esp. with that last caller playing apologist for him, blaming the left for the mess Steele allowed himself to be drawn into by a former Bloods gangster of all people.

OmahaConservative on March 6, 2009 at 9:22 AM

coldwarrior on March 5, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Absolutely. What bothered me most about this was that it was pretty apparent that Steele hadn’t even listened to Rush before. How can you possibly represent Conservatives if you don’t know what they stand for, advocated (most of the times) through Rush????

Steele is out of touch with the base… not what we need right now.

dominigan on March 6, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Rahm, you magnificent bastard.

Surprise: Peanut Plant’s Private Food Inspector Rated Safety ‘Superior’

Somebody should tell your radio entertainer that no regulations left many Americans dead, sick, homeless and broke.

getalife on March 6, 2009 at 9:37 AM

getalife on March 6, 2009 at 9:37 AM

‘Morning sweetheart,

Try not to get your mechanical aortic valve popping too hard.

OmahaConservative on March 6, 2009 at 9:46 AM

getalife – If there were no regulations, why was there an inspector? Oh, wait! You must have meant regulations that were not properly enforced.

Though I’m not sure what this has to do with Michael Steele….

JadeNYU on March 6, 2009 at 9:48 AM

We have been compared to the Nazi’s so many times, I suggest we just change the party’s name to include the word. The Republican Nazi Party. That will eliminate the distraction. When they accuse us of being Nazi’s, we can just reply “of course we are, what’s your point?”

pgrossjr on March 6, 2009 at 9:54 AM

JadeNYU on March 6, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Obviously, that agency is broken like the rest of the government.

Why is the President reforming every agency?

OmahaConservative on March 6, 2009 at 9:46 AM

Robin Williams is getting one too. He can put the mic up to his chest and tell jokes about it popping.

We will live forever.

getalife on March 6, 2009 at 9:55 AM

I think Steele is a keeper. Now that nobody will donate he fired everybody and runs the rnc by himself.

And that 12 step program worked for alcoholics.

He should start rapping.

getalife on March 6, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Surprise: Peanut Plant’s Private Food Inspector Rated Safety ‘Superior’

Somebody should tell your radio entertainer that no regulations left many Americans dead, sick, homeless and broke.

getalife on March 6, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Somebody should tell your Messiah that over 300 Americans were killed and 1000’s more injured on 9/11 when failed policies of appeasment on Terrorist reared it’s ugly head!

Obam’s plans will get us hit again and his reign as PotUS will end in disaster…

EPIC FAIL that cost 1000’s more because he failed to act…

Mark Garnett on March 6, 2009 at 10:16 AM

300 should read 3000, a typo.

But most Americans know that…

Far left balme America radical Socialist think we deserved to die…

And are leading us down the exact same road that got us hit the first time…

Idiots!

Mark Garnett on March 6, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Really, I think Steele acquits himself nicely here. He stayed on point.

Now, if it were me I’d add more phrases like “Democrats like you, Matt” and “your party”. And I’d probably say “the so-called stimulus hasn’t taken the giant dump we expect yet, either,” when asked about how the repubs get their mojo back.

Face it, we lost it when we opted for the next-one-in-the-queue approach to presidential candidates! Running McCain was probably the weak point and these are just the after effects.

Axeman on March 6, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Steele should resign, or if not, be thrown out of office immediately. If he wasn’t able to understand where and what was coming and is as clueless as he appears, let alone not being able to hand Hugely his ass in one sentence over the Nazi comparison, he is not qualified to lead this party. If he wants to be popular in the hood, GTFO and go live there. Republicans aren’t about “the hood” and we aren’t about race, we’re about ideas….if this asshole was white, he’d be gone by now…………….FIRE STEELE!!! He’s incompetent, an idiot, and has no clue as to what he is doing and WE will pay the price…..
Yeah, we need on the job training for someone who can’t do the job….the stakes are too high…….those of you that don’t understand that are as clueless as he is.

colonelkurtz on March 6, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Ease up. This guy is on the same page now. Let’s see what concrete things he’s done in a couple of months.

marklmail on March 6, 2009 at 8:56 AM

What page would that be precisely? The one that requires a Republican to actually object when a liberal associates their party with the Nazi’s of WWII who systematically killed 6 million Jews plus Gypsies, Homosexuals, Christians, Mentally Retarded and Physically Deformed individuals? That page?

I would somehow expect a “Republican” to automatically be on that page without a national furor causing one to “get on that page”?

Good grief!

sabbott on March 6, 2009 at 10:52 AM

As long as the GOP continues to be let the media whip it like a scared puppy, the more it will do so.

Steele should have replied, “When I think of NAZI Germany, I think of concentration camps and the execution of six million Jews. D.L. do you realize how foolish that comparison is?”

When Sarah Palin was being bashed last fall, interviewees should have replied, “I notice you aren’t mentioning Gov. Palin’s approval rating, which is the highest of any elected official in the nation. In less that two years, she has taken on corruption, fought and defeated the major oil companies and obtained approval of a natural gas pipeline to the lower 48, which had been stalled for 30 years. Tell me what Barack Obama has accomplished since getting elected to the Senate. Then we can discuss whether Palin or Obama is more experienced and better qualified.”

If the GOP continues to act like wimps, the media will kick it around.

bw222 on March 6, 2009 at 12:56 PM

It might help Steele figure things out if he went to Zo’s website and watched a few of those videos.

And, I agree with Ed that the Nazi Germany crack was far worse than the Rush stuff. For some reason, that’s being kind of swept under the rug in all this.

califcon on March 5, 2009 at 7:41

As I read others responses, I couldn’t help but think how Zo would be a great asset for the RNC.
If you like Zo, or have never seen his rants, I recommend

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwOE8K8CH-8&eurl=http://hotair.com/archives/2009/03/03/zo-wonders-is-rush-limbaugh-more-like-hitler-or-malcolm-x/&feature=player_embedded

Pat in NC on March 6, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Go Ada!! (I voted for her at the state convention)

btw.. the Nazis would have just killed this guy – even if he is a vet just telling the truth. As it was he was just booed (sadly enough, by many vets).

popularpeoplesfront on March 6, 2009 at 2:21 PM

I watched the Hughley mess – and I don’t like that Michael Steele left the impression that he believed that Republicans were Nazis – he lost my support and I have been a long time supporter and donated to his campaigns.. No longer. He had a chance to stand up and he chose not to.

Flag Gazer on March 6, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Has anyone told getalife that raising taxes and enacting enacting protectionist trade policies during a recession — historically — causes a depression? I know someone else told him to look at the DJIA during 1980 – 1981. getalife then said something stupid about going with history after choosing to ignore it. But that’s a Dem; says one thing, does another.

chunderroad on March 6, 2009 at 4:56 PM

I would almost agree based on the RFC that the GOP released today for a new GOP.com

It’s only 2 pages and it’s lame, lame, lame.

While Erick at RedState was posting the article above, I was setting up a resource that I hope will gather some programmers to produce the activism tools for an Activism Center we sorely need:

http://gopguerrillas.ning.com/

If this request for developers works, we could have the activism tools we need in place by Tea Party day on April 15. Please visit the site and post, post, post, comment, comment comment to promote the project and get the GOP the activism tools we need.

ElRonaldo on March 7, 2009 at 12:55 AM