Sometimes in this job, one has to laugh instead of crying. After Barack Obama went on national television and gave himself a “good, solid B-plus” and endured national ridicule for it, other public figures may have taken that as a warning. Not only did Michael Steele fail to learn that lesson, he also lashed out at Republicans for giving him significantly lower grades, despite being accountable to them:
ABC News’ Aaron Katersky and Rick Klein report: RNC Chairman Michael Steele is lashing out his critics, with a series of blunt messages for prominent Republicans who have blasted him over his leadership for the Republican Party.
“I tell them to get a life. That’s old Washington, that’s old ways, and I don’t represent that, and that kills them,” Steele told ABC News Radio in an interview today.
“I’m telling them and I’m looking them in the eye and say I’ve had enough of it. If you don’t want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way.”
Shut up? Maybe Steele hasn’t noticed, but America is a place where we hold our leaders accountable, or at least attempt to do so. While the GOP should be focusing on holding Democrats accountable, Steele argues that we treat him like a dictator, given the keys to Rome for a year in order to rout the barbarians. At the very least, Steele should familiarize himself with Harry Truman’s famous maxim: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
And while we’re all supposed to “shut up,” as Steele demands, what kind of evaluation would he give himself?
In his first year as GOP chairman Steele said he would give himself a grade of a “solid B.” He credits himself with raising $80 million, paying off senatorial and congressional committee debt, infusing state parties with money, creating a new Web presence, and winning governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia.
“A B is not bad; I can do better,” he said.
For the year in which he agreed with D.L. Hughley that the 2008 GOP convention looked like a Nazi rally and his opinion that Republicans aren’t ready to lead? Er, sure. He could give himself that “good, solid B-plus.” And it would have much the same meaning as the one Obama assigned himself — a great argument against self-evaluation as a technique.