RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s comments about the war in Afghanistan were deeply disappointing and wrong. The chairman of the Republican party must be unwavering in his support for American victory in the war on terror — a victory that cannot be accomplished if we do not prevail in Afghanistan. I endorse fully Bill Kristol’s letter to Chairman Steele. It is time for Chairman Steele to step down.
The Washington Times reports that the jockeying to replace Steele has already begun, but only in the context of a post-midterm challenge, and that foolish statements on Afghanistan may not be the only reason RNC members may want to make a change:
With Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele facing a barrage of calls to resign, North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth, a social conservative, told The Washington Times on Friday he is quitting his post to prepare a possible challenge of Mr. Steele after November’s midterm elections. …
“I was shocked at the last RNC meeting to learn how little money we got from our major donors,” Mr. Emineth told The Times.
Mr. Emineth said what moved him to consider a bid for national chairman is what he called Mr. Steele’s dismal failure with big donors who are giving to other, more trusted GOP campaign organizations as polls continue to show Republicans, if adequately financed, stand a good chance of regaining control of Congress.
Allahpundit covered the substance of Steele’s remarks earlier, and they’re foolish indeed — but not the worst he’s managed to say during his tenure as RNC chair. I’d still point to his conversation with D.L. Hughley in which he accepted the notion that the 2008 Republican convention looked like a Nazi rally as the nadir of Steele’s tenure. This statement on Afghanistan just reflects on Steele himself and was easily disavowed by the party and Republican lawmakers, stupid as it was.
Practically speaking, the RNC probably can’t dump Steele at this point, even though people have been pressing them since at least March 2009 to do so, when it was probably too early to do so. This kind of change should have taken place before the first of the year if it were to happen at all. The midterms will take place in four months, and the last thing the GOP needs is a sudden reorganization at the very top. But if the RNC isn’t getting big-ticket contributions from major donors, as Emineth claims, then maybe it wouldn’t make much difference anyway.