The best solution for Republicans is probably to do nothing at all. For one thing, it’s not like there’s some compelling, media-savvy alternative candidate waiting in the wings. Remember, the second place finisher in January was a member of an all-white country club at this time last year. To throw Steele out in favor of Dawson would be politically suicidal, and the other January also-rans – Saul Anuzis, Ken Blackwell, and then-Chairman Mike Duncan – have their own administrative and public relations liabilities as well.
And while the media circus that his Limbaugh comments set off created an unwanted media circus – and catered directly to the Democrats’ efforts to portray the G.O.P. as the Party of Rush – Steele is hardly the reason that fewer Americans than ever before now identify themselves as Republicans.