The Party’s over. At least for the Chairman of the Republican Party.
If nothing else, Michael Steele has been a fountain of mirth for Democrats. He as given us a seemingly bottomless well of malaprops, policy flops, and Hip Hops. He has courageously embarked on what can only be described as a reckless course fraught with risk and a certain affection for being on the edge.
But today he has gone too far. He has extended beyond the edge and is floating in mid air like Wile E. Coyote of the old Road Runner cartoon, yet to realize that there is no terra firma beneath him. His fall is nonetheless imminent.
In the the audio below you can hear Steele stepping further out onto the limb than any Republican has ever dared to go. You will actually hear him praise ACORN and its current leader:
Now THAT’S entertainment! And he is proving himself to be quite a daredevil.
“I will say that the current head of the organization, she’s done a phenomenal job getting out in front of it. I applaud her. I take her at her word that she wants to work to make sure that the bad apples are thrown out. That the work that, I mean…Keep in mind that this organization has been around a long time.”
And he goes even further to praise, not just an individual, but after a brief disclaimer, he lauds the whole enterprise:
“Now I’m not a big fan of ACORN for a whole lot of reasons, because of my own feelings with some of their folks over the years. But I do respect the fact it has a history of working in the community and helping the poor.“
And if that isn’t enough, he then proceeds to express his desire that ACORN successfully navigates their current difficulties and resumes their community organizing:
“It’s going to be one of those issues that, hopefully, they can get rectified. But until they do, they’re going to have to live with the stigma of the bad acts because of the federal funds that they’ve taken, because of the corruption that individuals have been convicted on so far. So we’ll see how this plays out.”
Setting aside his false assertion that any individuals have been convicted, he is quite correct that “we’ll see how this plays out.” But can this play out in any way that preserves his position as head of the Party? Can the RNC tolerate a leader that praises ACORN and hopes for its redemption?
Remember, this is the same Michael Steele who lectured on the ideology of hats:
“I’m asking you to go out and ask your friends to wear our hat. The hat of an idea.”
This is the same Michael Steele who can’t see any boundaries:
“I don’t do ‘cutting-edge.’ That’s what Democrats are doing. We’re going beyond cutting-edge.”
This is the same Michael Steele who promised to deliver “change in a tea bag.”
This is the same Michael Steele who declared that apologies were a thing of the past:
“The era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over. It is done.”
Indeed it is. It is over done. It is toast of the most burnt variety. Can Steele possibly survive this affront to everything the Republican Party (via their mouthpiece, Fox News) holds dear? Will any apology suffice, even if he were willing to issue one?
Ordinarily, Steele only apologizes to other Republicans. For instance the time he said that Rush Limbaugh’s antics were “incendiary” and “ugly/” After that mishap he had to beg Rush for forgiveness. But he also said that it wasn’t gaffe, it was all part of his master plan:
“So if I do something, there’s a reason for it. Even, it may look like a mistake, a gaffe. There is a rationale, there’s a logic behind it. […] I want to see what the landscape looks like. I want to see who yells the loudest. I wanted to know who says they’re with me but really isn’t.”
I’m not so sure that other Republicans are going to see Steele’s affection for ACORN as much of plan. And I wouldn’t bet on his enduring occupancy of the RNC chairmanship. This is a huge disappointment for me. I was hoping for a Palin/Steele ticket in 2012. There doesn’t seem to be much hope for that now. It appears there’s just one thing left to say: Buh Bye, Mikey.