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March 12, 2009

GOP Steele detractors in a bind

Red Maryland has an interesting post up from a Michael Steele detractor who, nonethless, thinks the party shouldn't dump him. The post outlines a laundry list of questionable things Steele has said or done but concludes that the thing for Republicans to do is to work with the guy instead of trying to dump him:

Political Wire reports that Steele will most likely face a no confidence vote after the March 31st special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's seat in NY-20. Unofficial word, and I have nothing more substantial than that, is that failed nominee Katon Dawson is a mover in this boneheaded scheme.

For those who don't know, Dawson's campaign foundered when it scored an own goal. Dawson allegedly at some point in his life belonged to a whites only club that wasn't the US Senate and was unable to effectively address the allegation. The whole thing seemed tenuous to me and I figure if a former Klan recruiter can be president pro tem of the Senate then let bygones be bygones.

We are already suffering from allegations of tokenism in our election of Michael Steele. Very unfairly, I might add, as the first choice of a lot -- but not enough -- of us was Ken Blackwell. The last thing we need right now is a palace coup pulled off by someone with Katon Dawson's baggage.

And that's the issue the GOP faces -- even if it wasn't playing the politics of symbolism in choosing Steele, it would certainly get whacked by the politics of bad symbolism if it dumps him.

Posted by Andy Green at 1:08 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Michael Steele



do you want to venture an opinion here on your blog? me, i think they were playing racial political symbolism w putting steele up in front at the RNC and, since they should have known that he is a really incompetent man who just happens to be black, they deserve being pillored if they so quickly dump him.

i think the inaptly named website RedState substantially misstated the lifelong membership in a whites only club that olde Katon, from down in the cradle of secession, has not disavowed, and quit only 2 or so months prior to running for the national RNC office, deserves some fact-checking before you repeat it in the Sun blog.

It is a problem of race and search for symbolic cover in matters of race that now ensnares the GOP. Or maybe, Republicans are so out-of-touch only they could watch Barack Obama outperform every pol in the USA and say the answer is Michael Steele.
Michael Steele is no Barack Obama to paraphrase an old senator from Texas.

Red Maryland's streiff pinpoints the GOP's dilemma of its own making, but he does not address--and refuses to discuss--the Steele liability threatening to force his party's hand.

The Political Wire blip he linked was a reference to blogger Sean Quinn, who said below the fold:

"Perhaps most significantly in the long run, Steele has had several bad stories emerge regarding his 2006 Maryland Senate campaign financial operations...

"Speculation is mounting that Republicans who have it in for Steele are leaking these stories and potentially might have more."

No matter who has it in for Mr. Steele, his most troubling liabilities can be found in publicly available documents from his unsuccessful senate candidacy and his tenure as Maryland's lieutenant governor.

- Steve Lebowitz

Why hasn't the GOP selected and candidate to run against

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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