Michael the Chairman

I’m beginning to tire of the incessant idiocy of Republican National Committee Chair, Michael Steele.  Everyday, it seems, he’s talking to one news outlet or another and literally brimming over with meaningless threats, bizarre rhetoric, or completely false accusations (need I remind you of this?).  Via Steve Benen, Steele spoke to Neil Cavuto on Fox about potential recriminations for the three Republican Senators who voted for Obama’s stimulus package:

Neil Cavuto asked, “Will you, as RNC head, recommend no RNC funds being provided to help them?” Steele said he’d “talk to” state party officials in Maine and Pennsylvania about the possibility. When asked if he was at least open to withholding party support to three incumbent Republican senators, Steele added, “Oh, yes, I’m always open to everything, baby, absolutely.”

Steele was probably hoping to send a message to GOP lawmakers who may be thinking about working with the White House on controversial policies, but it’s an odd kind of threat. For one thing, Steele’s comments probably won’t mean much to Sens. Snowe and Collins. Snowe won 74% of the vote in her last campaign, and isn’t up for re-election until 2012. Collins was just elected to a third term with 62% of the vote, and isn’t up again until 2014. Are they going to be afraid of Michael Steele? I doubt it.

It seems down right silly of Steele to even mention primary challenges for Collins and Snowe, when, as Benen said, Collins JUST WON an election and Snowe won’t be up for a challenge until 2012.  Specter is another case, of course, and I don’t doubt that the Republican Party is going to run a pretty conservative primary slate against him next year, but I’m not convinced that Specter won’t win.  Unless every sane person in Pennsylvania decides to forgo the Republican primary and vote instead in the Democratic one.

In any case, if I were any of these three people I would feel zero worry at Michael Steele’s grandstanding.  They could always threaten to go independent, leaving the Repubs with even lesser numbers than they currently have.  Does he really want to be responsible for that kind of defection?

Ugh. I’m sorry. I’m just continually irritated at this guy, who I don’t think has said anything worth saying.  As a Democrat I’m thrilled to see the Republican Party look this bad, but as a human being I’m embarrassed that this guy has a platform. He’s like Joe the Plumber but with…”actual responsiblities.”

P.S. A commenter at Benen’s blog makes a great point: If Steele were to actually be successful and push Snowe or Collins out in a primary, there is very little guarantee that a non-incumbent Republican would be capable of winning a seat in Maine.  It’s not like Maine is Alabama or Kentucky; it’s a pretty liberal/libertarian state.

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