Off the hook, indeed

Y'know, I seriously wonder what the GOP's current iteration is trying to do to itself. It seems hell-bent on totally demolishing whatever chance it has of ever regaining the majority, and of appealing to anything but its most decerebrate followers.

Leaving aside its lock-step opposition to the popular stimulus plan, which I will charitably ascribe to simple philosophical disagreement, its rhetoric is baffling. Take, for example, one Michael Steele, newly-minted chair of the Republican National Committee. Some recent comments of his make me wonder how (or, frankly, if) his mind works. Via Washington Monthly:
Here's the Republican National Committee head talking to conservative talk-show host Mike Gallagher yesterday:

GALLAGHER: Is this a time when Republicans ought to consider some sort of alternative to redefining marriage and maybe in the road, down the road to civil unions. Do you favor civil unions?

STEELE: No, no no. What would we do that for? What are you, crazy? No. Why would we backslide on a core, founding value of this country? I mean this isn't something that you just kind of like, "Oh well, today I feel, you know, loosey-goosey on marriage." [...]

GALLAGHER: So no room even for a conversation about civil unions in your mind?

STEELE: What's the difference?

I am perplexed, first of all, about how marriage is a founding value of this country. The issue of gay rights was completely absent from the public sphere back in the days of powdered wigs, and the legal definition of marriage had no more a role in the founding of this country than did credit default swaps. Both of these issues are now pressing in society today, and hearkening back to days of yore is no more relevant for the former than for the latter. Societies change with time, as do the issues they face.

But further, Steele's comments totally belie some previous statements, as well as his (apparently meaningless) rhetoric about reaching out to constituencies that are not typically Republican.
Michael Steele, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee wants the GOP to reach out to candidates who support gay marriage and are pro-choice. Steele told Fox's Chris Wallace that it was "important" to reach out to those voters.

WALLACE: You are one of the co-founders of something called the Republican Leadership Council which supports candidates who favor abortion and gay rights.


WALLACE: Does the GOP needs to do a better job of reaching out to people who hold those views?

STEELE: I think -- I think that's an important opportunity for us, absolutely. Within our party we do have those who have that view as well as outside and my partnership with Christy Todd Whittman was an effort to build a bridge between moderates and conservatives.

So Steele supports candidates that hold views that are contrary to GOP dogma, but thinks it's crazy to have conversations with them about those views? He wants to improve the party's image with everyone (including, apparently, "one-armed midgets") except gays? (This despite widespread support for civil unions?)

Is Steele merely stupid? Does he not realize that, once he makes comments for the public record, people can go back and read them again? Does he think taking consistent positions isn't "hip-hop" enough? Or is he hopelessly pandering to a particular audience while hoping that nobody notices his flagrant intellectual bankruptcy? You tell me.

1 comment:

  1. Slavery was also a core founding value of the Southern States, I wonder how much Steele is against our backsliding on that value.

    And it is beyond bizarre that he doesn't know the difference between civil unions and marriages. He can't even bother to look it up? And this chucklehead is running the Republican party. I think he should just be called Token from now on.