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May 19 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

It’s been a busy day for Michael Steele. He’s piling on the stupid so fast and thick it’s hard to keep up with him.

He gave a big speech in which he demonstrated his propensity for generating inane soundbites:

RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s speech to committee members was this afternoon, and I believe it was aired live on all three cable networks. Viewers got to hear Steele’s Greatest Hits, including an attack on ACORN, a shot at EFCA, and even a reference to the Fairness Doctrine. I wish I were kidding.

But here’s the quote that you’re likely to see quite a bit more of:

“Those of you who actually attend Lincoln Day dinners, and county party events, those of you who toil in the vineyards, spending time in communities, in diners, in barber shops, and in coffee shops where real, every day people can be found. You know it is real. You can see it and feel it.

“This change, my friends, is being delivered in a tea bag. And that’s a wonderful thing.”

Remember when Steele recently described himself as “the gift that keeps on giving”? He wasn’t kidding.

On a more serious note, the RNC chairman also vowed, “The Republican Party is again going to emerge as the party of new ideas.” He then proceeded to note exactly zero new ideas.

Kinda hard to deliver change in a teabag when you’ve got no change, innit?

And what if the Cons try to shut him the hell up to preserve the infintesimal remnant of their dignity? He ain’t shuttin’:

Today in an interview with Fox News, Steele suggested that if too much of his power is taken away, he may resign:
They can contemplate all they want to, but the reality is if they want a figurehead chairman you can have a figurehead chairman, but it won’t be Michael Steele.

I wonder how many Cons shouted “Halleluja!” when he said that. Talk about your easy way to rid yourself of an embarrassment.

It’s not just speeches or interviews on Faux News, either. No. Steele had far more to offer today. Such as an op-ed:

As part of the gathering, RNC Chairman Michael Steele has a new column in the Politico arguing that “Republicans are turning a corner.” (As I recall, Steele said the exact same thing right before the GOP lost the special election in New York’s 20th.)
[T]he Republican Party will be forward-looking — it is time to stop looking backward. Republicans have spent ample time re-examining the past. It has been a healthy and necessary task. But I believe it is now time for Republicans to focus all of our energies on winning the future by emerging as the party of new ideas.

As part of the Republicans’ new-found commitment to a “forward-looking” approach, Steele explains, “The Republican Party has turned a corner, and as we move forward Republicans should take a lesson from Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan always believed Republicans should apply our conservative principles to current and future challenges facing America. . For Reagan’s conservatism to take root….”

I love how every time Cons talk about looking forward, they cast their gazes back over twenty years. Something tells me they don’t quite grasp the “looking forward” concept.

It’s also kinda hard to declare a honeymoon’s over when there never was a honeymoon:

Do-dooo-dooo-do. Do-doo. Do-doo.

[snip]


“The second turning point for our party is this. We are going to take the president head-on. The honeymoon is over,” he said, addressing President Barack Obama’s popularity, an “Obama phenomenon” which the GOP should no longer fear. “The two-party system is making a comeback, and that comeback starts today.”

Since “the honeymoon” consisted of party-line rejection of pretty much everything Obama does, while calling him the “Democrat Socialist” Messiahitler, I can’t wait to see this new “head-on” approach.

“We’re going to take this president on with class. We’re going to take this president on with dignity,” he said, deriding the “classless and shabby way” that Democrats challenged former President George W. Bush.

Chris pointed that last little gem out this morning. I just about fell out of my chair laughing. Put it this way: if the Cons manage to do an about-face and take Obama on with “class” and “dignity,” I’ll eat all your hats with horseradish.

As far as the survival of the GOP, with or without Steele at the helm, things aren’t looking too good:

There have been plenty of recent polls showing the number of Americans willing to identify themselves as Republican dropping to lows unseen in decades. But late yesterday, Gallup released a more detailed look at this decline, noting that the GOP has lost ground with practically every demographic in the country.
The decline in Republican Party affiliation among Americans in recent years is well documented, but a Gallup analysis now shows that this movement away from the GOP has occurred among nearly every major demographic subgroup. Since the first year of George W. Bush’s presidency in 2001, the Republican Party has maintained its support only among frequent churchgoers, with conservatives and senior citizens showing minimal decline.

The results, taken from months of surveys totaling 7,000 adult respondents, are striking. The Republican Party has lost ground in every region, every age group, every ethnicity, every income level, every educational level, every ideology, and both genders. The drop off was strongest among college graduates (down 10%), Americans under 30 (down 9%), Americans making under $75,000, Midwesterners, and self-identified moderates.

Among frequent churchgoers, the GOP broke even, maintaining the same level of support from 2001. The drop off among African Americans and Latinos was modest, but only because Republicans fared poorly with these voters before and limited room to drop further.

Which groups showed GOP gains? There weren’t any.

Gee. I can’t imagine why.