This morning Michael Steele was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. The Chairman of the RNC said that he wasn't going to resign and that his criticism is connected to race and his "streetwise" manner of doing things.
Now let me get this straight. Race? Streetwise? Is he saying that he's a victim of bigotry? This is a man, who last February, after meeting with leaders of the 'grassroots activists' also called the Tea Party issued this statement
“For over a year, I have made it a priority to have conversations with different grassroots activists who are concerned with the direction of our country and today’s meeting was an excellent opportunity to continue this conversation. I thank members of the Tea Party movement and other concerned citizens for putting together this meeting and taking the time to speak with me.
There is more there -- but you get the idea. He thanked this group of people who would go on to spit on a black congressman, call Civil rights hero John Lewis a n*gger, and Barney Frank a f*ggot.
This is the same group of people who have consistently used racist signs at their rallies. He was courting them for the GOP, never said anything about the actions the Tea Party has taken, but when he's criticized for this:
The target of criticism is lavish spending by Steele -- $17,000 for private jet travel, $13,000 for limousines and car services and $9,000 for a trip to the Beverly Hills hotel. But the most controversial charge is Steele approval of a nearly $2,000 fundraiser at Voyeur West Hollywood, a sex-themed nightclub in Los Angeles. The expenses were not racked up by Steele but by a staffer, in the name of entertaining young Republicans.
That's about Race? No, actually it's not. It's about leadership and accountability. And -- it's about denial of a the real race issue that is going on in the GOP and conservative world.
Going under the radar since the passage of Healthcare Reform has been what seems like a coordinated effort
to deny the racial and ethnic slurs that are becoming far too commonplace among the right-wing.
"Conservative media keep pushing nutty, self-aggrandizing BS meme that Dems hatched an elaborate plot to incite Tea Partiers to racism and violence." It seems hard to believe -- aren't there other lines conservatives should be trying out right now? -- but this really has risen to the top of the list of right-wing talking points.
Cal Thomas on Fox News:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Fox News:
"Look, when Nancy Pelosi walked through those Tea Partiers, it was like -- what should analogize this to? Ah, the march through Skokie, Illinois, by the Nazis? It was deliberately provocative! They wanted a reaction!"
Andrew Breitbart on his website:
"Remember when Speaker Pelosi walked arm-in-arm in a civil rights march across Independence Avenue from the House buildings over to the Capitol," Bachmann told Sean Hannity in a Fox News appearance Thursday. "In three years I have never seen Nancy Pelosi cross the street the way that you saw in that picture. They deliberately went through that crowd perhaps to try and incite something."
The natural route is the tunnels between the House office buildings and the Capitol. By crafting a highly symbolic walk of the Congressional Black Caucus through the majority white crowd, the Democratic Party was looking to provoke a negative reaction.
Steven Benen goes on to say something very interesting:
"So, we're to believe (a) unhinged activists didn't use bigoted language; and (b) if unhinged activists did use bigoted language, it's Democrats' fault because they walked to the Capitol."
According to the meme - it's the Democrats' fault that these slurs were thrown. This leads me to wonder: if Michael Steele was so concerned about race, then why hasn't he - as head of the RNC - spoken out about the racial and ethnic slurs by the Tea Party activists he openly courted in February? Why hasn't he condemned conservatives (some of whom are actually elected members of his party) for perpetuating the bigotry?
Once, again the lack of personal responsibility is stunning in this party that says it's about personal responsibility. It's either the victim's fault or it's personal persecution. Michael Steele seems to be projecting on himself what he is allowing the conservative movement to use against the Democrats in order to make himself look more sympathetic.
It's intellectually dishonest for people, especially those in a position of leadership, to pick and choose the parts of reality they like, twist the other parts to fit an agenda and ignore the rest.