As one of 238 members of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee, I have a particular interest in the operation of the Republican Party — and a very small influence on that operation.
Since his election as RNC Chairman, Michael Steele has been a horrific embarrassment. He began his term at the beginning of the year by telling GC Magazine that abortion is “an individual choice,” something that he quickly had to backtrack from. He then called the Rush Limbaugh program “incindiary” and “ugly.” From naming his official blog “What Up?,” to giving some “slum love” to Gov. Jindal, to claiming that white Republicans are scared of him, his public statements have been just plain awful. I cringe every time I see him on TV.
Worse, though, has been his tone-deafness to the concerns of conservative Republicans across the county who don’t want the GOP to become “Democrat lite.” For example, supporting Dede Scozzofava in NY-23 and going along with the NRSC in its scandalous support of Charlie Crist in Florida is not going to convince the conservative base that the GOP actually stands for anything other than getting back into office so that it can start getting the pork again instead of the Democrats. Conservatives around the country are now registering as independents, and many are now discussing the possibility of turning the Tea Party into an actual political party.
Now, though, we learn that Michael Steele is working with four different agencies to book him to speak around the country and collect speaking fees to the tune of $8,000 to $20,000 per speech. That would not be all that outrageous, except that making speeches is the job that the RNC pays him $223,500 a year to do.
I’m more grateful than ever that our three RNC members from Louisiana (State GOP Chairman Roger Villere, RNC Committeeman Ross Little, and RNC Committeewoman Ruth Ulrich) did not support Steele for Chairman. I hope they will now step up to the plate and join me in publicly calling upon him to resign. I plan to do what I can to raise the issue at the State Central Committee Meeting on January 9.