Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Friday, January 30, 2009

Michael Steele, Chairman of the RNC

Congratulations to Michael Steele on his election to head of the Republican National Committee.

And kudos to the Democrats and President Barack Obama for their influence in moving the Republicans to become more inclusive and in making baby steps in the direction of becoming a more diverse party. It's a start. There are now, what 5 people of color in their tent?

Here's Wiki's bio of Mr. Steele:

Michael Stephen Steele (born October 19, 1958) is an American politician and lawyer. He was elected chairman of the Republican National Committee on January 30, 2009, and is the first African-American to hold the position. Prior to this, Steele served as chairman of GOPAC and worked as a partner at the law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf. He also served as Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007 under Governor Robert Ehrlich.

Steele was the first African American to serve in a Maryland state-wide office and the first Republican lieutenant governor in the state. At the time he was the highest-ranking elected African American Republican in the United States. Steele ran for a Maryland United States Senate seat being vacated by retiring senator Paul Sarbanes, but he lost the 2006 election to Democratic Congressman Ben Cardin.
Steele’s mother was a widowed laundress who, he stated, worked for minimum wage rather than accept public assistance. Steele grew up in a Democratic household. However, as a young man he switched to the Republican Party.
Political positions
On gay marriage: Steele has stated that he personally opposes a federal marriage amendment to ban same-sex marriage and believes that states should decide the issue for themselves but has indicated he would support it if elected RNC Chairman. He rates the issue of banning same-sex marriage low in importance.
On the war in Iraq: "It is imperative we improve conditions on the ground so we can bring our troops home as quickly as possible and have the Iraqi people take control of their own destiny. At the same time, we should not publicly state a timetable for implementation. I do not support a 'cut and run strategy.' Any politician out there talking about timetables and timelines is playing into the hands of our enemies who have an enormous capacity to wait. It would be a disaster for us to cut and run, as it would destroy our credibility in the region for at least a generation. At the same time, it is the Iraqi’s themselves that will ultimately have to make democracy work in their country. We should stay there only long enough to give the Iraqi people the tools they need to secure the very democracy they voted for three times. After that, it’s up to them."
Energy policy: "To provide immediate relief for Marylanders, I have called on President Bush and Congress to enact an immediate moratorium on the federal gas tax - more than 18 cents per gallon - and an immediate moratorium on the 24 cents per gallon diesel tax. Moreover, Congress should approve legislation to suspend the tariff on ethanol imports. But those actions are designed to deal with our immediate crisis. Congress must roll up its sleeves and work to solve the underlying problem - our dependence on foreign sources of energy. To do that, I’ve called on Congress to double President Bush’s budget request for biomass and bio-refinery research, and create market and tax incentives for E85 fuels, hybrid technologies and alternative energy sources. Tax credits for hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles need to be renewed and expanded. Additionally, we must increase fuel efficiency standards for automobiles – not just this year, but over the next several years."

Affirmative action: "Studies show enormous disparities still exist in education, healthcare, employment and economic opportunities along racial lines in the United States. I believe programs are still necessary to help close these divides. I support giving people opportunities. Programs must be fair to all Marylanders – of every color – and they should focus on economic empowerment."

The budget deficit: "Congress must also enact pro-growth policies that encourage the economy to expand: like making tax relief permanent and repealing the death tax. As we saw with the most recent deficit figures, a growing economy will in fact reduce the size of the budget deficit. In order to achieve optimal economic growth, Congress must adhere to sane spending guidelines while promoting smart policies devoted to growing businesses and creating jobs."
Stem cell research: "We have a lot to gain through furthering stem cell research, but medical breakthroughs should be fundamentally about saving, not destroying, human life. Therefore, I support stem cell research that does not destroy the embryo."

Health care: " We need to increase access to health insurance through Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high deductible policies, so individuals and families can purchase the insurance that's best for them and meets their specific needs. . . . I support allowing small businesses to band together and compete for better insurance options. . . . To help increase our nation’s seniors access to affordable care, I have called to extend the sign up period for the Medicare Prescription Drug plan."
Mr. Steele's position on gun control:
Q: Your views on gun control?
STEELE: My views are pretty much in line with the governor's. I grew up under some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. You can have all the gun control laws in the country, but if you don't enforce them, people are going to find a way to protect themselves. We need to recognize that bad people are doing bad things with these weapons. It's not the law-abiding citizens, it's not the person who uses it as a hobby.
Q: Should people have access to buy assault weapons?
STEELE: Society should draw lines. What do you need an assault weapon for, if you're going hunting? That's overkill. But I don't think that means you go to a total ban for those who want to use gun for skeet shooting or hunting or things like that But what's the point of passing gun laws if we're not going to enforce them? If you want to talk about gun control, that's where you need to start. We've got 300 gun laws on the books right now. At the end of the day, it's about how we enforce the law.
Mr. Steele's Democratic roots inform his moderate positions. Good on him.

Mr. Steele, a moderate, will be a force in the Republican Party's future, and thanks to Barack Obama, will probably be a rising star.
I wonder how long it will be before the Hindenburg of Gasbags tags Mr. Steele as a RINO???

Good luck, Mr. Steele.


dmarks said...

Barack may have helped, but I remember Steele from a few years ago. He was a rising star then, on this trajectory it seemed.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Democrat Geraldine Ferraro runs as first woman vice president in 1984.

Democrat Hillary Clinton runs for president.

Democrat Barack Obama is elected and becomes the first Afro-American president.

Republican John McCain choses Sarah Palin for his vice presidential running mate.

The RNC chose Michael Steele as their head--the first time in their history.

The GOP is just following the natural leader--The Democratic Party.

Dave Miller said...

He'll be branded a RINO pretty quickly as he was critical of the whole Barack the Magic Negro thing.

Too bad too. He seems like a good, albeit conservative guy.

dmarks said...

First Black Senator: 1870, Republican.

First Democratic Black Senator: 1993.


It's good to see that the "natural leader" can catch up, even if it takes them one hundred twenty-three years. :) It's called "lead from behind".

(On the other side, Ron Brown, not B. Obama, is the predecessor to Michael Steele).

TRUTH101 said...

Let's see if the R's will allow him to lead or ignore him as they did JC Watts.

Thanks for the invite Shaw. I'll do my best to behave.

Michelle said...

First Black Senator: 1870, Republican.

First Democratic Black Senator: 1993

First Black president 2008.

Man, the USA has really givin me something to finally be proud of.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I'm from Massachusetts. Ed Brooke was the first Afro-American Senator since reconstruction.

Edward William Brooke, III (born October 26, 1919), is an American politician and was the first African American to be elected by popular vote to the United States Senate when he was elected as a Republican from Massachusetts in 1966, defeating his Democratic opponent, Endicott Peabody, 58%–42%.
He was also the first African American elected to the Senate since the 19th century, and would remain the only person of African heritage sent to the Senate in the 20th century until Democrat Carol Moseley Braun in 1993. He remains, as of 2008, the last Republican senator from Massachusetts.

My post is about the 21st century. Not about the few Congressmen elected post-Civil War, (I believe there was one senator from Mississippi and two representatives, also from Miss.--but not sure) but that was definitely short-lived, and then we had to wait until the 20th century to see two Afro-Americans reach the Senate.

IOW, we had a very poor record

And still do.

Burris is the only Afro-American in the Senate, and the represenatives in the House are all Democrats.

Post-Civil War, A.A.s voted for the party of Lincoln, post-Civil Rights, the party of Lyndon Johnson.

Shaw Kenawe said...

few Congressmen elected post-Civil War

That should have been "chosen post-Civil War" since the state legislatures chose Senators, they were NOT popularly elected until the passage of the 17th amendment in 1913.

The Great Migration of blacks from the rural south to northern cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland from 1910 to 1940 began to produce black-majority Congressional districts in the North, where blacks could exercise their right to vote. In the two waves of the Great Migration, millions of blacks moved north and west and became urban.

In 1928, Oscar De Priest won the 1st Congressional District of Illinois (the South Side of Chicago) as a Republican, becoming the first black Congressman of the modern era. DePriest was also the last black Republican in the House for 56 years.

The election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 led to a shift of black voting loyalties from Republican to Democrat, as Franklin Roosevelt implemented programs in the New Deal to create economic protections and opportunities for working people.

From 1940 to 1970, nearly five million blacks moved north and also west, especially to California in the second wave of the Great Migration. By the 1960s, virtually all black voters were Democrats and most were voting in states outside the former Confederacy.

It was not until passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a culmination of years of effort by African Americans and allies, that blacks within the Southern states recovered their ability to exercise their rights to vote and to live with full civil rights. Legal segregation ended. Accomplishing voter registration and redistricting to implement the sense of the law took more time.

The only Southern cities to have black majority districts were Atlanta, Houston, Memphis and New Orleans. The only Southern rural area to have a black majority district was the Mississippi Delta area in Mississippi.

Until 1992, most black House members were elected from inner-city districts in the North and West: Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, New Jersey, Philadelphia and St. Louis all elected at least one black member.

Lincoln's tears said...

The Repubs had to choose among a guy who belongs to an all white country club, a guy who passed around "Barack the Magic Negro," and a guy who was run out of office in Ohio.

After a number of ballots, Steele gets the win.

In the Age of Obama, it's gratifying to see the Republicans finally following the Democrats in leading the American people into the 21st century.

the Republican party is known as the party of old, rich white men, and now, thanks to Michael Steele, it'll be known as the party of old, rich white men, with a black guy as head of the RNC.

Nice window dressing.

Dick Tremayne said...

Where have I seen this before? Hmmmm.

dmarks said...

"the Republican party is known as the party of old, rich white men"

That description fits the Democratic Party as well, which is still more the party of Ted Kennedy and George Soros (old rich white men). The nonwhite, nonmales are a minority among the Dem movers and shakers as well. Even in the Democratic Primaries in 2008, it was mostly rich white guys running.

I can factor out the "rich" part. Most of the important people in both parties are rich, of course.

Paul Wall said...

So as long as he is BLACK, then he's a good guy.
I love it when liberals bring up LBJ as a great leader in the civil rights movement. Here are 2 quotes from the great LBJ.....

President Truman's civil rights program "is a farce and a sham--an effort to set up a police state in the guise of liberty. I am opposed to that program. I have voted against the so-called poll tax repeal bill. . .. I have voted against the so-called anti-lynching bill."

"These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don't move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there will be no way of stopping them, we'll lose the filibuster and there will be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It'll be Reconstruction all over again."
--Rep. Lyndon B. Johnson (D., Texas), 1948
U.S. Senator, 1949-61
Senate Majority Leader, 1955-61
President, 1963-69

dmarks said...

I will check, actually:

9 Democratic candidates in 2008

100% rich
89% male
89% white

DNC Head: rich white guy.

That's still a rich white-guy party, you know. Just a little less so than the GOP.

dmarks said...

Paul Wall: In all fairness, when were those quotes from? It looks like almost 20 years before his Presidency.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Who brought up LBJ?

And he may have said those words, but he's the one who was responsible for getting the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act passed.

He did the right thing, and that's what he's remembered for.

I'm sure people remember Ronald Reagan for the better things he said, and not when he called Martin Luther Kind a "near Communist," or when he said the Civil Rights Act was an "insult to the south."

Most politicians say stupid things during the course of their careers.

Some say more of them than others, however.


The leaders of both the Dems and the Repubs tend to be rich and white (not so much the Dems, q.v. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the Dems' Majority Whip.)

And the Democratic Party is the party of Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, much, much more that is the Republican.

I guess that's what Lincoln's tears meant.

There is not one black member of Congress from the Republican Party.

So when people say it's run by white men, it really sounds correct.

dmarks said...

Shaw: "Who brought up LBJ?"

You did: " Rights, the party of Lyndon Johnson.

Shaw: "And he may have said those words, but he's the one who was responsible for getting the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act passed."

That is what I was getting at, too, when figuring that the quote was from long before LBJ was President. Credit where credit is due.

"And the Democratic Party is the party of Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, much, much more that is the Republican."

"Much much more" resulting in what is still a small percent. And in the world of small percents, the GOP is 100% ahead of the Dems when it comes to Native Americans in Congress. And Bobby Jindahl, Asian, is a major rising star in the GOP now.

"So when people say it's run by white men, it really sounds correct."

For both parties. One a little more than the other.

Shaw Kenawe said...


How much of this inclusiveness in the Republican party would have happened without the amazing rise of Barack Obama?

Why did the Republicans choose Mr. Steele this year, and not 4 years ago? He was a rising star in the party then, too.

Not taking anything away from this.

It's about time America internalizes that we are no longer a white country, but a multi-cultural, diverse country of many colors.

Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition!

Even the Republicans are getting on the bandwagon!

I just wish MLK were alive to see it all happening.

Paul Wall said...

SHAW Said "How much of this inclusiveness in the Republican party would have happened without the amazing rise of Barack Obama?"

Why did the Republicans choose Mr. Steele this year, and not 4 years ago? He was a rising star in the party then, too.

Not taking anything away from this.

I guess you are insinuating it was because he is black! Maybe it’s true. Just like The dems nominated OBAMA.
Like I noticed YOU called Steel MR. STEEL. But YOU never call President Bush President or Mr. McCain, or Senator McCain ...But yet you address ALL BLACKS properly!
Strange? Not it’s not strange, it’s typical... I am not saying that he did not legitimately win, I disagree it was decisive. If Charles Manson was black, and ran for president, the same 95% of the black population would have still voted for him. For folks to say that it wasn't about race, but change, obviously have not followed the civil rights movement. It was ALL about race with the Black vote. This was not decisive. With this vote, and Acorn padding the box, He knew he would win! This was a given. I do not think my tone was whining, but of putting this in perspective. It was not a landslide, There was no mandate, and the country is as divided today, as it was on Election day. Nothing has changed!

dmarks said...

"It was not a landslide, There was no mandate"

Yes, it was not a landslide. But "mandate" is a subjective term. But when you get right down to it, a President has a mandate by being elected, and he/she has a right to push his/her agenda as hard as they want by the justification of having been elected. It is the same with Obama now as with Bush in 2000 and 2004.

Dave Miller said...

Here it is, the first blast from the RINO crowd that I have come across. A full two days after his election.

And from a site a lot of us visit on a regular basis.

In response to "Compassionate Conservatism" and Dee's post on new RNC Chairman Steele, Greg had this to say, as yet, unrebutted.

What, now we go and find our own "magic Negro"?

This is a very, very sad day for America. The election of Steele proves that the Republican party will not go in the direction they need to for the sake of our country. They can expect to be in the minority for quite some time to come.

Are you a true conservative or just a kool aid drinker? If you are a true conservative then you would listen to what this other true conservative has to say about him.

He's a RINO. On that we can be clear. This proves that the Republican Party's move to the Left might be a permanent legacy of the Bush years.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Pall Wall said...

I guess you are insinuating it was because he is black! Maybe it’s true. Just like The dems nominated OBAMA.

No. That's YOUR misreading and misunderstanding. I'm saying that Mr. Steele has been in the Republican Party for a number of years. Why did the RNC vote him in a chairman this year and not the last time around? That's what is curious. Reason? My guess is that the RNC wants the GOP to look more diverse. A little late for that, no? But it is a start. And it is a tribute to Barack Obama.

If Charles Manson was black, and ran for president, the same 95% of the black population would have still voted for him.

If you're a Republican, that statement is the strongest evidence of why our African-American citizens avoid the GOP like the viral infested nest that it is.

You couldn't write a more racist sentence if you were to steal one from The Grand Wizard's Book of the KKK's most famous quotes.

You racist dung.

You're not welcome here.

Shaw Kenawe said...



Mr. Steele is a conservative.

Apparently if he isn't marching in lock-step with the fringe of the party, he's no good.

I've got some bad news for the radical right--you know, the Sarah Palin fanatics.

She supports Barack Obama's stimulus package.

Here's a koan for you:

What is the sound of a million wingnut brains exploding?

Anonymous said...

It's always about race. And although I am a Democrat and a very Liberal one at that, I must agree that Barack Obama has set race relations back 10 years or more in this country.
I voted for him and supported him all the way.. However I think he has damaged HIMSELF
I didn't think that way at first but with his Pastors, Reverends, and the folks he has associated with he has not set the best example that he might have.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Matt Rose said...

It's always about race. And although I am a Democrat and a very Liberal one at that, I must agree that Barack Obama has set race relations back 10 years or more in this country.

I would like you to give me examples of how you think he's done this. Because the evidence of the millions of black and white Americans gathered together in harmony and good will in DC on his inaugural day belies that claim. Also, the RNC justed elected an African-American to head it. A first for them. That's an example of advancing race relations. Do you honestly believe that would have happened without the Age of Obama? Remember, it took them many ballots to finally elect Mr. Steele, and one of the men in contention belongs to an all white country club. Oh, and the other passed out the notorious "Barack the Magic Negro" CD.

That Michael Steele won out over those two other conventional white Republicans shows an advance in race relations, not a set back.

I'd like you to show me how race relations in this country have been set back as a result of President Obama.

I voted for him and supported him all the way.. However I think he has damaged HIMSELF

This is hard to reconcile, since he managed to get himself elected not just with the help of black voters, but with millions and millions of white, Hispanic and Asian voters as well. A damaged person could not have managed to do that. A "damaged" person by any definition would have lost.

I didn't think that way at first but with his Pastors, Reverends, and the folks he has associated with he has not set the best example that he might have.

This is guilt by association.

And I don't believe in it.

Otherwise, every Catholic in this country is guilty by association for belonging to a Church that protected child rapists for decades, maybe even 100s of years. We'll never know because of institutional cover-up.

If you are speaking of Ayers, Barack Obama met him when he had left his radical ideas and actions behind him.

It is a tribute to Barack Obama's humanity that he did not turn his back on this reformed man.

He apparently practices his Christianity.

Lincoln's tears said...

For One Senate Candidate, the 'R' Is a 'Scarlet Letter'

By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, July 25, 2006; A02

The candidate, immersed in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, sat down to lunch yesterday with reporters at a Capitol Hill steakhouse and shared his views about this year's political currents.

On the Iraq war: "It didn't work. . . . We didn't prepare for the peace."

On the response to Hurricane Katrina: "A monumental failure of government."

On the national mood: "There's a palpable frustration right now in the country."

It's all fairly standard Democratic boilerplate -- except the candidate is a Republican . And he's getting all kinds of cooperation from the White House, the Republican National Committee and GOP congressional leaders.

Not that he necessarily wants it. "Well, you know, I don't know," the candidate said when asked if he wanted President Bush to campaign for him. Noting Bush's low standing in his home state, he finally added: "To be honest with you, probably not."

It's not an ideological matter. Even as he berated the president, the candidate allowed that he opposes a pullout from Iraq, agrees with Bush's veto of human embryonic stem cell research, and supports constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and flag burning.

"He's the best!" cheered Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) when he stopped in to shake the candidate's hand during the lunch yesterday.

The candidate looked the part of the contender, wearing a monogrammed shirt, his French cuffs sprouting cuff links coordinated with his necktie. He ate carefully, removing the gelatinous yolk from the four-minute egg in his salad. But he spoke with little caution as he ladled a heaping portion of criticism on his own party.

The response to Katrina was "a monumental failure," he continued. "We became so powerful in our ivory towers, in our gated communities. We forgot that there are poor people." The detachment remained after the storm, he said. "I could see that they weren't getting it, they weren't necessarily clued in. . . . For me, the seminal moment was the [Dubai] port decision."

He spoke of his party affiliation as though it were a congenital defect rather than a choice. "It's an impediment. It's a hurdle I have to overcome," he said. "I've got an 'R' here, a scarlet letter."

That left the candidate in a difficult spot. "For me to pretend I'm not a Republican would be a lie," he reasoned. But to run as a proud Republican? "That's going to be tough, it's going to be tough to do," he said. "If this race is about Republicans and Democrats, I lose."

Myself said...

The new President's approval ratings have fallen from a stratospheric 83 per cent to a more modest - although still impressive - 68 per cent.

Washington analysts said the scale of the drop in the Gallup poll underlines the immense challenges Mr Obama faces in trying to turn round the U.S.'s battered fortunes.

He still remains vastly more popular than his predecessor George Bush - who left office with around 25 per cent approval.

Mr Obama is facing an ugly battle with Republicans over his plans to bail out the economy with £515billion of taxpayers' cash. Opposition leaders claim the rescue package relies too much on government spending and not enough on tax relief for families and small businesses.

In a radio address at the weekend Mr Obama gave details of his plan for the first time, saying he wants to double the nation's use of wind and solar power within three years and modernise 10,000 schools to help combat the 'unprecedented crisis' faced by the country......

But the President's top financial adviser Larry Summers, head of the National Economic Council, risked angering Republicans last night by refusing to rule out yet another influx of government money to prop up the ailing U.S. banks.

He said: 'What ultimately will be necessary is something that will play out over time.' Mr Obama's hopes of enacting the bailout with bipartisan support next month appeared to be fading last night with Republican leader John Boehner warning that his party could vote against it.

Senator John McCain, Mr Obama's opponent in the November presidential contest, also said he did not believe the package did enough to create jobs.

'There have to be major rewrites if we want to stimulate the economy... As it stands now I can't vote for it,' McCain told Fox television.

The President's new focus in the war on terror is also causing controversy......

Vice President Joe Biden warned that Americans should expect casualties as up to 30,000 more U.S. troops are sent there to fight the resurgent Taliban.

HA, can you say BUYER'S REMORSE? It's starting to settle in already. Wait until his cult followers find out they won't be getting all their bills paid by the government, and they won't be getting a new car and that $50,000 per child they were hoping for either. They're getting their change---as in he "changed" his mind. What knuckleheads! Who wants to start a pool on the date that his ratings go under 50%? I'll take April 15th. Oh, and his ratings are down ANOTHER 3 TO 5% since this story was written!.
And PS;...Rush Limbaugh was right: Powell endorsed Obama ONLY because of race ...Lets not fool ourselves.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Myself said...

HA, can you say BUYER'S REMORSE?

Behold the people of the GOP.

Pres. Obama's been in office 12 whole days. 12!! And this conservative is describing buyers' remorse?

The fact is Obama's numbers are higher than they were for Ronald Reagan. Pres. Obama is wildly popular.

The fact is that America turned away from the stale, losing, bankrupt ideas of the GOP and elected Pres. Obama and his policies.

Conservatives are having a bitch of a time internalizing this.

They actually believe THEY'RE still running the country.

The Democrats won the last two elections and are in the majority in Congress. And Pres. Obama is in the WH.

All they [GOPers] can do is come to blogs like mine and predict failure.

All they've got to keep their hearts warm in their long Winter of Discontent is Hope for Failure.

How utterly pathetic.

Who the hell would want to hang out with these losers?

(This gives me an idea for a post.)

dmarks said...

Myself: You do have a good point. A while ago, Powell outed himself as a racist with his support of racial quotas/goals/etc for hiring.

Shaw: I do wonder, though, back when the Republicans had the Presidency and the Congress. Did you want Democrats to sit down, shut up, and go along with the President like you want the Republicans now to?

Arthurstone said...


Colin Powell isn't a racist.

And in a perfectly color-blind society affirmative action wouldn't be necessary,

But as we aren't there yet the tool of affirmative action is still a necessity.

Racial discrimination didn't end when middle-class white guys decided it had.


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