RNC Chairman Michael Steele has only been on the job for a handful of weeks, yet he is likely to face a no confidence vote after the special election in New York to fill the vacated House seat of now Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Republicans are so dissatisfied with Steele that they are ready to boot him out.
Originally it was thought that Steele’s fate as chairman hinged on the outcome of the special election, but Teagan Goddard is reporting that Republican sources are telling him that the outcome of the election won’t matter because the second place finisher in the RNC election is organizing a no confidence vote against Steele. This information contradicts an AP story yesterday afternoon that claimed that Steele still has party support.
Steele was not elected chair by an overwhelming mandate. He defeated Dawson on the sixth ballot by only 14 votes. The RNC apparently panicked and tried to install a black leader of their own to counter President Obama. However, it seems that this situation came about because RNC members were not enthralled with any of the candidates. Steele’s rise to power mirrors the same path that John McCain took to win the Republican nomination last year. It seems that both men won their elections more by default than enthusiasm.
The GOP has a long history of scapegoating its leaders. in contrast, the Democratic Party tends to bury its losers. Rarely, does a failed presidential candidate get a true second chance in the Democratic Party. Part of me thinks that the GOP is trying to use Steele as an excuse for why Obama is routing their opposition right now, but more realistically I believe that the Republicans have not accepted Steele’s message that their party has to change.
Many Republicans are still in denial about 2006 and 2008, and they want to be fed the lie that things will be fine if they keep doing what they have been doing. Many Republicans don’t want their party to be more appealing to the urban hip hop crowd. They like their identity the way it is, and they see no need to change it. If Steele is removed it will be another ugly symptom of the complete turmoil inside the GOP, and will also illustrate just how far the Republican Party has managed to fall in a few short years.