Recently, RNC Chairman Michael Steele was on Fox News’s Hannity show where he alleged that the Obama administration sent spies to infiltrate the recent Vandeburgh County Right to Life Banquet in Evansville, IN. Apparently, Steele didn’t realize that the event was shown live on the web.
Here the video courtesy of Think Progress:
Steele said, “They’ve got their eye on the 3,000 Americans who assembled in Indiana last night, in Evansville, Indiana, to profess their continued effort to save the life of the unborn. … I’m sure there was somebody in the room with a notepad and a camera taking snapshots and writing down names. But that’s not the place our government needs to be. Where our government needs to be is on that border, securing that border. Where our government needs to be is overseas and in the back halls and rooms of the Middle East to make sure that we’re not suffering another terrorist attack here at home.”
Steele was right there were camera’s in the room. They were Republican cameras that were telecasting the event over the Internet. If the Obama administration wanted to spy, they could have saved themselves a trip by visiting the Vandeburgh County Right to Live website, which touts the live webcast.
Notice how Steele is trying to motivate the right by playing on both of the issues of abortion and terrorism. The reality is that there were no spies at this event. It was broadcast to the public. The event in Evansville was available for viewing.
This Republican paranoia about Obama spying on them is an old conservative classic. There is a tradition of right wing paranoia in this country. The less relevant the GOP becomes, the more paranoid they get. Steele is trying to exploit their paranoia to try to energize his party. The base of the Republican Party has become people who protest taxes in a year when taxes were cut and paranoid conspiracy theorists who think that President Obama is spying on them. These are the ways that the GOP are trying to convince itself that it still matters in a time when it increasingly doesn’t.