Patterico's Pontifications

3/4/2009

Steele Back-Tracking on Rush — Again

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am



It happened on TODAY, with the beginning of the transcript here:

MR. LAUER: I’m good, thanks. You’ve had this job now for a little more than a month, and already you are in the white-hot spotlight. You’ve found yourself in a public back-and-forth with one of the conservative voices of your party, Rush Limbaugh. So let me get right to that. …

Oh, please, let’s do. Let’s string this out as long as possible.

66 Responses to “Steele Back-Tracking on Rush — Again”

  1. This is a battle Steele should not fight and will not win. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are not the problem, but the symptom of the problem which is a vacuum of leadership.

    Ronald Reagan was a pragmatic. He was not particularly religious. He was downright moderate in some of the compromises he entered into with Tip O’Neil and the Democratic Congress at the time. But he was at his core conservative, not out of ideological fevor, but because he believed it was the best course for the country. He knew what his goals were and he worked towards those goals.

    It is not that commplicated. Pick GOP leaders committed to smaller government, less taxes, strong defense, pro life. Most of the other social issues fall to the states to handle under federalist issues and judges who do not make law. Bush lost his way on many of those issues and that led to Obama whose goal is to completely abandon those principals.

    Joe (17aeff)

  2. And Michael Steele–this issue for you is dog shit. When there is dog shit on the floor you clean it up. You do not pick it up like a two year old and squish it between your fingers, rub it on your face, give it a little taste. The more you touch it the worse it gets. You need to let this one go before the GOP has no choice but to fire you (which will only make the GOP look that much worse).

    Joe (17aeff)

  3. Do you think that three years from now Obama and his media crew will still be running against Bush?

    One term, that’s all we ask.

    Alta Bob (573dcb)

  4. I think what Matt really meant to say was “Black-hot.” Wait, can we go to the Dallas City Council to get a ruling on if that is a racist statement or not?

    Joe, RR was NOT pragmatic, that word has been perverted to mean “rational” in the last twenty years.

    Two Dogs (47cab2)

  5. Joe, I wouldn’t take too much confidence in her columns. She is one of the “conservative” Obama fans. Sorry that she has buyers remorse but we could have told her. Steele needs to stay off TV as he is a disaster. He should be working on nuts and bolts and donor lists. I’ve met him; he is a charming guy but he is in a hole and still digging.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  6. Parker has been practically demanding the divine right of kings or princesses for Caroline, subsidies for newspapers, probably bill of attainders are next. Linking her really gives strong signs you’re a moby or a sock puppet. That poll if accurate, shows the kind of stupidity, that even a successful Republican campaign can barely make up for. An America hating preacher and his former Marxist guerilla wannabe parishioner are less despised than a talk show host with strong opinions.

    narciso (4e0dda)

  7. Steele broght it on himself. When asked about Limbaugh’s comments, the proper response would have been to catalog the many Democrats who wanted Bush, the Iraq war, etc. to fail and observe that the MSM was merely parroting the Obama/SEIU meme on Limbaugh in a continuing display of blatant bias.

    At the very least, the RNC chair should not agree when some MSMer compares the GOP convention to a Nazi rally.

    Now the MSM knows Steele is someone who can easily be put in a trick box. Once they get done beating this dead horse, they will move on to the next Obama/union attack and gull him into another dumb response.

    Karl (f07e38)

  8. Joe – From your comments here and at Protein Wisdom you seem to be a Ron Paul fan. I can understand why a libertarian would not be a wholehearted supporter of the brand of traditional conservatism that Rush espouses. Buying into the dishonest framing of Rush that the liberal media, Obama Administration, and Ivy League beltway cocktail conservatives such as Kathleen Parker, David Gergen, and David Brooks outline is another matter. You’re in Hax territory there.

    Obama does nor equal America. Opposing his policies does not mean you wish America to fail. Rush is not an official spokesperson for the Republican party any more than Bill Maher, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, George Stephanopolis and Chris Matthews, etc. are official spokepeople for the Democrats.

    Rush is just an influential commentator. Olbermann is a sportscaster. Buying into dishonest framing is a cop out. Reject it.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  9. This is such a juvenile waste of time — not your post, but this infighting. Steele was stupid to make the initial comment, but Rush was stupid to bite. He should have sucked it up and talked about something important. But no.

    This is why we’re the stupid party.

    rightwingprof (fbb932)

  10. I guess this is more of that interview and also there is video.

    LAUER: I guess I’m asking you your personal opinion. Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh when he says that it’s common sense that as a conservative he wants the policies of Barack Obama to fail?

    STEELE: Well, my personal opinion doesn’t matter in this. My job as the RNC chairman is to take into account all of the various views out there within our party and try to put together a strategy and a team that’s going to help us win elections. […]

    LAUER: Mr. Steele, let me try it this way. There are many Republicans out there as well as Democrats who are unemployed right now. People are hurting across this country. Republicans like Democrats are losing their homes, they’re unable to send their kids to school. Do you think those Republicans want the policies of Barack Obama to fail right now?

    STEELE: I don’t think that Republicans, Democrats or Independents or anyone wants policies that redistributes the wealth of this country…

    See me I would just say look you journalistic homo, you and your dirty socialist friends begged and pined and yearned for this recession so you could blame George Bush and now that it’s here you’re investing in the hope that it will linger so you can blame Rush Limbaugh? You’re pitiful, Matt. The success or failure of your dirty socialist president’s policies has nothing to do with a radio host. oh. You didn’t go to college did you? Ok let me explain over again slowly for you.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  11. This is nothing but a typical distraction, distracting everyone from what the dirty little socialist and his buddies in Congress are doing.

    JD (63d902)

  12. Why didn’t Steele ask this little media person where children are unable to attend public schools due to the economy?

    JD (63d902)

  13. “Political operatives in the White House are trying to divert attention away from the challenges facing our economy, the sinking stock market, and the irresponsible spending binge they are presiding over. This diversionary tactic will not create a single job or help a single family struggling in today’s economic crisis. That’s where our focus should be. President Obama has said we must change the way Washington operates in order to address the challenges we are facing. In the midst of a deepening recession, White House staff should have higher priorities than this cynical strategy.”

    John Boehner is right but the fact is the media operatives are only successful in this distraction because the Republicans don’t get that they are too dense to realize or stubborn to admit that they are being manipulated and played for sport. Why don’t they understand how the game is played?

    Dana (be9504)

  14. Why didn’t Steele say, “Matt, why do you believe that redistributionist policies and socialism will help anyone?”

    JD (63d902)

  15. ugh. To be clear,

    John Boehner is right but the fact is the media operatives are only successful in this distraction because Republicans either don’t get or are too dense to realize that they are being manipulated and played for sport.

    Dana (be9504)

  16. There’s a saying: never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel has 20 million radio listeners and makes $40 million a year.

    Official Internet Data Office (9b8d76)

  17. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    This misdirection by Steele helps divert attention from Obama. Steele needs to know his job is to tear down Obama’s failed policies every chance he gets. It is not personal. It should be done in a very civil manner (because he is GOP chair, and big tent and all of that…leave the knife work to those who know what they are doing). Do you think Rahm Emanuel worries he might offend someone? Get a backbone and do your job Michael or get the fuck out.

    And Daleyrocks, I am a fiscal conservative, social libertarian. While I agree with Paul on spending and fiscal restraint issues and other issues, I am not a Ron Paul fan (because Paul is a little bit…nuts…and it is a dead end for the party). I also like Rush and while I do not consider him the leader of the party I frankly welcome his hard core conservatism (especially on fiscal matters).

    It is not Rush’s fault he is in the spot light. The only reason pudits are rising to such levels is because the leadership of the party is feckless and weak.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  18. Amen, Dana. And thank you Rep. Boehner for finally getting the right message out there, though we all know it will not be covered like the blood deathmatch from hell for the immortal soul of conservatism that they prefer to cover.

    JD (63d902)

  19. And Daleyrocks, by “symptom of the problem” I did not mean to criticize what Rush and Hannity say. I mean the way they have risen in prominance over party leaders. I agree with many things Rush and Hannity say, I disagree with some things, but the point is where are the GOP leaders? The GOP politicians seem to be followers. It is pathetic. Rush and Hannity merely fill the vacuum left behind.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  20. Why didn’t Steele say, “Matt, why do you believe that redistributionist policies and socialism will help anyone?”

    Comment by JD — 3/4/2009 @ 8:40 am

    followed by: “Matt, do you think your hair will grow back if Biden rubs your head?”

    Joe (dcebbd)

  21. “but the point is where are the GOP leaders? The GOP politicians seem to be followers. It is pathetic. Rush and Hannity merely fill the vacuum left behind.”

    Joe – That’s a bullshit point. Rush and Hannity aren’t doing anything differently than before the election. The Obama Administration and the liberal media have chosen this time to focus on them as distractions and Public Enemy No. 1 as a strategy. It’s too bad conservatives have a problem seeing that.

    The emergence of Republican leaders is a completely different issue, but the focus on Rush is a smokescreen. There is nothing new there.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  22. A few points…
    “…compares the GOP convention…”
    CPAC is NOT a GOP convention. Now, I grant you, that many if not most of the attendees are voters who register as Republicans, and certainly cast their ballots as Republicans, but I would think you’ll find that most of them think of themselves as Conservatives first, and Republicans second.

    Steele needs to rethink his public-appearance strategy. Yes, he is supposed to be the public face of the New Republican Party of inclusiveness of tolerance, but to attack or denigrate the most prominent voice in the Conservative universe is to treat conservatives within the GOP in the same manner that the Dems treat many of their interest groups (“What are they going to do, vote for the other party?”). The conservatives within the GOP provide a lot of manpower when the Party calls for volunteers, and are a solid base of those <$1000 donations that no party can survive without.

    Why would Rush care what the Dems are saying about him? As more than one old-time Hollywood star said:
    I don’t care what they say about me in the press as long as they spell my name right”.
    Rush should send Carville and Greenburg a very nice gift come Christmas. They will conceivably bump his listenership up by a few million, which is never bad when you live and die by Arbitron ratings.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  23. Or if Biden rubs something on your head.

    The reason why the attacks on Limbaugh have occurred is that this is a strategy. They have conference calls and figure this out. Steele needs to be having conference calls with people who are better at planning than he seems to be.

    Two guys he might be talking to is Rick Santelli and this guy. They seem to push Obama’s buttons.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  24. Comment by Official Internet Data Office — 3/4/2009 @ 8:44 am

    You’re Welcome!

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  25. Comment by Mike K — 3/4/2009 @ 9:04 am

    Yes, Cramer was on a rant roll there.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  26. You’re Welcome!
    Comment by AD – RtR/OS — 3/4/2009 @ 9:06 am

    Why?

    Official Internet Data Office (9b8d76)

  27. Rush, as I am typing this, is challenging the President to come on his show for a debate, sans staffers, teleprompters, etc….
    as if that will ever happen.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  28. What’s the message Steele is trying to get across with all of these public appearances? If we knew that, we might be able to help.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  29. Comment by Official Internet Data Office — 3/4/2009 @ 9:13 am
    David Frum thread…..
    19.What’s the old saw about not picking a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrell…
    or someone who has a listnership of 20M every week.
    More people hear Rush Limbaugh each week than probably read David Frum in a year.
    Comment by AD – RtR/OS — 3/3/2009 @ 8:56 am

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  30. I can only hope Steele listens to some counsel. Crikey. These days I think it can only get worse.

    Vivian Louise (eeeb3a)

  31. Great minds run in the same channel, AD.

    Official Internet Data Office (9b8d76)

  32. That’s why we’re the Good Guys!

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  33. It’s time to dump Steele. Didn’t you all cringe when Steele dubbed his own comments “inarticulate?” I know I did. His public appearances have no important function except to show people that there’s at least one black guy in the Republican party. All right, I’ll give him that one.

    The Republican party needs someone as partisan as Howard Dean was for Democrats as its chairman, someone who preaches conservative principles all the time. In other words, Newt Gingrich should be GOP chairman, and tomorrow.

    Official Internet Data Office (9b8d76)

  34. Mike K is right about this being a coordinated strategy. The Rush Job piece at Politico makes it pretty clear that even they believe that to be true.

    As head of the RNC, Steele should not have been surprised that liberal think tanks and the White House would seek to coordinate with friends in the media. He should have been expecting it.

    He should be coming up with a plan to attack the President and raise awareness of current and future Republican leaders. Naturally, he should be expecting such leaders to be put under a microscope by media outlets that are antagonistic to Republicans and conservative ideas.

    He shouldn’t be talking about Rush at all. Rush can defend himself and, as an outspoken populist voice, is more useful left to his own devices.

    If Steele, or any Republican leader, talks about Rush they feed the narrative. Whether they speak positively about Rush or negatively. The narrative is that Rush is the “brains” behind conservatism. So if they praise Rush, the liberal think tanks and the White House will say, “See how they praise Rush? Don’t they have ideas of their own?” If they criticize Rush, they run the risk of alienating their base.

    Rush could assist people like Boehner and Steele by talking more about how this is yet another coordinated attack by the Left to discredit Republican leadership, instead of contributing by biting when Steele falls for the trap.

    It is silly for Steele to fall for a trap set by a comedian pretending to be a political journalist. It is equally silly for Rush to attack Steele. The Left is using Steele as bait to goad Rush into proving their narrative correct. Rush is savvy, he should be more metacognitive in his discussion here.

    In fighting looks silly. It makes it look like conservatives are desperate. The Palin post-election blame game is over, so the Left needs another story to maintain the narrative of a conservative movement in disarray.

    Christian (abaa8f)

  35. I mentioned this in your “Shooting The Messenger” post yesterday. Not that anyone read it of course.

    You guys really need to really need to reconsider The Republican party in my opinion.

    If you want Limbaugh to be regarded as only a “messenger” then you need to get Steele on board with that.

    I actually had respect for Steele when he called Limbaugh “Entertainment”. I thought, “Hey this guys is worth his weight, and could bring the Republican party back”.

    But when he apologized to Limbaugh, all bets were then off.

    Again if Limbaugh is just a messenger, why apologize to him?

    If you can’t bring The Republican party back to conservatism, then maybe it’s time to form a new party.

    Oiram (983921)

  36. Does anybody else suspect that Steele was picked as chairman of the RNC for the sole reason that he does not scare white people?

    nk (502275)

  37. We value your opinion about the direction of the party about as much as Hacks needs to be more dishonest, Mario.

    JD (ee3e5b)

  38. Watch when it suddenly has something urgent that it must conveniently run away to, things like:

    1) marital committments

    2) job resposnsibilities

    3) not bothering to read the previous posts before opening it’s yapper

    Same MO – every time.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  39. “responsibilities.”

    Dmac (49b16c)

  40. Posted today:

    Not that anyone read it of course.

    Posted yesterday:

    John H., sorry your going to have to post that link again.

    Sorry if I’m too lazy to search the comments today.

    What an enormous bunghole.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  41. Mario, thanks for stopping by. What do you think of the Dodgers chances this year?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  42. FEETS!

    Karl (df05b0)

  43. Hey Dmac, sorry if I don’t live here.

    Oiram (983921)

  44. @Dailyrocks #9

    Damn, the best outlay I’ve seen. Very, very good my friend.

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  45. “…by a comedian pretending to be a political journalist…”

    Obtuseness, or just being dishonest?
    Actually, if you had done some research, you would know that Rush is actually a disk-jockey who enjoys commenting on the events-of-the-day; who was fired from every D-J job he had except one because of his tendency to talk about events, instead of promoting the play-list. It was finally in Sacramento that he joined-up with a Program-Director who had the far-sight to see that the commentary did more for the station’s ratings than the play-list did.
    The rest, as they say, is history; and the fact that he was heard by Roger Ailes, who took him national.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  46. Mario, don’t ‘pologize, we are De-friggin-lighted you don’t live here.

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  47. We value your opinion about the direction of the party about as much as Hacks needs to be more dishonest, Mario.

    Comment by JD — 3/4/2009 @ 10:11 am

    Take it or leave it JD.

    I’m glad the only ones who will be interested in your spun arguments (Hack dishonesty) are the masses who live here at Patterico.

    Rots of Ruck

    I take that back JD, I’ll still be interested in your spinning abilities, I can always use the information when I play poker.

    Helps me spot those with a “Tell”.

    Oiram (983921)

  48. Matt is such a good little mouthpiece for the White House.

    Tom (40e2da)

  49. sorry if I don’t live here.

    Actually, Bunghole, the point is that you don’t even bother to read your own prior posts before opening up that blowhole you call a mouth.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  50. I’ll note that Steele’s been in office less time than Obama, and no one in the media is asking people to back off on judging him.

    Hawkins (3d318d)

  51. Thanks GM.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  52. Limbaugh had a national radio show as of August 1, 1988, years before Roger Ailes put him on TV.

    Official Internet Data Office (9b8d76)

  53. #47

    Jesus Dmac, you really are looking for trouble aren’t you?

    Not that anyone read it of course.

    Yeah, I did say that.

    I was referring to everyone including you ignoring me when it came to Steele.

    I was not intentional trying to be “snarky” when I wrote that, sorry if you took it that way.

    Heaven forbid (for your sake), if anyone were stupid enough to pay me more than what I make right now to sit here and confront every illogical thing you said.

    Oiram (983921)

  54. It is silly for Steele to fall for a trap set by a comedian pretending to be a political journalist. – me.

    Obtuseness, or just being dishonest?
    Actually, if you had done some research, you would know that Rush is actually a disk-jockey who enjoys commenting on the events-of-the-day; who was fired from every D-J job he had except one because of his tendency to talk about events, instead of promoting the play-list. It was finally in Sacramento that he joined-up with a Program-Director who had the far-sight to see that the commentary did more for the station’s ratings than the play-list did.
    The rest, as they say, is history; and the fact that he was heard by Roger Ailes, who took him national.
    — AD

    1) I didn’t write that Rush was a comedian.
    2) I wrote that the comedian set the trap.
    3) Why would Rush set a trap for Steele, and then fall for it himself?

    I was referring to the Michael Steele interview with D.L. Hughley. Hughley is the comedian pretending to be a political journalist.

    Christian (abaa8f)

  55. Please enlighten me! Why does anyone listen or watch Mr. Lauer? If I hadn’t read this post I would have missed the fact, that someone watched and reported on the conversation.

    EART (9d1bb3)

  56. Comment by Official Internet Data Office — 3/4/2009 @ 11:00 am

    My memory tells me that it was Ailes that arranged the nation-wide syndication deal that took Rush from that small Sacramento station to the EIB Building in Manhattan.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  57. Comment by Christian — 3/4/2009 @ 12:11 pm

    Sorry. My misunderstanding.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  58. My memory tells me that it was Ailes

    Nope, it was Ed McLaughlin.

    Official Internet Data Office (9b8d76)

  59. Steele should be saying that he will talk about Rush and the conservatives when these libtard commentators berate the democraps for their ties to radical leftwing groups like Code Pink Moveon, DailyKos, Dem Underground, HuffPo (although I need to add that Rush is not in the extremist category that these leftwing nutjobs are)Rush is centrist. Until Steele sees evidence of balance in the media handling of the ties of both parties to certain entertainers, blogs, talk shows, etc., Steele should politely demur and say that he will only talk about the cruel democrap policies and will not get into any spitting contest about personalities.

    eaglewingz08 (e40a12)

  60. Comment by Official Internet Data Office — 3/4/2009 @ 1:02 pm

    Boy, that’s the second mistake I’ve made since graduating from high-school…
    and they’ve both occurred on the same day.

    Don’t know why I thought it was Ailes, so be it.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  61. I went through a quick scan of the comments. I have to say I am a registered Republican. But I’m only a registered Republican because there is no viable conservative party and there is no conservative party that has a proper view of the US’s position in the world.

    I am a Republican who will vote against any RINO I find in my voting region. I will vote for a third party candidate that has no opportunity to win instead of voting for a RINO or a pro-abortion Republican (is that synonymous?).

    Just sayin’.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  62. That isn’t the Another Drew I used to know. :)

    Official Internet Data Office (9b8d76)

  63. Comment by Official Internet Data Office — 3/4/2009 @ 5:28 pm
    Damn, how do I get these tire tracks out of my coat?

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  64. Here is what Steele should have said and Boehner looks more and more like the party spokesman. He is clean, as as I know, and has not taken earmarks. He will be a target if he gets mote press but he looks pretty able.

    Mike K (2cf494)


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