michael steele: Page 1
Speaking on Univision, RNC chairman Michael Steele tried to distance the GOP from the new Arizona immigration law (link, video at peekURL.com/vjoo7o3 ). In a minor way this is a good thing in that by so doing he's distancing himself from the Republican base and dragging down other GOP leaders with him.
It's a bad thing because he's giving more power to the far-left, the Democrats, and other illegal immigration supporters. The voiceover to the clip referred to the Arizona law as "anti-immigrant" (in Spanish). Instead of calling them on such lies, Steele propped up the notion that in order to reach out to Hispanics you need to go on a Spanish-language television network that supports illegal immigration and pander to the likes of their host Maria Elena Salinas (she's at the end of the clip above). And, it's not going to do him or the GOP any good: he's promoting concepts that will help the Democrats undercut the GOP.
From the link here's what Steele said:
"The actions of one state's governor is not a reflection of an entire country, nor is it a reflection of an entire political party," he said, referring to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and her support for S.B. 1070.
"The governor and the people of Arizona made a decision that they thought was in their best interest, and that's the beauty of a republic, that's who we are."
Steele has faced criticism as RNC chairman because of his propensity for gaffes and difficulty managing the organization's finances and fundraising efforts.
He said Tuesday that since the immigration debate is now "in full bloom," he hopes that "level heads will prevail" in finding a "commonsense solution" to the immigration issue.
UPDATE: Steele has clarified his remarks to Soledad OBrien, showing again how incompetent he is:
"We support the Republican governor of Arizona in her efforts, but we also recognize that this is a transcendent issue and that for different parts of the country they look at it and approach it differently and Republican candidates and the Republican leadership in those states and those communities have to be able to respond to the needs at that time... We have pro-choice Republicans, we have pro-life Republicans, so I can't say that one of them is a reflection of the entire party... The same is true on this question on Arizona. Some people see that law one way, some people see that law another way. It depends on where you live and what your background is."
Opposing abortion is a popular issue, but so too are those who take the "pro-choice" view. The same isn't true of illegal immigration: large percentages oppose that. There are many good arguments to be made against illegal immigration and many ways that Steele could trap up its supporters. That's something he doesn't have the capability or integrity to do.
Two days ago I posted a notice that Michael Steele of the RNC was going to meet with extremist and Mexico-linked illegal immigration supporters and urged others to contact him suggesting that he handle the meeting in the correct way . Not surprisingly, Steele handled the meeting in the completely incorrect way (link):
According to a news release put out by the activists , he said he would try and recruit Republican support for comprehensive immigration legislation.
The RNC says he made no such commitment. The immigration activist who led the meeting said he did, but then [Steele] backpedaled after being signaled by a staffer that he may have gone too far...
...Pramila Jayapal, executive director of OneAmerica, the largest immigrant rights coalition in Washington state, said that Steele committed himself to a “holistic bipartisan consensus on immigration reform” and said he believes the Republican party should be “reaching out.” She said he said he would call Graham and work with the party leadership to “determine where things are in immigration reform.” But she said he stopped short of promising to recruit other Republicans.
But the second activist said he did in fact make that offer. (Josh Hoyt), executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said Steele went through a list of possible Republicans in the Senate who might sign on to the effort, said he would try to recruit another sponsor and agreed with the activists on their goal of getting legislation introduced by April 30.
But Hoyt said that midway through the meeting, an RNC staffer signaled to Steele that he should “walk back what he had said.” After that, Hoyt said, Steele said he emphasized that he could not “get ahead” of Republican Senate leaders.
Mr. Steele stressed that border security was the primary goal for Republicans in the immigration debate, several participants said. He seemed unfamiliar with the details of the proposal by Mr. Graham and Mr. Schumer, they said... But he “committed to looking at the Schumer-Graham bill to see how they can move forward with this bill,” said Tony Asion, executive director of (El Pueblo North Carolina), an immigrant organization in North Carolina, who is a Republican.
That underlines how in some cases those who harp on secure the border are just using it to mask how weak they are on amnesty.
 I posted that to FreeRepublic (and got the expected unhelpful responses: freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2483320/posts), Reddit (+2, -2), and a couple blogs. Needless to say, this is yet another example of how it's difficult to get people to do things that are effective. If I'd suggested waving loopy signs and throwing tantrums my postings would have probably received wide acclaim and maybe a link from Glenn Reynolds.
Michael Steele, extremist and Mexico-linked illegal immigration supporters to meet March 31 (after sit-in) - 03/30/10
RNC chairman Michael Steele will be meeting with a group of far-left illegal immigration supporters on March 31, 2010; the details on who's involved and the backstory is below. Most importantly of all, please take a few moments and try to contact him, his staff, or someone who can get a message to him and suggest that he handles this meeting in the right way.
Note: the only two contacts I've found are info *at* gop.com and on Twitter: @ChairmanMSteele but I don't know if the second is really his.
The wrong way, of course, would be for the chairman of the Republican Party to agree with far-left racial power supporters who have little or no use for our immigration laws. Another wrong way would be to simply disagree with them without showing how they're wrong. A mostly wrong way to handle it would be to simply nod along.
The best way to handle the meeting - and the way least likely to occur given his past statements  - would be for Steele to video the proceedings and show how they're wrong. Because the GOP is run by those who have little competence beyond cashing checks, don't expect that to occur. But, if by some miracle they get some sense they could easily devastate the arguments that the other side provides since those arguments are full of holes.
For instance, if they bring up the DREAM Act, Steele could point out that what they support would let illegal aliens take college educations from U.S. citizens. Or, he could point out all the many downsides of comprehensive immigration reform. Or, he could ask those attending about their interesting positions and links.
Per , this is who'll be there:
* Josh Hoyt of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR's president serves on an advisory council to the Mexican government and clearly has divided loyalties; they're also linked into the Illinois power structure, such as by having been appointed to a state council by Rod Blagojevich)...
* Christine Neumann-Ortiz of Wisconsin's Voces de la Frontera (intimidated a politician by surrounding their house; opposed an immigration raid that no doubt freed up jobs for Americans; said a citizenship test is like a poll tax)...
* Tony Asion of El Pueblo North Carolina (group co-founded by Andrea Bazan of the National Council of La Raza; supported drivers licenses for illegal aliens and AgJobs in a letter signed by many other groups)...
* Eun Sook Lee of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (opposes immigration enforcement)...
Others at the meeting:
* Tim O'Harrow, of the Council of Rural Initiatives and the Dairy Business Association...
* Pramila Jayapal of OneAmerica...
* Ricardo Perez of the Hispanic Affairs Pastoral Project...
* a student who supports the DREAM Act...
* Sergio Suarez, "successful businessman and entrepreneur (Chicago)".
The meeting was initiated after a group of around forty pro-illegal immigration activists affiliated with the Fair Immigration Reform Movement engaged in a sit-in at the offices of the RNC and demanded a meeting with Steele. This was in conjunction with their big march, and video is at peekURL.com/v9kwtkq
In Rich Benjamin's universe, Obama hasn't played the race card against his critics ("Whitopia") - 11/08/09
Rich Benjamin of the Demos think tank is the author of a book called "Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America" and he offers "The Marshmallow Center of American Politics in the 21st Century" (hnn.us/articles/118555.html). Discussing what's wrong with the rest of it is left as an exercise; I'll just concentrate on this hilariously wrong bit:
President Obama refuses to attribute any racial bias to his virulent immigration- and heathcare-reform critics. Meanwhile, GOP Chair Michael Steele scolds the President for "playing the race card."
Obama has himself played the race card several times; see for instance this and this. Even worse, virtually every Obama surrogate before the election and many since has played the race card. There are too many examples to list but try this, this, and this.
And, Obama has specifically played that card when discussing immigration; for one example see this. He even went as far as implying that Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs incited hate crimes. Apparently in Benjamin's universe none of that happened, or something.
Almost all of the leaders of the supposed opposition to Obama are so incompetent that they actually helped him win the election.
If you're a Republican or you want an effective, pro-American alternative to the current Democratic Party, the attached video of RNC chairman Michael Steele is a must-see. While it was edited by ThinkProgress and it may be missing key parts, the parts that are clearly in context do not make Steele look very good at all.
Clueless: Lee Fang of ThinkProgress doesn't even understand how liberals play the race card (Steele comments) - 05/27/09
Lee Fang of the Center for American Progress' ThinkProgress site offers "Days After Steele’s Racist Attack On Obama, C-SPAN Airs Video Of Steele Denouncing Racism" (thinkprogress.org/2009/05/27/steele-racism-malcolmx) about two recent sets of comments made by RNC chairman Michael Steele. The first set is discussed here; the second here. See both links for the context. Of the first, Fang says:
...last week, Steele employed the same "rotten" racist stereotypes to attack President Obama. ThinkProgress reported that Steele suggested that Obama won the presidency because of his race. “He was not vetted, because the press fell in love with the black man running for the office,” Steele said...
The weekend following Steele’s racist smear against Obama, Mike Huckabee praised Steele for being “effective in challenging” Obama because “no one is gonna be able to use the racism charge.”
The only part of Steele's comments that dealt with Obama himself were the "what does he stand for? What does he believe?" parts. The rest was an attack on the mainstream media. Steele wasn't attacking Obama in any way, much less a racist way. The only possible racism in his comments is the assumption of white liberal guilt among the media and related elites, but that's hardly racism since it's a continuously demonstrated fact by those groups. And, nothing in Steele's comments was a "stereotype"; those Steele was discussing are in fact almost all archetypes of what he discussed.
Michael Steele: Obama wasn't vetted because of his race (Ali Frick /ThinkProgress, Ben Smith, Marc Ambinder) - 05/22/09
The problem that we have with this president is that we don’t know [Obama]. He was not vetted, folks. … He was not vetted, because the press fell in love with the black man running for the office. “Oh gee, wouldn’t it be neat to do that? Gee, wouldn’t it make all of our liberal guilt just go away? We can continue to ride around in our limousines and feel so lucky to live in an America with a black president.” Okay that’s wonderful, great scenario, nice backdrop. But what does he stand for? What does he believe? … So we don’t know. We just don’t know.
Apparently, we're supposed to be Shocked! and Outraged! by him stating something that is correct to a good extent. At least, that's what Ali Frick of ThinkProgress wants us to think (link). Except, as could be expected from that source, all he can do is engage in a logical fallacy by saying it's "striking" that Steele would say such a thing after some sources said that same thing about him. Frick fails to address Steele's argument by, for instance, providing examples of the mainstream media vetting Barack Obama. To deny that they gave Obama a pass with almost everything he said during the campaign is to deny reallity. Not all of that was due to his race; part was due to the fact that he was a Democrat. However, there were several people highlighting how electing a black president would per se be good thing for the U.S.
What happens on Fridays: Michael Steele guest hosts Bill Bennett's radio show; young staffers at Media Matters and the Center for American Progress listen and compete for the most entertaining sound byte.
I still know a few Clinton advisers who would, in their heart of hearts, agree with this.
In other words, he's more interested in being political correct and not telling the truth then looking into how and why the mainstream media completely failed to vet Obama.
On Thursday, a group of putatively moderate Republicans will announce a new effort called "National Council for a New America". While they claim that they're non-partisan, it's clearly a GOP effort. And, the list of those involved that CNN has obtained (link) includes several supporters of comprehensive immigration reform.
Michael Steele is the new chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC). On tonight's PBS NewsHour, David Brooks said he'll probably avoid "anti-immigrant" talk, and we know what that means: Brooks thinks Steele will support illegal activity. While Steele's exact positions remain to be seen, consider the June 14, 2007 article "Secure the border first" (link). "Securing the border" is generally a dodge, see the link. And, although he was opposed to 2007's comprehensive immigration reform bill, the "first" leaves an opening for some form of amnesty after the border is supposedly secured. Note that the five points listed at the Townhall link were almost all more or less included in the CIR bill and that Steele's position seems to be similar to that of John McCain.
That's driven home by this December 16, 2008 interview:
...The same [problem with a hole in a boat] is true with immigration. The core problem is that you've got a hole in the fence. Plug the hole. Use technology, use manpower, use all the strategies that you need to secure the national borders of this country. And then we can talk about the 12 million people who are here illegally, what we’re going to do. I think America will be much more receptive to that conversation knowing that no more are coming in and that the hole has been closed. And then we can deal effectively with the water in the boat.
Highly possible translation: after the borders are secure, Americans can be convinced to accept an amnesty. Asked about what he'd do about the 12 million (or so), he said:
Well, that’s something for the national debate. There are any number of ways that you have to deal with that. Do you want to create a pathway to citizenship? Are you talking amnesty? Ronald Reagan did amnesty. He did the first amnesty bill. A lot of people tend to forget that. In 1986, what was the problem? There was no effective strategy to deal with what? The hole in the fence. They kept coming. And 20 years later, what are we looking at? 12 million additional people, the hole has gotten bigger, and the problem hasn’t gone away. America’s response to amnesty was, ‘Not again, if you don’t fix the hole. If you don’t close down that border and make sure that no one else is getting over the fence, or under the fence, or through the fence.’ That’s what everyone sees as the problem. It’s not the individuals who are here, necessarily. It’s the ones who are still coming in, because our border is porous. Every other country protects its sovereignty, and no one cracks a peep. The United States rises up and says, ‘We too shall protect the sovereignty of this nation by protecting our borders,’ and everyone looks at us like we’re enemies of the state. Well, we’ll keep looking that way because we’re going to deal with this issue, and we’re going to effectively do what we need to do as Americans to make sure the integrity of this country, its internal integrity, is secure. And then we can talk about everything else. Everything else -- jobs, programs, employers -- all that stuff you can deal with much more effectively, because now you’re dealing with a smaller pool of folks because there are no more coming in.
Nothing in there would foreclose eventually giving an amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Notably, Steele isn't supporting attrition in order to reduce the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S. over time. He simply wants to stop the future flow, as did Fred Thompson before getting a clue.
I guess I should have taken a look at his record before he was elected, but it's never too late to encourage him to support attrition.
2/1/09 UPDATE: Chris Wallace interviewed him on Fox News Sunday and didn't ask the right questions about this issue, playing into the confusion over the positions of John McCain and George W Bush vs. the positions of those who want to "build the fence" (link). As discussed above, the latter position is a dodge used by McCain and Bush, when the ultimate goal is "reform". Steele didn't say anything to contradict that:
I think the GOP's position on immigration is very much the position of many, many Hispanics who are in this country... The GOP's position is secure our borders first. Let us know and let us make sure the American people know that we've taken care of the important business of dealing with illegal immigration into this country... You cannot begin to address the concerns of the people who are already here unless and until you have made certain that no more are coming in behind them... No change in the position on the party on that... [Leaders in the Hispanic community] understand the importance of making sure the United States' borders are secure.
It wasn't too many decades ago when "the right kind of people" was a racist code word. Guess what? It still is. In Maryland, Democrat Rep. Ben Cardin (white) won his Senate seat against Michael Steele (black).
If terrorists are able to infiltrate the U.S. and carry out attacks, few other issues on the table in this election will matter. Every proposal that groups of voters support - from lower taxes to universal healthcare - is predicated on the internal security of the U.S. Protecting the U.S. from attacks at home should be the first priority of all of our political leaders, but unfortunately it is not.
The Bush administration, the GOP leadership, and almost all Democratic leaders have been negligent in this regard, placing other interests ahead of the security of the U.S.
The following are more suggestions than endorsements, and in many cases these are votes against their opponents.
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said yesterday that he is angry at "revisionism" from political opponents who question a much-repeated story about Lt. Gov. Michael S.