Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 12, 2009

THE FINAL STRAW FOR STEELE?.... RNC Chairman Michael Steele hoped very much to avoid public attention this week. He'd already cancelled some scheduled television interviews in order to focus on internal party issues -- hiring a staff, for example -- and Steele hoped a few days without a new controversy might quell doubts about his party leadership.

So much for that idea. Before Steele could get to work this week, he chatted with GQ last week*, in an interview that was published online late yesterday. In it, the RNC chairman, who claims to be pro-life, seemed to voice his support for a woman's right to choose.

GQ: How much of your pro-life stance, for you, is informed not just by your Catholic faith but by the fact that you were adopted?

Steele: Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that--I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it... Uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.

GQ: Explain that.

Steele: The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.

GQ: Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?

Steele: Yeah. I mean, again, I think that's an individual choice.

The GQ interviewer, understandably surprised, asked about Roe v. Wade, which Steele said was "wrongly decided." When the magazine asked how women will have the choice Steele says they deserve if Roe is overturned, Steele said, "The states should make that choice. That's what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states."

So, Steele believes abortion rights is "an individual choice" and believes states should be able to dictate that choice.

As part of the same interview, Steele went on to say that he rejects the notion that homosexuality is a choice, and despite having promised to push for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage as RNC chair, he said he will no longer do so.

Given the controversies surrounding Steele, and the scuttlebutt that his RNC post is very much in jeopardy, this won't help at all. Indeed, given the seriousness with which Republican leaders take culture war issues, it's safe to assume Steele would have never become chairman if he'd made these comments before the RNC leadership race.

It's very easy at this point to imagine Steele coming to the conclusion that he's become a "distraction," and deciding that what he really wants to do is spend more time with his family.

* Update: Steele's interview with GQ was apparently held on February 24th.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (20)

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Comments

Break out the Smuckers and the Country Crock. This man is toast.

Posted by: chrenson on March 12, 2009 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

Steele: Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that--I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it... Uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.

GQ: Explain that.

My thought was "Huh????", but tom-Ay-to, to-mah-to...


No anti-gay 14th amendment exemption, allowing states to be pro-choice.
You know, I'm starting to be a little disappointed Steele is such a buffoon, he might just defang the GOP a little if he could be taken seriously.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on March 12, 2009 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

Imagine, the GOP Chairman having a mouth like a "Steele" trap - clamped down on his own leg. OUCH!

Posted by: Shag from Brookline on March 12, 2009 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK

That's a remarkably incoherent answer, even for Steele. You'd think he would have canned answers for popular questions like that.

Posted by: Matt on March 12, 2009 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

Gosh. All Steele has to do now is assert that Obama is a US citizen, and he'll have alienated the entire Republican party.

Posted by: MattF on March 12, 2009 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

Bye, bye Steele. Can't say I'll miss you. In fact, I won't. However, your replacement will have to be able to supply the same amount of comic relief you have provided over these past few months.

My vote is for Vitter.

Posted by: Stevio on March 12, 2009 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

But they steele haven't found

what they're looking for....

(Thanks 2 U-2)

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on March 12, 2009 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

It won't be long before Mike K isn't Southern enough to be a "real" Republican. In the meantime, I'm enjoying he whine and cheese.

Posted by: Danp on March 12, 2009 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

It's very easy at this point to imagine Steele coming to the conclusion that he's become a "distraction," and deciding that what he really wants to do is spend more time with his family.

Now if ALL the 'pro-family' pols were to decide they needed to spend more time with their families, THAT's a pro-family agenda I could get behind!

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on March 12, 2009 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

He'll be Hannity's new token opponent by Memorial Day....

Posted by: Steve W. on March 12, 2009 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

I will miss him , providing my daily chuckle. And speaking of family values, the sorry saga of Bristol Palin who's heartless mom exposed her to and made her a centerpiece of the campaign. I truly feel sorry for her having to live her life under the microscope because of the ego of her mother , who could have gracefully declined the VP position knowing she was incapeable and that her family would suffer.

Posted by: John R on March 12, 2009 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Steele is a lifelong shill, so I won't miss him if he self-destructs.
But the GOP might. Because, aside from his most factually-challenged statements, Steele's "bloopers" often inadvertently indicate a tendency toward moderation - exactly where his party needs to go, but refuses. I guess he'll just have to leave it to the boss - Rush. Now that'll guarantee a broader appeal.

Posted by: richard greenslade on March 12, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

DocMikey is a little busy at the moment perusing ABC's put down about the Pelosi plane smear.

Bob Steele made better westerns; Michael makes better comidies. If he were smaller, he could ride two nags at Pimlico in the same race. Then, he could deadheat. Bute and Lasix are not going to save him from the political glue factory.

Bristol Palin? Over 1,700 hits at HuffPo, almost 500 hits at sfgate. Folks still have their priorities on backwards, eh?

Posted by: berttheclock on March 12, 2009 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

Ouch! That one's going to smart a bit.

And here I just popped a HUGE tub of popcorn. Look's like the show's going to be over before it really got started.

I'm with toowearyforoutrage. Too bad he'll go, because his ineffectiveness really helps Obama. Maybe they can get a batshit-crazy uber conservative to take his place. That'd be fun to watch too.

Posted by: palinoscopy on March 12, 2009 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking of comedies, Steele would make a fine Harlequin - He could play Pierrot and Pierrette at the same time. Who would know?

Posted by: berttheclock on March 12, 2009 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe they can get a batshit-crazy uber conservative to take his place. That'd be fun to watch too.

That's probably who it will be. Too bad the GOP doesn't have a big enough tent for a pro-choice, pro-equal rights leader. But good for the rest of us that they'll remain a regional, Christian-theocratic party.
It's looking like the two major parties will actually be the two wings of the Democratic Party. This will reflect the real political center of this country, which isn't conservative or center-right, so that's a good thing.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on March 12, 2009 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Steele was dead and buried before these revelations, and they just serve as extra nails in his coffin.

Having become accustomed to the high hilarity of Hip-Hop Mike's pronouncements every 48 hours or so, I'm very concerned about his replacement. It's critical that the GOP replace him with someone equally adept at high-level buffoonery, and so I nominate Norm Coleman with his unparalleled expertise at the whole online fund-raising thing.

Posted by: bluestatedon on March 12, 2009 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

It's so amusing to see the right-wing punks chasing their own tails, isn't it? I'm wondering who will survive longer, Michael Steele or his equally beleaguered Virginia GOP counterpart, Jeff Frederick.

I will give Steele credit on one thing, though -- at least he uses the word "abortion," instead of couching it in that asinine euphemism "a woman's right to choose." We liberals, coerced into using PC terms like "African American" (for black), don't have the guts to do likewise.

Posted by: Vincent on March 12, 2009 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

In now typical Rethug fashion Steele has pivoted 180° and now says he supports a federal ban on abortion. Each and every flirtation with reality among this crowd brings brings an immediate pull on the choker chain they have around their necks.

Prediction: He's gone in a month.

Posted by: rich on March 12, 2009 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Damn. Why'd he have to go ahead and say something like this at a time like this? I really liked the idea of him being around. I don't see how he's surviving this.

Thus said, he totally exposed the idiocy of the "states rights" argument for abortion. Because they DON'T believe that it should be up to the states and if they did, it's entirely illogical with their abortion=murder argument. I mean, could you imagine how you'd feel if California went ahead and legalized murder? You'd be absolutely stunned. It's obvious that a nationwide ban is the only thing that makes any sense for them. Any public stance short of that is an outright lie.

All we need next is for a prominent Republican to admit that their god gave us freewill to allow us to choose to be sinners, and therefore it's wrong for them to use the government to force their moral code on us. But of course, even the Catholic Church refuses to be consistent on the nature of evil and they're usually pretty good about that sort of thing.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on March 12, 2009 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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