Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 19, 2009

IT'S ALL STRATEGIC.... Republican National Committee members will get together for a big meeting starting today, and high on the agenda is a resolution to beg the Democratic Party to change its name. Can't you just smell the comeback?

As part of the gathering, RNC Chairman Michael Steele has a new column in the Politico arguing that "Republicans are turning a corner." (As I recall, Steele said the exact same thing right before the GOP lost the special election in New York's 20th.)

[T]he Republican Party will be forward-looking -- it is time to stop looking backward. Republicans have spent ample time re-examining the past. It has been a healthy and necessary task. But I believe it is now time for Republicans to focus all of our energies on winning the future by emerging as the party of new ideas.

As part of the Republicans' new-found commitment to a "forward-looking" approach, Steele explains, "The Republican Party has turned a corner, and as we move forward Republicans should take a lesson from Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan always believed Republicans should apply our conservative principles to current and future challenges facing America. . For Reagan's conservatism to take root...."

I see. Steele believes "it is time to stop looking backward," and time to start thinking about the approach embraced by the Republican president who left office 20 years ago. A "forward-looking" approach in 2009, Steele argues, is an emphasis on the mid-1980s.

But it's not just the op-ed.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele will call for an end to the "era of apologizing" in the GOP and urge his fellow party members to "focus all of our energies on winning the future" in a speech today to a gathering of RNC officials in Maryland.

There was an "era of apologizing" in the Republican Party? And I missed it? That's a shame; I would have enjoyed hearing more Republicans apologize for the consequences of their failed attempts at governing.

Steve Benen 10:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (43)

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Comments

So today's the day they start calling us the Liberal Fascist Socialist Democrat Party?

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on May 19, 2009 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

"Era of apology" to Rush for speaking sensibly.

Posted by: Greg Worley on May 19, 2009 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

There was an "era of apologizing" in the Republican Party?

Maybe he's referring to the "era of blaming Democrats for everything imaginable"? I hear that is going to end in the next few days, when Republicans meet and officially change the name of the Democratic party. Then they will have a new enemy to blame!

Posted by: Shalimar on May 19, 2009 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

No, no, no, let's get things straight: it's the Liberal Fascist Socialist MUSLIM Democrat Party!

Posted by: bluestatedon on May 19, 2009 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican Party is like an abusive spouse. Americans finally recognized the abuse for what it was and walked out. In Steele's mind, having to listen to this record of past abuse is like "apologizing". He's saying he won't listen to these complaints about Bush-era misconduct, he wants to focus on potential future misconduct.

Good luck with that, Mr. Steele!

Posted by: Jeff S. on May 19, 2009 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

I can see the new bumper stickers now... "Forward into the Past/Vote Republican"

Posted by: bluestatedon on May 19, 2009 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele will call for an end to the "era of apologizing" in the GOP and urge his fellow party members to "focus all of our energies on winning the future"

That's a good a summation of the GOP mindset as you're likely to get. As we can see with some of our more dedicated trolls, admitting you're wrong is anathema to the GOP mindset. The GOP needs to see itself as "winners;" they can't handle being perceived as, or perceiving themselves as, losers. Admitting you're wrong or apologizing is a sign of weakness.

Though speaking of which, I wonder if "an end to the era of apologizing" means Republican officeholders would be free to criticize Rush Limbaugh, the millstone 'round the Party's neck.

Posted by: Gregory on May 19, 2009 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Next on the agenda: a motion to requiring all Republicans to refer to Obama a President N****r.

Posted by: glutz78 on May 19, 2009 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

It's like GWB called it: strategery...

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on May 19, 2009 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Can't you just smell the comeback?""
Yeah, unfortunately I can, and oy! Feh!

"As part of the gathering, RNC Chairman Michael Steele has a new column in the Politico arguing that "Republicans are turning a corner.""
It stinks, and they're working the same streetside corner??? Maybe Steele should think of reworking his images, 'cus, I dunno, working a street corner, well.... or maybe it's appropriate after all?

Posted by: Bruce B on May 19, 2009 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

The proposal to rename the Democratic Party the "Democrat Socialist Party" is actually a victory for moderation. The alternative was to call it the "Democrat Terrorist Party."

Posted by: davidp on May 19, 2009 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Sometimes, eras are measured in picoseconds, I guess.

The GOP, the party of hubris, with its permanent majority, where they didn't have to listen to anyone.

When did they apologize for anything?

Posted by: SteinL on May 19, 2009 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Would it be too crass for the Democrats to suggest a name change for them as well to assist their change from Old to new: The New Republic Tea Party. NRTP, insert vowels as necessary for proper pronunciation of the acronym.

Posted by: Bob Johnson on May 19, 2009 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans should just call them selves the Weedpatch Party, since that's the best metaphor for their economic philosophy.

Posted by: Danp on May 19, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

"When did they apologize for anything?"

Have you missed all of the apologies going to Rush Oxycontin Limbaugh over the past few months?

^_^

Posted by: Shade Tail on May 19, 2009 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Clearly he meant, "the error of apologizing".

Posted by: MissMudd on May 19, 2009 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

What Republicans need now is a suicide-prevention intervention, and Steele is not the person to do it. It's bad enough that he doesn't make sense-- what's worse is that he doesn't have any influence in the party. Even if he had a coherent thought, it wouldn't do his party any good.

Posted by: MattF on May 19, 2009 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

From the desk of Michael Steele:

As the Republican Party emerges from our era of apologizing for not fully embracing the sainthood and infallibility of Ronald Reagan, we look forward to our new ideas providing guidance for our great nation.

As the Democrat Socialist Party continues to destroy the core values of our country, I shall lead the Republican Party out of the wilderness imposed by the misinterpretations presented by the liberal media.

Our new ideas shall bring forth growing support for the return to power of the Republican Party. For those who doubt our new ideas, let me enumerate them for you:

1) As everyone knows that the wealthy are the foundation of our economy and the only means of job creation, we shall call for the removal of all income taxes for those earning more than $5 million a year.

2) To continue economic growth over time, we call for the elimination of death taxes on estates valued at more then $500 million.

3) As everyone knows that social security is in crisis, we call for measures to provide for present and future solvency. These measures include:

a) Raising the age at which persons can leach from this system to 72.

b) Raising payroll taxes for those making less than $100,000 per year.

c) Promoting the economy of the United States by removing all asserted value from the $2.5 billion of bonds that have been issued to the Social Security Trust Fund.

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on May 19, 2009 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

The alternative of apologizing vs. winning the future echoes Limbaugh's criticism a week or two ago of the affair in the pizzeria. He said the GOP needs not a listening tour but a teaching tour. Sounds to me as if Limbaugh is winning the argument.

Posted by: davidp on May 19, 2009 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Note to Steele;

This cutting edge you speak of seems awfully dull and pointless.

That is all.

Posted by: Former Dan on May 19, 2009 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

"Turning the corner" Would that be the same one they turned when they were winning the Iraq war?

Posted by: John R on May 19, 2009 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

I believe it is now time for Republicans to focus all of our energies on winning the future by emerging as the party of new ideas.
Maybe they just need to come up with a spiffy new name for "tax cuts for rich people."

Posted by: qwerty on May 19, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

"Republicans are turning a corner."

As does the business of governing on an ongoing basis when the Republicans are in office. I swear, one is as true as the other.

Posted by: SRW1 on May 19, 2009 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

"I will do what Britons have always done when they have their backs to the wall - turn round and fight." John Major, 1995

Posted by: ajay on May 19, 2009 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

You're giving the Republicans way too much credit here. I don't think there was ever a real attempt to govern. It was all about steering taxpayer money to their friends.

Posted by: The Bobs on May 19, 2009 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Would it be too crass for the Democrats to suggest a name change for them as well to assist their change from Old to new: The New Republic Tea Party.
=========================

I would remind one and all that both "The Republic of Stupid Party" and RepublicOfStupid.com are still available.

Posted by: Fleas correct the era on May 19, 2009 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

"...high on the [RNC] agenda is a resolution to beg the Democratic Party to change its name [to the Democrat Socialist Party]."

Reminds me of a Russian joke told during the collapse of the USSR: Gentlemen, we stand before a vast abyss. And today, we are taking a giant step forward.

Posted by: Markozilla on May 19, 2009 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Step 1: Fuck up beyond all imagining.
Step 2: Lose power.
Step 3: Convince selves that honest admission of error followed by self-examination is for pussies.
Step 4: ???
Step 5: Reclaim power!

Posted by: shortstop on May 19, 2009 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

"RNC Chairman Michael Steele has a new column in the Politico ..."

Can everyone who reads this blog once and for all acknowledge reality - in that Politico is nothing more than a GOP/right-wing source not much different that Drudge or Faux? That sentence confirms that.

Politico is not a credible source of news or journalism, nor should they be treated as such.
They are a right-wing funded online project, and should be treated accordingly.

I understand there's a need to track the right-wing and their movements, but linking to them only serves to drive business to them. Doing that only helps them stay in business.

Let the folks at Media Matters handle dismantling Politico's talking points - that's what they do best.

Posted by: MVPOnline on May 19, 2009 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

"era of apologizing" is GOP code for "it really sucks that everybody has to apologize to Rushbo everytime they screw up and let the truth slip out"

Posted by: bcinaz on May 19, 2009 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

I'm curious because on Meet the Press last Sunday, Steele took pains to separate himself from the official "name change request". Does he have any control over the RNC agenda or not?

Posted by: oh well on May 19, 2009 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Response from the DNC:
You can call us anything you want. Anything but "republicans" that is.

Posted by: jeff on May 19, 2009 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Step 3: Convince selves that honest admission of error followed by self-examination is for pussies.

It's rare that I disagree with shortstop, but I have to here. For movement conservatism, thaat was step 1, which led, along with their fantasy of an ideology, to the inevitable fuckups shortstop cited.

As I've mentioned before, P.J. O'Rourke identified the Republican Party as claiming government doesn't work and then getting elected and proving it -- back in the 1980s.

Posted by: Gregory on May 19, 2009 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Remember this quote in the 2004 Ron Susskind article: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities(...)"

It is in this reality that you take full responsibility simply by declaring: "I take full responsibility" (Dennis Hastert about the Foley Scandal in 2006).

You can accomplish a mission simply by spelling out "Mission Accomplished."
And you can turn your fortunes around simply by declaring: "We turned the corner."

It's almost like throwing stuff against the wall and see what sticks.

Posted by: hazmat on May 19, 2009 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Republican National Committee members will get together for a big meeting starting today, and high on the agenda is a resolution to beg the Democratic Party to change its name. Can't you just smell the comeback?

Yes---and as such, it is my patriotic duty to report the RNC for running a crack-manufacturing operation from the basement of Rush Limbaugh's house, while pretending to be a conservative AM radio station....

Posted by: S. Waybright on May 19, 2009 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

If you are "forward looking" while "turning a corner", you will have a serious accident.

OK, that sounds like the modern Repugnant Party [their new name I am asking them to adopt].

Posted by: OKDem on May 19, 2009 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

The only Republican era of apologizing I can think of relates to the line of Limbaugh supplicants repenting of their wayward thoughts and words to the Grand Old Potentato. If that's what he's referring to, Steele might actually be onto something. The last week or so, there don't seem to have been any new apologies to Rush.

Posted by: wruscle on May 19, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

I'm listening to Michael Steele's speech as I write this.

He talked about being done looking back, about how they are the party of ideas.

All he did was look back. Not a substantive idea in the speech.

Posted by: abba on May 19, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Wait - they're looking forward, not backward, yet they're coming back, and now they're turning the corner?

They sound like hick tourists lost in NYC. Let's mug them.

Posted by: Cazart on May 19, 2009 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Greedy Old Perverts (or Plutocrats, take your pick), works for me.

If Dan Quayle still had any influence, it would be Greedy Old Potatoe.

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on May 19, 2009 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK
Liberal Fascist Socialist MUSLIM Democrat Party!

We've got to get "Secular Progressive" into there somehow. Sure, it conflicts a bit with the "Muslim" part, but such minor contradictions are as nothing to the Republican mind.

Does he have any control over the RNC agenda or not?

Steele doesn't even have control over his own mouth's agenda.

Posted by: noncarborundum on May 19, 2009 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK
...such minor contradictions are as nothing to the Republican mind.

Adding, ". . . as witness 'Liberal fascist'."

Posted by: noncarborundum on May 19, 2009 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Wait - they're looking forward, not backward, yet they're coming back, and now they're turning the corner?

They sound like hick tourists lost in NYC. Let's mug them.

Priceless.

Posted by: shortstop on May 19, 2009 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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