Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 19, 2009

CHANGE COMES 'IN A TEA BAG'.... RNC Chairman Michael Steele's speech to committee members was this afternoon, and I believe it was aired live on all three cable networks. Viewers got to hear Steele's Greatest Hits, including an attack on ACORN, a shot at EFCA, and even a reference to the Fairness Doctrine. I wish I were kidding.

But here's the quote that you're likely to see quite a bit more of:

"Those of you who actually attend Lincoln Day dinners, and county party events, those of you who toil in the vineyards, spending time in communities, in diners, in barber shops, and in coffee shops where real, every day people can be found. You know it is real. You can see it and feel it.

"This change, my friends, is being delivered in a tea bag. And that's a wonderful thing."

Remember when Steele recently described himself as "the gift that keeps on giving"? He wasn't kidding.

On a more serious note, the RNC chairman also vowed, "The Republican Party is again going to emerge as the party of new ideas." He then proceeded to note exactly zero new ideas.

Now, in fairness, it's not Steele's job to craft these policy proposals; his is not a policy job. But it reinforces the problem of a bankrupt GOP agenda.

If Steele is going to tell a national television audience that the Republican Party is going to be the party of new ideas, only to suggest they'll let us know when they eventually think of something, there's a fundamental flaw in the pitch.

Update: After the speech, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell asked former Republican Rep. Chris Shays what "new ideas" Steele had proposed. Shays responded, "I didn't hear any new ideas. But that's the point -- I mean, we need to be talking about ideas."

Or, put another way, "We'll be the party of new ideas just as soon as we think of some new ideas. In the meantime, socialism, handshake, 9/11."

Steve Benen 2:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (33)

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Comments

"toil in the vineyards"?

He really said that?

Posted by: Breezeblock on May 19, 2009 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Chairmnan Steele: I have a new idea: I'll quote Dick Cheyney responding to Vermont Senator Lehey- oh, wait; this is a family blog. . .

Posted by: DAY on May 19, 2009 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Re; the torture v Pelosi thing. Emptywheel website has a great analysis of all the errors in the CIA memo. What I think is really telling, is that it was compiled recently at the request of Hoekstra (Rep) the fact that it all was inspired by repubs should make sure we hit them hard on all of this, they tried to set up Pelosi and I hope it backfires big.

Posted by: JS on May 19, 2009 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

tea bags. that's the party's new idea. see, back in the day when the real tea party happened, tea wasn't in tea bags. now it is, so the republicans have brought the idea of the tea party into ... the 19th century

Posted by: mudwall jackson on May 19, 2009 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

From the desk of Michael Steele...

Your slanderous attacks, that represent the Republican Party as not having new ideas, are callous and reprehensible. Of course, this is the typical type of vile attack that we have come to expect from the Democrat Socialist Party.

I know that the Republican Party is the party of new ideas, because I believe it so and I say it is so!

Posted by: Mike Steele on May 19, 2009 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Allow me to be the first to say:

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

And the best thing is: the Republicans haven't hit bottom yet.

Posted by: PeakVT on May 19, 2009 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

The first thing we need to push is a law forbidding people from putting mustard on hamburgers!

Posted by: Conservatroll on May 19, 2009 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

And teleprompters! Don't forget "teleprompter".

Oh, and "waterboarding is Nancy Pelosi's fault".

Posted by: 2Manchu on May 19, 2009 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

"The first thing we need to push is a law forbidding people from putting mustard on hamburgers!"

Well that would surely get Texas to secede. Maybe the dems should take that advise seriously.

Posted by: fostert on May 19, 2009 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

perhaps mike meant to say "you who watch others toil in Martha's vineyards"?

he also talked about ronnie looking towards the future..now that's forward thinking...

in other news...the WaTimes reports

When Michael S. Steele took over as chairman of the Republican National Committee earlier this year, he brought along longtime personal assistant Belinda Cook and gave her a salary nearly three times what her predecessor made.

Mrs. Cook's son, Lee, also landed an RNC job.

Mr. Steele hired another family friend, Angela Sailor, to be the party's outreach director at a salary of $180,000, more than double her predecessor's compensation, though new responsibilities have been added to the job.

"These salaries we hear about are way out of line for what staff should be paid for working for a political party, which most of us think of as a cause," said Hawaii Republican Party Chairman Willis Lee. "And if certain staff at the national committee are making that much, then the public understandably might think they are examples of cronyism."

Posted by: dj spellchecka on May 19, 2009 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'd bet that the vast majority of people actually doing the toiling in the vineyards do not vote Republican.

Honestly, this guy is a golden gaffe machine. I hope to God the GOP keeps him in place.

Posted by: bluestatedon on May 19, 2009 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

"I didn't hear any new ideas. But that's the point -- I mean, we need to be talking about ideas."

It's not clear whether he means they need to be talking about new ideas, or if he means they should be talking about new ideas .

Posted by: qwerty on May 19, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

"I didn't hear any new ideas. But that's the point -- I mean, we need to be talking about ideas."

To think or not to think, that is the question
Whether 'tis nobler for the party to suffer
The slings and arrows of Democrat fortune,
Or to throw teabags in a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, say "NO!". To die, to sleep;
No more; and by "asleep" I mean to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand socialist earmarks that Dems are heir to — 'tis an end devoutly to be wish'd.

Thus Obama does make cowards of us all,
And Rush, his plaintive spew of revolution,
Is cast o'er the airways with venom and salt,
And enterprises of his great pitch and foment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

Posted by: Sir Ham-a-lot on May 19, 2009 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

"These salaries we hear about are way out of line for what staff should be paid for working for a political party, which most of us think of as a cause," said Hawaii Republican Party Chairman Willis Lee. "And if certain staff at the national committee are making that much, then the public understandably might think they are examples of cronyism."

Can I have more of what Willis Lee is smoking? When was the last time anyone volunteered to do anything for a Republican candidate? They all expect to get paid. It's the Democrats that volunteer. Cronyism? Did he forget about the past eight years? Seems so. I don't get why Willis is bitching about what is SOP in Republican circles.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on May 19, 2009 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

What's so wonderful about tea bags, one might ask.

Posted by: Mass Hysteria on May 19, 2009 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Pass the popcorn? I think I'm lost in the corn field.

Posted by: Markozilla on May 19, 2009 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

cronyism and Republican used in the same sentence ...nah say it ain't so

Posted by: John R on May 19, 2009 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

I'd bet that the vast majority of people actually doing the toiling in the vineyards do not vote Republican.

Yes, the UFW comes to mind.

Unless "toiling in the vineyards" is a dog-whistle to the religious right.

Posted by: g on May 19, 2009 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah I picked up on this too.

It has to suck to have the only energized remnant of your party cheering for tea bags!!!!

Posted by: Chris on May 19, 2009 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Fucking lame. Seriously.

Posted by: ET on May 19, 2009 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

If all those Republican "new ideas" had actual physical mass, they could fit easily inside a tea bag, with about 98% of the space left over to accommodate the tea.

Posted by: JK on May 19, 2009 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

I once read (probably over at DKOS) that Steele behavior is just a put on. He is a true liberal African American at heart. Like Steven Colbert, its all just a joke, but no one has caught on yet.

I used to think this was BS but I have to admit the idea has some credence. Ahh satire, keeps you on your toes doesn't it?

Posted by: rawls on May 19, 2009 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

This change, my friends, is being delivered in a tea bag

Not in my bedroom, not between my wife and me. We're normal.

Posted by: Myke K on May 19, 2009 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'd bet that the vast majority of people actually doing the toiling in the vineyards do not vote Republican.

Si, se puede!

Posted by: Grape Pickers for Obama on May 19, 2009 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Getting ready to get ready for change? How long is a piece of string? How many Will Be's in "will be the party of change once again"?

Posted by: bcinaz on May 19, 2009 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans: What? Teabagging is really something obscene?

Rest of the Country: Yes

Republicans: Dang! But "teabagging" fits in so well with the only policy position we have. We'll just make our own reality and hope nobody discovers the truth.

Rest of the Country: snicker

Posted by: Markozilla on May 19, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Sir Ham-a-lot:
I am humbled in your electronic presence. Nice work!

Posted by: jeff on May 19, 2009 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

New idea? I think not.

Nancy Reagan: "A woman is like a tea bag, you can not tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water."

Posted by: Basharov on May 19, 2009 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Nancy Reagan: "A woman is like a tea bag, you can not tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water."

And if she responds by running to her astrologer, you have your answer.

Posted by: shortstop on May 19, 2009 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

spending time in communities, in diners, in barber shops, and in coffee shops where real, every day people can be found. You know it is real. You can see it and feel it.

Well, I live in a pretty conservative area, and believe me, no Republican would want to hear what people are talking about in the barber shops and coffee shops around here. And as for the barber shops and restaurants in parts of the country where people do sit around cussing about Obama and praising Sarah Palin -- let's just say they're probably not the sorts of establishments where a guy like Michael Steele would feel particularly welcome if he happened to walk in, if you get my drift...

Posted by: jonas on May 19, 2009 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

"You know it's real. You can see it and you can feel it. This change, my friends, is being delivered in a tea bag." -Michael Steele

Wow. Feel the crazy.

Posted by: Dennis on May 19, 2009 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

What comes in a teabag is not change, though there'd be precious little of it, if it were; what comes in a teabag is more akin to floor sweepings than to real tea. No wonder Repubs picked a teabag as their symbol -- very appropriate.

Also... Back in Poland, we used to call tea in a teabag "tea on a leash". That's very appropriate for the Repubs too, given that they're tethered to their hot-air balloons at Faux Noise.

Yours, considering a name change. "Loose-leaf tea" sound good?

Posted by: exlibra on May 19, 2009 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

Need to watch the Obama Deception. Google it!

Posted by: Bo Jo on May 19, 2009 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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