BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
The GOP: A 'Rush' to Obscurity
Those of us who pointed out that Michael Steele was elevated to Chairman of the Republican National Committee as both a token, and as attack-dog-in-chief against President Obama should feel completely vindicated. No further evidence need be presented than what recently took place when Mr. Steele had the audacity to say that he was the head of the Republican Party, not Rush Limbaugh. In response Limbaugh all but literally told him to stay in his place.
Limbaugh said, "Yes, said Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I'm incendiary, and yes, it's ugly. Michael Steele, you are head of the RNC. You are not head of the Republican Party." Limbaugh went on to say, "Tens of millions of conservatives and Republicans have nothing to do with the RNC and right now they want nothing to do with it, and when you call them, asking them for money, they hang up on you."
Then after being verbally pummeled by Limbaugh, Steele responds by groveling. During an interview Steele said, "My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh." He then added, "I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership."
Sound familiar? It should–it's a dialogue right out of the 19th Century, and that's exactly where the Republican Party wants to keep America. They have absolutely no respect for Michael Steele, and why should they? He's allowed himself to be used.
In my article, "Republicans: Look y'all We Got Us One Two," I point out the following:
"Most Black people have very little use for Black conservatives. It's not that we disagree with everything they say, but because we're suspect of the reasons they're saying it.Without exception, every Black conservative I've come across is an opportunist. Their conservatism tends not to be so much grounded in their actual philosophy as it is an opportunity to gain exposure. They realize that conservatives are looking high and low for Black people who will step forward to validate their views towards the Black community. So they gleefully allow themselves to be used in return for personal wealth, position, and notoriety." Well, they got him–and good riddance.
This time the Republican strategy threatens to backfire. They were so concerned about finding a Black face to put up against President Obama that they didn't take qualifications or simple common sense into account, and it's becoming increasingly apparent that Mr. Steele has neither. In addition, based on an investigation into allegations that he funneled campaign funds into his sister's non-existent company, character has also become an issue. While they can't say they weren't warned, actually, he fits right in with the rest of that Republican crowd.
The problem with the Republican Party is that they've become victims of their own corruption, greed, and sense of entitlement. They feel that they have a God-given right to power, and the American people have a moral obligation to give it to them. As a result, they feel no need to earn the right to govern through competence and integrity. So instead of putting competent people of good character in positions of responsibility, they appoint through cronyism, and in response to short-term goals.
It is that mindset that led to George W. Bush, Michael Steele, the disaster in Iraq, the Katrina catastrophe, our current economic crisis, and why America has to be rescued after every Republican administration. Think about it. The last Republican administration that didn't cause some kind of crisis in America was the Eisenhower administration–and his very last act was to warn us about people like Bush and Cheney. You see, Ike understood the Republican mindset, and he also understood, and told us in no uncertain terms, that they constituted a serious threat to America.
What the Republican Party failed to realize was that the American people didn't elect President Obama because he's Black, they elected him because he's competent, and obviously a statesman of exceptional character, but they just didn't get it. They figured he was elected because Black was the flavor of the season, so they went out and "got them one"--without regard to character, intelligence, or common sense.
But Black comes in many shades of competence just like any other group, so they got the color right, but they came up a little short on brain cells. After all, any man who thinks he's going to bring the hip hop community under the Republican tent is not only out of touch with the world around him, but must also be bordering on psychotic. Most hip hop people hate everything the GOP stands for, and vice versa. When Michele Bachmann told Steele, "You be DA man," it came off as so contrived that it was offensively condescending. He was even embarrassed–and that had to take a lot.
But Michael Steele is not an anomaly. Reckless appointments and governance is a way of life with Republicans. Another example is Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, executive director of the C.I.A. under George W. Bush between 2004 to 2006 who was just sentenced to 37 months in prison for defrauding the government.
The New York times reported that Mr. Foggo used his position, which included directing the CIA's administrative operations and budget, to steer sensitive clandestine contracts to military contractor Brent R. Wilkes, a San Diego businessman and close childhood friend. In return Wilkes "took Mr. Foggo on expensive vacations, paid for his meals at exclusive restaurants and offered him a job after he retired." Under a plea agreement Foggo pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, for which he could be sentenced to no more than the 37 months in prison, which he received.
The Bush administration knew he had a shady background when Mr. Foggo was appointed. CIA Director Porter Goss appointed Foggo to an executive position in the CIA even though they knew that he had a reputation for having affairs with the wives of his colleagues, and allegedly shared a woman with Felix Bloch, a Russian spy. Yet, they appointed this man to the third highest position in the CIA, during a time of war!
We didn't here a word from Rush about that, but now these very same Republicans want us to believe that they want President Obama to fail--and are doing everything in their power to bring that about--because they love America. Anyone who believes that is a fool. The fact is, after what they've done to this country, only a lack of character would allow then to look us in the face.
Eric L. Wattree
A moderate is one who embraces truth over ideology, and reason over conflict.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Posted by Eric Wattree at 5:51 AM