Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just Because Steele is Black Doesn't Mean He's Obama

Electing a black man doesn't mean the republican party is ready for change or as Steele put it "something completely different."
Conservative republicans still don't get Obama. They think we elected Obama because he's black. That's because they can't get past their narrow world view. Look at GOP spokesman Rush Limbaugh who thinks he's being forced to support Obama because he's black. How do people think like that? 
Choosing Michael Steele to lead the republican party is a good move on the surface --diversity starts with diversity-- but are republicans ready for change? Are they ready to give non-whites a big hug? Are they ready for immigration reform? Are they ready to solve problems without uttering "tax cuts?" Are they ready to solve complex social problems? Are they ready to inform their extreme wing that we are more than a Christian nation?
Is Steele himself ready to make those big changes? He sure said a lot of good things in his acceptance speech, though he didn't get specific.
Can't wait to see republicans have a healthy debate, or not.
The Root: Steele, who won the chairmanship after six ballots at the RNC 's winter meeting in Washington, characterized his win as a recognition that “it is time for something completely different.” And while there was a lot of debate about which direction the party ought to go and who should lead it there, there was no debate whatsoever that the party needs a revival after eight years of the Bush administration.

Central to the GOP's perceived troubles is the idea that it had become too insular, too narrowly cast and too lacking in diversity. In the final round of balloting Steele defeated South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson, 91-77, and race was a clear undercurrent. Dawson’s fatal disadvantage may have been in the fact that he was a member of an all-white country club until he began seeking the chairmanship of the party. Some party insiders worried that choosing Dawson as their leader would simply serve to reinforce the race issues that have dogged the party for years.

In the end, enough GOP delegates were concerned to choose Steele over Dawson, who is acknowledged as a more accomplished fundraiser and manager.

Despite the aesthetic progress, Steele faces a formidable task in trying to revive the GOP which has, over the past two elections, lost control of both houses—Congress and the White House. Steele characterized it as an identity crisis.