The rise and fall of Michael Steele and the Republican Party becomes certifiably operatic. Two weeks ago we warned you party insiders wanted to take control of the party's purse strings from the incredibly ineffective and latest anti-gay chairman of the Republican National Committee. The vote happens tonight and Steele tells FOX News that if too much of his power is taken away, he may resign:
"They can contemplate all they want to, but the reality is if they want a figurehead chairman you can have a figurehead chairman, but it won't be Michael Steele," he said.
Steele aides insist the chairman was not threatening to quit, but merely to fight over retaining his authority. But his comments reflect the persistent tension within the Republican National Committee over his chairmanship.
It's really a pathetic reflection on the Republican Party. They pretend to join the 21st century by electing their first black chairman but Reagan-era party apparatchiks want to strip away his financial oversight. By all means—instead of focusing on how to re-tool the economy, win an election or recapture moderates in swing states, please keep up the infighting. Democrats and progressives are popping tons of popcorn with extra butter.
Later tonight, Republican state chairmen will vote on the funding issue, and, among others, whether to label the Democratic Party "Socialist." Really.
UPDATE: Rod 2.0 regular Gurlene comments on the embattled GOP chairman: "Steele was only a lieutenant governor. Not governor. He always has been and apparently always will be a figure head."