The Republican Party’s selection of former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele as party chief is almost as historic as the Democrats’ nomination of Barack Obama as the party’s presidential candidate. President Obama attracted many independents and even a smidgen of Republicans into the Democratic Party and widened the Democrats’ membership and popularity – can Steele do the same for the GOP?
Can the man of steel pick up the demolished pieces of the Republican Party and put them together again like humpty dumpty to form a winning party?
Steele is articulate – he’s a great orator, but can he pontificate the Republican doctrines in a populous way that will attract people other than white southern conservatives? And being black, can he keep southern white conservatives in the party?
I have watched Steele on various television broadcasts over the years and he can be quite impressive. He knows his facts, he is assertive and when attacked he counter-attacks with a punch.
And since he’s black, when he criticizes President Obama and his administration he can’t be called a racist. He can be called other things but not a bigot.
There are a few ethereal similarities between Steele and Obama — they are attractive, charismatic, powerful, telegenic speakers. But unlike Mr. Obama, Steele is a divider and fighter; President Obama is a uniter and a peacemaker.
Since being elected party Chief Mr. Steele has reconfirmed his commitment to issues important to religious and social conservatives. He has mentioned his support to make abortions illegal and has implied that he doesn’t believe in certain gay rights while declaring his support of guns and infusing our government with faith-based policies. But those are not new ideas; those are just the things that will continue to regionalize the Republican Party even further.
These are the concerns of the Bible belt, not the young, urbane professional or the multicultural blend that has become the new America. These ideas are like analog technology versus today’s digital. These ideas are like using yesterday’s Betamax recorders versus today’s Blu-ray.
It seems to me that even though Steele ‘looks’ like a new fresh face that should have new ideas for the Republican Party he seems to be more of the same. The same old Republican with the same old broken down outdated ideas that belong in yesteryear.