One of the things that has been most puzzling to me in recent days has been a seeming conservative backlash against Michael Steele as he runs for RNC Chairman. I find it extremely curious that one of the most conservative candidates in the race for Chairman keeps getting beaten up as "not conservative enough."
Richard Falknor launches the latest salvo by trying to portraying the sins of Bob Ehrlich as the sins of Michael Steele:
Steele was a team-playing lieutenant governor in Maryland under Bob Ehrlich, a “centrist” Republican governor who raised taxes, grew spending, approved taxpayer-supported embryonic stem-cell research, and (gratuitously in our view) went out of his way to anger values voices and gun owners. A skilled advocate, Mr. Ehrlich’s chief policy goal was apparently the enactment of slots legislation. Mr. Steele’s special contributions were heading an education task-force that didn’t address parental choice, and trying to advance the Old Line State’s minority-business-enterprise program.Of course the office of Lieutenant Governor in Maryland barely has enough power to go buy a cup of coffee, much less have meaningful influence in a Governor's Agenda. Michael Steele has been and has always been a conservative, much more so on issues of life, budget, and taxes than virtually anybody who has served in Maryland's Executive Branch in a long time.
Falknor also railed against Steele's support of Wayne Gilchrest in the 1st District Congressional primary, and also had this to say to conclude his remarks:
Mr. Steele’s supporters could make a case along these lines: that their candidate’s undoubted charm and personal attractiveness are paramount for an RNC job; and that asking about taxes, fighting America’s enemies, the culture of life, giving parents some control over schools, and controlling porous borders is simply out of place — whether in supporting Republicans at the polls or in selecting a gifted national voice to weave a new post-partisan, inclusive public narrative necessary for Republicans to start winning again.Questioning Michael Steele's conservative bonafides is kinda like questioning Tiger Woods' golf game; it's a question that really need not be asked. But what Falknor fails to not that at this stage in time, a candidate's ability to speak to Republican issues and a candidate's ability to organize the Republican Party is of paramount importance for our next Chairman. We need a Chairman who understands the what it is like to have their boots on the ground while also understanding the most basic of conservative principles.
Beyond that, I do not see a candidate who can "out-conservative" for lack of a better term Steele. The candidates are equals at best or, in the case of Huckabee stalking horse Chip Saltsman, worse, on conservative credentials. This Chairmanship election needs to focus on three basic things:
- Conservative Principles;
- Expansion of the Conservative Message.
I just don't understand those who question Steele's conservative credentials. It makes you wonder if those questioning his credentials need to have their understanding of conservatism questioned...