Mr Steele. Is this real? [Michael Steele on reaching out to moderate Republicans]

From Crooks an Liars, about halfway down the page, there is a write up about how Michael Steele is running afoul of the “hard conservative right”, and some are calling for people to stop contributing to the GOP. There is a video attached, and all I can say is, if this is real, if it is not an April Fool’s joke, Mister Steele, you ROCK.

Is this the first move to take the GOP back toward the center? Will the GOP go back once more to being a party where differing opinions and ideas are not shouted down, and people are not attacked for having those ideas and opinions?

Steele is on the rocks. Seems a good enough ploy at this point to save his ass.

I find it disingenuous though since he has never uttered such rhetoric smacking down these people in the past that I am aware of (presumably someone will now find the one other time he did to prove me wrong but point is it has not been is SOP). Indeed he fell on his sword to appease Limbaugh thus ceding tacit control of the party to that fat slug.

I do not know the ins-and-outs of Steele’s tenure to render a good opinion. My gut says he has been ineffective. I hate to use the word but he is there as the token black guy in a party largely devoid of black guys (or any minority for that matter). Not sure he had much else to recommend him for the job.

Certainly I have seen plenty of conservatives bash him although these days if you do not meet the conservative litmus test (one Reagan would have failed) then they hate you so who knows?

In answer to the OP no way in hell this is a move to the center. This is Steele playing his last cards.

I do not think we will see any move to the center for Reps till 2010 elections are over and probably 2012 and only then if they remain a minority to Dems after all that.

If so, I have to say it’s one hell of a parting shot, and does say things that needed to be said. I hope others join in with their take on it.

As opposed to beat-off environments where Republicans keep turning up.

Yeah except this message has been shouted a lot and that lot never listens.

Add to it Steele bends whichever way the wind is blowing. Never seen the guy espouse a coherent set of ideals that he adheres to.

As such just so much bloviating even if I do agree with what he said here.

I’ve added text in brackets to clarify the subject of the thread.

I’ve always felt Steele was a curious choice. The Republican Party was never going to draw black voters in significant numbers, but W for all his faults did a good job drawing Hispanic voters away from the Democratic Party.

A Hispanic (or at least Hispanic-friendly) RNC chairman could have helped to consolidate those inroads.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party seems to have shot itself in the foot here; by going after Hispanic voters, it alienated part of its white base, going “soft” on immigration. Now they’re moving in the opposite direction, and pushing Hispanic voters back towards the Democrats and not finding anyone to replace them.

The Tea Party movement has only made things worse in that regard.

Sen. Mel Martinez was the chairman before Steele. It didn’t work out very well - not because of Martinez’s heritage or anything (at least as far as I could tell), but because he didn’t make an effective leader, his term (2007-09) was a terrible time for the party, and my impression is that Martinez was more moderate than the GOP base. The immigration issue seems to have pushed the Latino vote away from them regardless.

But back to Steele: he’s been saying this kind of stuff since he became chairman, so I think he means it. “Hip hop Republicans” might’ve been his first significant public comment after he got the job, and he was ridiculed for it because it sounded like cheap pandering. But it was the same idea. He’s under attack right now so he’s defending himself more sharply and playing up whatever moderate credentials he has. He’s never had support from the most conservative wing of the party and I think they’ve called for him to be fired a few times. Now this fiasco with the strip club is making it worse.

That speech was made months ago so it’s no April fools joke. The whole while he’s claimed that lets get the moderates approach he’s been courting the tea-partiers.

It is obvious Steele is running left of the RNC. He is also a complete gaff master. After the next election they’ll replace him.

A lot of Hispanics probably would have cool with the plan Bush put forward in 2006. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it did address a lot of the Hispanic community’s concerns while also calling for tougher border security.
The problem was when Tom Tancredo, Lou Dobbs and their ilk chimed in and got the Republican base riled up that the debate took a turn for the worse. Hispanics saw the crass tone and though they may not have been fans of the Democratic Party, decided they didn’t really want to associate themselves with the GOP either.
That’s why I think it would be a mistake for Obama to tackle immigration reform right now. Yes, he might score some points with Hispanics, but a lot of them who are inclined to support him because of immigration reform aren’t likely to vote Republican anyway. And if the Republicans defied Bush on this issue, you can only imagine the shitstorm they’re going to create when Obama tries it.

OTOH, if the Republicans do start a shitstorm (which, given the way they’ve empowered their nut fringe these days, is likely to make Tancredo and Dobbs look like César Chávez), the result could be to erase what’s left of GWB’s political gains in wooing the Hispanic vote and then some.

That’s already happened.

2000: Gore wins the Latino vote over Bush, 62% to 35%
2004: Kerry 60%, Bush 38%
2008: Obama 67%, McCain 31%

I don’t know, is this real? Where is the link? I didn’t see it on Crooks and Liars though I didn’t look very hard, and you posted it on April 1.

I notice that D.L. Hughley’s last name is misspelled and the only Howard University I know is in Washington, DC, not Harlem.

As I understand it, Steele doesn’t have any power, but rather is the face of the Republican party and it is his job to raise money and inspire volunteers. He must do this while keeping the professionals and party regulars happy, the press informed and reaching out to non-Republican voters. It is worse than being football coach at Notre Dame, who at least gets to call the plays. It’s a thankless job, except Democrats like me find Steele endlessly amusing and are very thankful.

He is the highest profile RNC Chair in my memory.

I was typing as I listened, so any mistakes are probably mine. The Crooks and Liars “copy” of the video seems to be gone, but here is a different URl that discusses it, it is not the entire text, or the video:

The Washington Post reports on it also (basically it’s the same report):

For the video, ABC News Videos - ABC News

Chávez was born in the United States and was generally pretty anti-immigration.

Right. Under Chavez’s leadership, the UFW pushed for greater restriction of immigration, the end to the Bracero program, pushed for stricter penalties against employers who used illegal immigrants, and would regularly contact the INS to report illegal immigrants. Their position was that increased Mexican immigration lowered their worker’s pay.

He’s the highest profile party chair I’ve ever heard of. By comparison, Tim Kaine is the Democratic Party chair, who I do recognize but I had to look that up, which I think is an indication that he’s doing a pretty good job. The fact that Steele is so high-profile is either going to be a ringing endorsement or a damning criticism, and it sure ain’t an endorsement.

Before he was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development he was the Chairman of the Orange County (Fla.) Board of Commissioners (the title has since been changed to Mayor) - or, essentially, my mayor.

He’s much too moderate to whip up anyone; even Jim Phillips, a local ex-hippie talk radio host, who puts me very much in mind of Dio, endorsed him back when he was running for the BoC.

I meant someone more like a Marco Rubio.

He was chosen exactly for the purpose of getting his “high profile” black face on TV as often as possible. What, did you think it was for his experience and leadership skills?