Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
In an earlier post I reported the speculation among Republican Party insiders that nominal RNC Chairman Michael Steele would not survive if Jim Tedisco lost the special congressional election in NY-20. "If Tedisco loses," the ex-staffers said, “Steele is done.”
Then came yesterday's bombshell announcement by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) that he is switching parties to the Democratic Party. Specter's decision was prompted, at least in part, by Steele threatening to cut off RNC campaign funds to Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter in GOP primaries in retribution for their support of the Obama stimulus bill. Steele doesn't realize it yet, but he only compounded his problems yesterday when he said of Specter's leaving, "good riddance."
Senator Olympia Snowe penned this guest opinion in the New York Times today We Didn’t Have to Lose Arlen Specter "In my view, the political environment that has made it inhospitable for a moderate Republican in Pennsylvania is a microcosm of a deeper, more pervasive problem that places our party in jeopardy nationwide."
There is no plausible scenario under which Republicans can grow into a majority while shrinking our ideological confines and continuing to retract into a regional party. Ideological purity is not the ticket back to the promised land of governing majorities — indeed, it was when we began to emphasize social issues to the detriment of some of our basic tenets as a party that we encountered an electoral backlash.
Specter leaving the GOP may further encourage a game of Red Rover: "Red rover, red rover, send Senator Snowe on over," and Senator Collins, too.
By any conceivable measure, Michael Steele has been an unmitigated disaster during his brief stint as the nominal RNC Chairman. Steele may be about to face the consequences.
Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen is no stranger to controversy or putting his own foot in his mouth himself. But Pullen somehow managed to get himself elected RNC Treasurer earlier this year at the same time Steele was elected RNC Chairman. Randy Pullen elected RNC Treasurer This may help to explain why the RNC is in such deep doo-doo.
The Moonie Times today has this EXCLUSIVE: RNC's Steele may lose purse strings – Washington Times:
A battle over control of the party's purse strings has erupted at the troubled Republican National Committee, with defenders of Chairman Michael S. Steele accusing dissident RNC members of trying to "embarrass and neuter" the party's new leader.
Randy Pullen, the RNC's elected treasurer, former RNC General Counsel David Norcross and three other former top RNC officers have presented Mr. Steele with a resolution, calling for a new set of checks and balances on the chairman's power to dole out money.
The powers include new controls on awarding contracts and spending money on outside legal and other services.
Mr. Steele could not be reached, and a spokesman for the RNC chairman declined to comment on the move.
The resolution prompted a top Steele supporter to issue a scathing attack against Mr. Pullen and his allies after they had asked Mr. Steele to support the "good governance" resolution at a special meeting of the full national committee set for next month. The party spent about $300 million in last year's elections.
"I urge you to reject this hostile attempt to embarrass and neuter the chairman of the RNC," Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus wrote in an e-mail to the 168-member national committee.
Mr. Pullen and his allies need signatures from RNC members from 16 states to force the resolution to the floor for a vote by the full party committee at the May 20 special meeting.
This comes on the heels of the embarrassing wingnut resolution calling upon the Democratic Party to rename itself the "Democratic Socialist Party." Oh, they're so clever. "Critics said the 'socialist' resolution battle was a sign of Mr. Steele's rocky start as RNC chairman and his continuing struggle to assert control of the party's message since his election in January."
It looks like the RNC may be ready to Pullen the trigger on Steele. The Steele watch continues…
NB: The actual RNC Chairman, Rush Limbaugh declared during the early hour of his Tuesday program that "A lot of people said, well Specter, take McCain with you, and his daughter. Take McCain and his daughter with you." Ah, so much hate, so little time. Limbaugh's "ditto heads" must represent the 21% of dead-enders who still identify themselves as Republicans.