Mr. Magoo Meets Michael Steele
by Dave Jarvis
Quick question. How does Andrew Cline of the Union Leader feel he is qualified to judge the aim of any conservative. He attempts to do so in Monday's editorial on GOP Chairman Michael Steele. But, since he took over the reigns as the editorial page editor of the most powerful newspaper in the state, once one of the strongest conservative papers in the country, our state has moved steadily in the leftward direction. So how can Mr. Cline feel qualified to sling arrows at Michael Steele, a man who has been leading the national Republican Party for about two months now and whose only claim to fame is that he had the audacity to insinuate the obvious, that Rush Limbaugh is a jerk. Unless he has lost his Ritalin, Cline proves that his catapult is aimed much in the same way Wile E. Coyote's was, straight up.
Michael Steele is something Andrew Cline is not familiar with, he's a realist. He actually sees problems and talks about them. While Cline uses sardonic attempts at intellectual snobbery (which never really ring factual) Michael Steele employs an actual personality. While Cline seems to get all his intellectual and policy clues from conservative talk radio and the Washington zombie patrol, Steele exhibits an actual brain, a heart, and a mouth that appear less contrived than a greasy political machine might. Steele is exactly what Republicans need because they can deal with mistakes, but they can't deal with the the problem of the all powerful political/ideological machine overriding every single morsel of thought.
In his attack on Steele, Cline seemingly says nothing. He doesn't slam Steele for the attack on Limbaugh, just blurredly refers to it. Steele's comments on abortion and black America are not controversial at all. In fact, they show something rare, a Republican willing to address the world as it is today rather than how they would like it to be. Sure, Steele hasn't filled seventy positions at the RNC as Cline states. There are many organizations these days that are waiting through the next few months to see what the markets will do before they hire. It makes sense because the size and shape of both the organization and the positions needed will depend on money and a good idea of the limits the economy will bear. So, there's Andrew Cline's answer as to why he might want to shift over to decaf.
Lastly, and this is important. Cline's claim that Michael Steele “sees a party that collapsed not by betraying its core principles, but by not being "hip-hop" enough” is an unfair characterization. If Cline had done his homework he would know that Steele wasn't talking about culture or race as much as he was geography. The Republican Party must deal seriously with the projected demographic reality of more Americans moving back to the cities. If Cline was open minded enough he might notice that Steele needs marketing slogans and phrases to sell the idea of a more urbanized conservatism. I personally think it's a brilliant idea.
Inattention to detail. Combative politics. Closed mindedness. Demagoguery. They are all problems for Republicans in New Hampshire. Michael Steele seems to me to be combating them while Andrew Cline has seemingly become their poster child. Let's hope the aim is left to those with less disaster in their resumes.