Monday, March 23, 2009


I think I have an explanation for this little item from Talking Points Memo:

You might get the feeling that Michael Steele is going out of his way to please the religious right -- to the point of really laying it on thick -- in the wake of his flap over abortion.

The RNC just sent out a press release announcing the appointment of former Microsoft executive Todd Herman as the RNC's new media director. This is a key part of Steele's efforts to get the Republican Party tuned in to digital media and its place in modern politics.

Now take a look at the very last sentence: "He currently lives in Washington State, where he works at his most important roles: Christian, husband and father."

Why would Steele stress "Christian" in that press release? I'd say it's not a coincidence that the announcement comes a day after The Washington Times reported this:

A Roman Catholic bishop in Indiana will shun a pro-life banquet if Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele addresses the sold-out event, The Washington Times has learned.

The other honoree at the April 16 Vanderburgh County Right to Life (VCRL) banquet is Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and the snub by Bishop Gerald Andrew Gettelfinger of Evansville over Mr. Steele could embarrass Mrs. Palin, a hero to pro-lifers, and reverberate throughout the movement.

"At this point, the bishop's intention is not to attend the dinner he would normally attend," Paul Leingang, communications director for the diocese and editor of its weekly newspaper, the Message, said....

Evansville Catholic Charities Director Jim Collins also plans to boycott the gathering, saying he was "shocked" by Mr. Steele's answers on abortion during a recent interview....

This is the shindig I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the one I said he'd duck if he knew what was good for him. (I don't think he knows what's good for him.) I also said I didn't think Steele's days were numbered, mostly because the GOP wants to be able to say "LOOK! WE HAVE A NEGRO TOO!" -- but the anti-abortion folks don't play that way. They've enforced ideological rigidity in the national GOP for two generations and they're not going to loosen the screws now. He really might be in serious trouble if he shows up in Indiana and faces cancellations, nasty hecklers, and walkouts. And he's dumb enough to run that risk.

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