District of Corruption
The Michael Steele era as RNC Chairman will soon come to an end. Steele is expected to announce today he is dropping out of the race for a second term. His departure is the latest success story in the conservative grassroots lighting a fire underneath the GOP establishment.
Steele had laughably tried to take credit for the success of Republicans in the midterm elections. Non-Whites voted overwhelmingly for Democrats as usual. His minority outreach strategy (with that absurd “What Up” blog and the redesign of GOP.com) was a dismal failure. It was the dramatic swing in the White vote in the Heartland (something Steele had nothing to do with) that made all the difference.
RNC Chairman has been nothing more than a figurehead affirmative action post for years now. Before Steele, Mel Martinez was RNC Chairman, which was supposed to demonstrate that the Republican Party was pro-Hispanic. Before Martinez, the Jewish homosexual Ken Mehlman was RNC Chairman under the Bush administration.
As the RNC become a joke, the power of the GOP establishment began to wane, along with its legitimacy in the conservative movement. The major complaint against Steele was that the RNC had weakened under his tenure and its fundraising capabilities were in decline.
The causes of this are hardly mysterious.
Conservatives have been sending the RNC a message for years now. They would send out fundraising appeals only to get an envelope full of pesos or monopoly money in return. They would call registered Republicans at home only to find them rudely hanging up the phone. Republican voters were changing their affiliation to Independent and sitting out elections.
The threat to the GOP establishment became life threatening when the Tea Party came along and successfully created its own independent fundraising apparatus. Instead of donating to the RNC, disgruntled conservatives donated to Tea Party organizations or directly to their favorite candidates, which is why so much money from the small donors was redirected to the likes of Rand Paul and Sharron Angle in 2010.
It doesn’t really matter who replaces Michael Steele as RNC Chairman. The perception that the GOP establishment is hostile to the conservative base and an obstacle to their agenda is unlikely to change. Now that the impotence of the RNC has been demonstrated, the conservative grassroots will continue to run around the leadership of their own party, and will likely redouble their efforts heading into the 2012 presidential elections.
I’ve been impressed with their response.
Instead of rejecting the system, getting alienated, and hiding out in a bunker in Idaho, the conservative base responded to an identifiable problem (i.e., RNC corruption and RINOs in power) in a practical, constructive way.
They created their own independent institutions like the Tea Party and took advantage of social media like Twitter and Facebook to directly connect with each other and redirect their votes and money behind candidates they could support.
Some of their candidates like Mike Lee and Ron Paul are going to Washington in January. The GOP establishment picks like Mike Castle in Delaware (who voted for the DREAM Act in the House), Robert Bennett in Utah (who will vote for the DREAM Act in the Senate), and Trey Grayson in Kentucky won’t be returning or going to the Senate.
Conservatives got sick and tired of putting up with Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist, and Michael Steele. Now they don’t have to.
Why can’t White Advocates act like that?