Michael Steele is the gift that keeps on giving. In a depressed economy this man is asking for private jets and spending thousands on hotels in Beverly Hills. Well, the bigwigs of the GOP aren't too happy.
On Monday morning, the Daily Caller reported that the RNC spent thousands of dollars on high-end travel arrangements, swanky hotels and, most remarkably, "meals" at a lesbian-and-bondage-themed nightclub in West Hollywood. The latter expense, naturally, grabbed most of the attention and the cleverest of headlines -- prompting the RNC to simultaneously state that it would investigate the expenditures and that it wasn't Steele who went to the club.
But the damage had already been done. While several GOP strategists are willing to grant Steele a pass -- under the rubric that one has to spend lavishly to raise lavish amounts of money -- several big donors and party officials are completely baffled.
"For those donors who truly believe in conservative values, this latest news about Steele has to be very disturbing," said Douglas MacKinnon, former press secretary to Majority Leader Robert Dole. "No matter which side of the aisle you find yourself, if you are giving a political party your hard-earned money, you should have no doubts that it is going to be spent as advertised and not to provide a spoiled, egocentric, out-of-touch chairman with frivolous luxuries which are out of reach of the vast majority of the American people. Michael Steele needs to resign and let the RNC vote in a man or woman who understands that his or her needs do not come before the needs of the nation or the party."
Steele knows he's in the driver's seat because if they boot him he can play the racism card. As much as conservatives try and lie and write bogus articles claiming that since people are just yelling 'n--ger' at African Americans, racism is long gone. Funny how that makes no sense, but it's conservatives.
It would appear that conservatives are leaking these embarrassing stores to hurt him, but Marc Ambinder makes an observation.
The flashy implications of the story are going to hurt Steele, who absorbs body blows (like the leak of a devastating internal fundraising memo) as if he had guts of, well, steel. But the sad truth for the RNC chairman is that he escapes censure because his party isn't organized enough to censure him, because Steele wields too little power to be considered a threat, and because the locus of Republican energy these days can be found in the House. These last two errors have been made by staffers, but they point to a culture of casualty at the RNC. No one, it seems, is afraid of enough the boss to go out of their way to avoid embarrassing him or the party.