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Too ignorant to rule
July 15, 2010 - John Stack
My political fantasy – a 2012 republican ticket headlined by Sarah Palin with Richard Steele as her running mate. The Tea Partiers and their ilk want change. Put these two yahoos at the top of the ticket and see if its real change they want. Both espouse all the prerequisites for support by Tea Party Nation. Big military. Big oil. Smaller government. Smaller regulation. And most important, smaller brains.
Richard Steele isn’t as well known as the nation’s favorite Winker, but he actually holds a prominent position in the GOP, as their National Republican Committee Chairman. To prove his mettle, he seems to feel he has to attack the Obama administration for anything possible. His latest has got to be one of the funniest (?) assertions ever by a politician. First, lets backtrack a little. Back in oh, 2001, George W Bush started a war campaign against AFGANISTAN because of the Taliban’s sheltering of the perpetrators of 9-11. It is still going on. Fast forward to 2010. Richard ‘Token’ Steele addresses an event to tell them that Afghanistan is a war of Obama’s choosing. Steele further opined "If he's such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that's the one thing you don't do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? Everyone who has tried, over 1,000 years of history, has failed." If I’m not mistaken, the war was going on for 7 years or so when Obama was sworn in as president. Further, has the GOP for the last 10 years not been saying that this is a war we needed to fight, one we got into because THEY ATTACKED US? The same GOP who says we need to listen to our generals on the ground – the ones who are leading the fight in Afghanistan. As GOP flavor of the month Jim Demint said ‘Chairman Steele needs to apologize to our military, all the men and women who've been fighting in Afghanistan”. But rather than apologize or retract, he presses on saying his comments were misconstrued, maintaining that his comments were justified because Obama is focusing more on Afghanistan than on Iraq. I guess somehow Steele knows more than our military and that he is the one with the knowledge how this huge convoluted complex war needs to be fought. Oh yeah, lets throw in
But this isn’t Steele’s only failing. And I call Steele a token, not because I believe he is a traitor to his race, or an ‘Uncle Tom’. I believe he is a real conservative, and I see absolutely no paradox there as a black conservative. I see him as a token by how the GOP has treated him (they don’t trust, respect nor care about him). After all, he was politically chosen to try to slow the ascendancy of Obama. Politics is full of political tokens. How many vice presidential candidates aren’t tokens of some stripe? Remember Dan Quayle? Even Biden is somewhat of a token, basically to give Obama gravitas in the military world. As the most shameful (rather than ignorant) displays of him being a political pawn, you need look no further than his acting his best Kevin Bacon from Animal House (Thank you sir, may I have another). I speak of his knee dirtying apology to King Rush. Back in 2009, Steele declared that Rush Limbaugh wasn’t a leader of the Republican Party, ‘but an entertainer whose rhetoric is incendiary and ugly’. Of course Rush with his huge audience ripped into Steele. Rather than standing like an oak, Steele bent over backwards for his GOP overlords, apologizing to Rush saying ‘There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership." I have to believe it was (or should have been) Richard Steele’s final realization that the GOP thinks very little of him, and he is really only there to do their bidding.
But Steele won support from another ‘too ignorant to rule’ politician Libertarian Rep. Ron Paul from Texas, Paul congratulated Steele. "He is absolutely right,” "Afghanistan is Obama's war." Then again, to gain support from someone who is against the war in Afghanistan (and Iraq) is not exactly the kind of support the GOP leader should be courting.
A local politician also fits this mold. Doug Hoffman is one too ignorant to lead. Last year, Hoffman campaigned for Bill Owen’s current seat (vacated by McHugh). He told the Republican committee he would abide by their choice, and not run against their choice. The majority of county chairmen chose Dede Scozzafava, a centrist republican (I know, that is becoming about as scarce as dinosaurs). Then Hoffman decided to run anyway. I guess what he meant was either he would keep his word if 1) The candidate turned out to be Him or 2)The candidate was someone who Hoffman would have supported. To give your word, that back off it doesn’t usually play well. It tends to show you are only in it for you, and in this case he almost directly indicated the GOP leaders could not make a wise choice and that only HE knew what was best for NY and the country. Of course at the same time claiming he was the only one who could ‘unite’ the party and somehow make changes in national politics (which would take Democratic dealings) while he couldn’t even get along with his own party. And it wasn’t like Dede who whad the ability to speak her own mind, and vote what she thought was right, of whom Democrats could work with. This was someone who had zero chance of getting Democrats to work with him, and just a little better chance of his own party (well, he could get the Tea Party to work with him I guess -a party of one). But these are reasons that just honorable people follow. The main reason he is unfit is his claimed reason for running against Dede Scozzafava – that he did not know how ‘liberal’ she was. Now, Dede had been an assemblywoman for 10 years when she ran last year. It was well known her intention to run for the seat, and was the presumed frontrunner, and eventual pick. Somehow, after spending decades in the North Country, Hoffman had no idea what her views were? She’s been pro-choice and pro-gay marriage for her whole career. In 2008, she tried to win the 48th congressional district, but the GOP chose a different person to run. In hindsight, the party wished they had run her, as a Democrat (Darrel Aubertine) won the seat. But Hoffman, who wanted to represent the 23rd, had no idea who she was. How could he have had any idea what the district was like, and their leanings, if he didn’t even spend the effort ahead of time to even understand what our Assembly neighbor to the west represented? And that’s not even getting to his kooky ideas, like the flat tax… (more like the Flat Earth Society)
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