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March, 12th 2009

What I hope will be the final word on Steele

– Liz Mair

There's been a ton of back and forth about Michael Steele today.  I've updated my previous post repeatedly, and don't care to say too much more on the subject.  However, I will say this, briefly. 

I continue to be glad that we have an RNC Chairman who is open and accepting of moderates and libertarians in the Party.  I am glad that Steele said what he did in the GQ interview about homosexuality not being a choice (I agree).  I would very much like it, personally, if his abortion position were essentially the same as mine, and I think whatever his precise views are, it's important and counts for a lot that he is accepting of those of us who are pro-choice (whether we're pro-Roe, or not) within the party.  But I do think a review of comments he has made, in the GQ interview, during his 2006 Meet The Press interview, and in his clarifying statement, makes clear that he has said things on multiple different sides of the abortion issue.  And I do think that's of concern.  I emphatically do not think it's wrong, or bad, or disloyal of people, including myself, to point that out.  I actually think it's important, and fair.

We have some very important elections coming up next year.  The GOP needs to win.  I won't argue that in order to do that, we need to espouse a consistently, unmistakably conservative line (I'm not a conservative).  I do, however, think it's important that people are clear on what the Chairman of the RNC, the leader of the GOP (no matter what the White House, the DNC or Rush Limbaugh thinks), believes on an issue that is critically important to many Americans, irrespective of what their precise views are on it.  And yes, while I don't think it's critical that the GOP be as conservative as possible so we can draw every conceivable contrast with the Democrats, I do think it's important to be able to draw some contrasts-- something that requires clarity, even on issues where there may not be any, or a significant, contrast.

I also think it's important that we be able to reach out, as a party, and Michael Steele is someone who is good for that.  That's one of the core reasons why I like him (I genuinely do, and goodness knows my husband is a tremendous Steele fan), and always have liked him.  I was happy to see him elected RNC Chairman (though I would have been equally happy to see Mike Duncan, who I worked for, and am fond of, stay on).  It's one of the core reasons why I don't believe he should stand down, or be removed from office (though I actually don't really believe anyone is trying to do that), and certainly not over this.  I really just want Steele to avoid flubs of the type that has been seized upon in the last 24 hours, moving forward, because I want him, and the GOP, to succeed.  That's really the point here, so far as I am concerned.  [intro]

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