Poor Michael Steele.
Throughout his tenure as RNC Chair he has earned a reputation for saying things that are both untrue AND politically embarrassing for the Republicans. That combination has made his tenure uncertain, since while Republicans have no problem with spreading untruths, they prefer to make political capital from them.
How ironic then, that Steele may have self administered the coup de grace by delivering himself of a statement that was mostly true, yet even more politically embarrassing for that very reason.
Steele came here to our little section of Groton (I was not invited, for reasons I can’t fathom) and made two points. The first was that the Afghanistan conflict was a “war of Obama’s choosing” and the second was to the effect that the war was unwinnable, something, he said, any student of history should realize.
The members of his party are calling for his head, not so much for the first statement, which is arguably inaccurate, but for the second, which is absolutely true.
As a matter of historical fact Obama did not start the conflict in Afghanistan. But he did choose to prove his tough guy credentials during his presidential campaign by declaring that it was, in effect, the “good war” and that he would win it, whatever that means in context, if elected. It was one of the two or three promises he made that I devoutly hoped he would discard once elected, but along with his other sop to the ignorant, support for off shore drilling, he has kept that promise, or tried to do so, to his and our detriment.
That’s the assertion for which Steele is taking heat from the press, because as a matter of concrete fact, he is wrong. In a broader sense, he’s right.
But, as I said, it is his claim that the war cannot be won that most riles his fellow Republicans. The proper formulation, according to them, is that the war can be won, but not by Obama, thereby implying that we must remain in that god forsaken hell hole, pouring borrowed money into a losing effort (no problem with non-stimulative deficit spending for this worthy cause), until at least 2013, when they fantasize Obama will be replaced by a Republican, who will then proceed to “win”. For the sin of speaking truth on this point, Steele may well lose his job.
So, let us pause for a moment of silence for poor Michael Steele, a career of lying destroyed by a single moment of truth.