By Robert Fleming
Black Star News
“Michael Steele, you are head of the RNC; you are not head of the Republican Party”
Rush Limbaugh, talk host
It has been about a month after the first Republican Party’s first African-American chairman Michael Steele took his first initial victory lap around America’s major media outlets, proclaiming the rebirth of the party of Lincoln.
He tried to put a bolder, hipper image on the tired old bastion of white conservatism, saying it was going to be more inclusive, more accepting in its recruiting of minorities and women. He was going to breathe new life into the demoralized GOP.
Following his narrow victory into the top post of the RNC, Steele should have known that his “house Negro” stance was not going to be swallowed by the die-hard Christian right or the staunch bigots who never liked anything dark unless it was the chocolate lawn jockey at the edge of their driveways or their narrow-butted corn-silk haired wives with their bronzed Florida tans.
Actor George Hamilton’s orange skin hue was too close to the real thing for them. And now Steele was attempting to shanghai the leadership of one of the last citadels of white political supremacy. No damn way!
What Mr. Steele did wrong was he started to claim his “hood-rat” side. That did not sit right with the good ole boys at the segregated country clubs and the lily white secret societies. He bragged to The Washington Times that he planned to get his posse of “off-the-hook” public relations wizards to target Latino and Black youths in “hip-hop settings.” Huh?
Then he went on the radio waves to blast President Obama as pushing a budget of pork with a heaping helping of “bling bling” through Congress and the Republican faithful grimaced at this phony show of bogus soul.
Mr. Steele was not finished. He challenged late night funny man Stephen Colbert in a podcast to a “rap off” contest. A phony Vanilla Ice knockoff in dark face chanting Public Enemy rhymes. He began to strut like the new president, chat on his Blackberry, and trash-talk about his new crossover dribble. When CNN’s D.L. Hughley quizzed the pretender to the GOP throne about Rush, the oracle of the Right, Steele retorted: “Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer.” Smelling himself, as the folks from down home say, he called the fat boy’s hugely popular show as “ugly” and “incendiary.”
Repeating what James Carville, former Clinton adviser, noted about Rush’s imperial reign the week before, Hughley needled Mr. Steele with a barbed comeback that Limbaugh was the “de facto leader of the Republican Party. Everyone knows that fact is on the money. Even the veteran party members tiptoe around “Tiny” Limbaugh whose tyrannical wrath they have come to fear.
In a recent speech in Washington with the conservatives roaring approvingly, Limbaugh outlined the future of the Republican party, took President Obama to task as an enemy of free market capitalism and individual liberty, and dressed Mr. Steele down as the pompous lackey he is.
He put Mr. Steele in his place. He also reminded that the newly elected RNC chairman was his creation, had his time in the conservative sun on his program, and chided the Negro to not let the job go to his head.
Or as Limbaugh said to his listeners: “something happened to” Mr. Steele. He further drove his point home by adding, “He got airtime on this program. Now I’m just an entertainer” and I’m ‘ugly’ and my program is ‘incendiary.’” The verbal whipping by Limbaugh didn’t go unnoticed by the underlings of the party. In the hours after the show’s conclusion, the phones rang off the hook with praises and kudos.
As for Mr. Steele, he put his tail between his legs and went hat in hand to the Master. He took low. He groveled. He told Politico that Monday that he didn’t mean no harm. “I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t that I was thinking,” the submissive front man moaned.
“It was one of those things where I was thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently. What I was trying to say was a lot of people want to make Rush the scapegoat, the bogeyman, and he’s not.”
America was watching the weak-kneed performance by Steele. Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, issued a statement that Steele’s whimpering indicated that “Limbaugh is the leading force behind the Republican Party, its politics, and its obstruction of President Obama’s agenda in Washington.” The new president probably had a much needed laugh at the Negro’s reversal of views.
But racially, it sent a poor signal. African Americans and Hispanics, especially the young and the politically curious, looked at the humiliating turn of events between the Oxycontin-popping blowhard and the submissive Negro as another indication of the GOP not being the party of the first choice. It was not lost on them when pundits said that the GOP convention resembled a gathering in Nazi Germany. Or the sour images of convention attendees wearing t-shirts with monkeys on the chest. Now this, they get to see Mr. Steele doing a buck-an-wing before the magnificent Limbaugh holding out his hand with the thumb down.
Truthfully, the Republican Party lacks capable leadership, except some retreads. Their policies of arrogance and aggression cost them two recent elections. They are desperately clinging to the policies of yore and are resisting change or progress. They need fresh ideas and an alternative plan to the president’s hail-Mary stimulus plan. They blame Senator John McCain for their disaster at the polls.
They blame conservative senators Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Arlen Specter as duped traitors of the Obama socialist regime. They will muzzle Mr. Steele and bring him into zombie lockstep in their frenzied quest to take the country back. God, have mercy on your soul, Mr. Steele.