Steele: Congressional Republicans are scurrying mice

How to lose friends & alienate people, Michael Steele edition.

Published March 11, 2009 6:45PM (EDT)

If you've started wondering whether Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is trying to get fired, well, it'd be hard for anyone to blame you. Steele is reportedly facing a vote of no confidence at the end of this month, and in this economy you might think that report would lead the RNC chair to at least attempt to appease some influential members of his party. Apparently, though, Steele doesn't think that kind of behavior would be off the hook.

In Cal Thomas' Washington Times column today, the RNC chairman does his best rendition of how to lose Republican friends and alienate a wide spectrum of the party. Thomas writes that Steele is:

[I]n stage two of a two-stage process to reform and transform the Republican Party. He won't reveal details, because, 'The mice who are scurrying about the Hill are upset because they no longer have access to the cheese, so they don't know what's going on." He says his process has been "insular" because he doesn't want people "pontificating" on his decisions or second-guessing them before they are made.

So will Steele keep his job? Fellow Republicans are sending mixed signals. South Carolina party chair Katon Dawson, who lost the race to head the RNC to Steele and is reportedly organizing the no-confidence vote, denied any such plan and voiced his support for Steele in a letter to the National Review's Campaign Spot blog. But in another post on the very same blog, published only an hour earlier, Jim Geraghty had outlined the rumors of Steele's demise, writing, "[F]ormer RNC staffers are contacting me and telling me 'I’m hearing Katon will almost certainly push for the vote of no confidence if Tedisco loses (but there is still the chance he will move forward regardless of the outcome).'” The Tedisco referred to in that quote is Republican Jim Tedisco, who's running for -- and favored to win -- the open House seat in New York's 20th congressional district.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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