Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele may be sounding some new battle cry that his party is now turning "the page", however it's a page from the same old book. Rather than offering up a constructive and cooperative vision to work with the Obama Administration and the big Democratic majority both in the Senate and in the Congress to work to help to resolve this recession and other pressing issues, Steel's message is more of the same old tired partisanship and party purification of more moderate thinking. In the words of mainstream conservative talk show radio host, Michael Smerconish, yesterday's speech by Steele was merely more "chest thumping" and "red meat" to some hardcore GOP party members, but offered little real new substance to attract new voters to the rapidly shrinking GOP party tent. How this new call for more partisanship and less cooperation is supposed to reinvent the GOP is a perfectly legitimate question?
For his own part, Steele has proven that he could not even elect himself to the U.S. Senate in his home state of Maryland. So it is pretty unclear how a call for more partisanship and even less cooperation among GOP members of Congress is somehow supposed to endear many voters who are concerned about the economy and other important issues to now vote Republican. President Obama by contrast is establishing a solid reputation as someone concerned about the welfare of the average citizen and someone able to achieve some fast foreign policy success with states such as Pakistan, or able to offer up constructive policies on many issues all at the same time. Further, President Obama's calls for a less partisan Washington and even naming moderate Republican Governor Jon Huntsman of Utah as Envoy to China prove his commitment to look beyond normal Washington partisanship. If Obama is one of the least partisan presidents in some time time, and Steele is calling for some of the most partisan politics ever, then Steele could easily find his party on the short end of the voters once again.
Mr. Obama has already proven that he is more than open to hearing the opinion's of the main GOP leaders in Congress and often invites them to conferences at the White House to hear their input on issues and to add their best ideas to his proposals. The Obama view of government is a cooperative vision of the inclusion of all ideas to seek the best possible solutions. That's a far cry than some call for more obstruction and division from Republican leader Michael Steele. Michael Steele doesn't seem to be offering up any new GOP proposals for the economy or any other issue, just a new call to be far less cooperative. And that's not offering voters very much to believe in.
Unfortunately, the GOP is largely where it was just before and after Michael Steele's highly partisan speech, still without new ideas, solutions to problems, and a message and a messenger both. The reality before and after the Michael Steele speech is Republican Party membership declining in virtually every voter group except among weekly churchgoers. That's no real plan to hold many current GOP members, let alone to attract new GOP voters. At least at GM and Chrysler there's some serious soul searching and looking for some new ideas to rescue the companies by comparison. Michael Steele hardly offered his party any rescue plan by comparison.
Michael Steele quickly needs to view his role as the CEO of a declining enterprise, that needs to offer up some sort of credible turnaround and recovery plan, otherwise he will only be known as the presiding head of a party headed down the path of the Whigs.
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