No wonder the GOP is on its knees

If Curly Haugland is typical of his fellow RNC members, that would go a long way toward explaining why the Republican Party is in such a mess. Haugland recently sent an e-mail to former Lt. Governor Michael Steele of Maryland asking Steele to give up his quest for the RNC’s chairmanship. The Washington Times printed portions of the e-mail in a story by Ralph Hallow in today’s edition, excerpts of which follow, with my comments:

“For this association of members to choose to outsource its leadership would, I believe, be an abdication of our responsibility.”

What, Republicans who aren’t RNC members can’t play? Sounds like you’ve got quite a good old boy network there, Mr. Haugland.

“In my estimation, 168 committed members of the Republican National Committee are a powerful army of qualified advocates for Republican principles; certainly much more threatening to the Democrats than one celebrity spokesman.”

Celebrity spokesman? Michael Steele is well-known to Republicans, and at two RNC national conventions in a row, he really fired up all the delegates. You have it backwards, Mr. Haugland. It’s Republicans like Steele who threaten Democrats, not ineffective “qualified advocates” such as yourself and your like-minded cohorts in the RNC who have led the party to two consecutive defeats in two national elections.

“Your chosen path to leadership of the Republican National Committee exemplifies the problem we should immediately seek to resolve, that being the practice of allowing nonmembers to exert undue influence in the process of selecting our leaders.”

Let’s examine Michael Steele’s “chosen path” to leadership of the RNC, Mr. Haugland. He has served as chairman of the Prince George’s County Republican Central Committee, chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, and chairman of GOPAC. In those positions, he worked to get Republicans elected to office and raised money at the county, state and national levels. That’s a perfect background for the job of RNC chairman. The Maryland GOP has honored him as State Republican Man of the Year. Steele got elected to the lieutenant governorship of a blue state while espousing conservative principles and values – no small feat. He has private sector experience in finance at a time when this nation is in severe financial difficulty, and he can use that experience to help select and mentor Republican candidates for national office to offer solutions to those difficulties. He’s probably the best-qualified of all Republicans to chair the RNC.

“Getting the Republican Party back on the right ‘track’ is a job rightfully left to the Republicans who have been elected to run this railroad.”

No, Mr. Haugland, many of those Republicans and your good old boy network derailed the train. If you were an engineer, the railroad would fired you by now. The last thing the Republican Party needs to do is trust the guys who ran the train off the track to get it back on the rails again.

Your e-mail to Michael Steele is arrogant, dismissive and frankly, insulting. You should be ashamed of yourself. I’m sure you have heard it said, “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” You have shown that you can’t lead, and you’re too arrogant to follow. So get out of the way! It’s time for you and those who think like you to go.

– JP