Michael Steele is rebuking Sarah Palin.
As any party chairman should, RNC Chairman Michael Steele took the opportunity this morning to crow about GOP victories in New Jersey and Virginia.
But he also seemed to deliver a bit of a rebuke to potential 2012 presidential aspirants in his party such as Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum, all of whom immersed themselves in the NY-23 special House race with their endorsements and support for conservative Doug Hoffman who came up short last night.
“If you don’t live in the district, you don’t vote there, your opinion doesn’t matter very much,” Steele said while assessing the intra-party strife that resulted in a Democratic pick up of a seat held by Republicans since the Civil War.
If you follow Steele’s logic, candidates shouldn’t seek endorsements from national figures who live outside the district. But notice Steele didn’t criticize Newt Gingrich who also does not live in the district but endorsed Scozzafava. No. What Steele is mad about is that Palin and friends endorsed someone other than the endorsed party candidate.
You see, it would seem Steele would rather have a pro-choice pro-spending liberal in power with an “R” after her name while many conservatives don’t care all that much about what letter comes after a liberal’s name. They’re still just a liberal.
In fact, I’d rather have the Democrat in power than Scozzafava because there’s a better shot of defeating the Democrat next year in that Republican leaning district than there would’ve been attempting to primary Scozzafava who, once in, would likely prove difficult to remove.
The problems in NY-23 were not outside endorsements. The problems in the GOP are not Sarah Palin or Rick Santorum. The problem was the GOP nominated a liberal and dressed her up as a Republican and expected everyone to play along.
Let’s make it clear. Palin didn’t force Scozzafava out of the race. Scozzafava’s bad poll numbers of people inside the district made her think she couldn’t win so she bailed.
Essentially, Michael Steele is telling Sarah Palin to shut up and let the party do what it needs to do in order to win at any cost. Said Steele:
“I’m in the business of multiplication and addition. I want more Republicans. I don’t buy that we somehow find victory in defeat.”
But that’s exactly the kind of thinking that is leading many conservatives to start thinking about a third party where ideology counts for something. And I think a third party would be ruinous to advancing a pro-life pro-fiscal sanity agenda.
The GOP for many years has been hard of hearing when it comes to listening to their base. Under Michael Steele, the party seems to be becoming completely deaf.