In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 6, 2009 / 10 Adar 5769

Why Steele just doesn't get it

By Roger Simon

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Michael Steele has just dipped his toe into the water and is already in over his head.

Steele has been the chairman of the Republican National Committee for only about a month, and already there is speculation that he may be on his way out.

Steele's job is really not that difficult. Being a party chairman is not what it used to be. Steele's job is to raise money and go on TV every now and then and not screw things up too badly.

He has failed at this last task.

Unfortunately for him, Steele actually believes he should be the voice of the Republican Party, crafting its vision and shaping its strategy.

Enter Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh has his own voice, his own vision and his own strategy. And the real trouble for Steele is that Limbaugh understands the core of the Republican Party — where it wants to go and what it wants to do — far better than Steele does.

Steele has somehow gotten it into his head that hard-core Republicans want to expand the party base to attract new voters, especially minorities.

As Steele told Time magazine when he was running for his job: "I'll tell local chairmen, 'If you want to be chairman under my leadership, don't think this is a country club atmosphere where we sit around drinking wine and eating cheese and talking amongst ourselves. If you don't want to drill down and build coalitions to minority communities, then you have to give that seat to someone who does.'"

True to his word, after he was elected chairman, Steele told The Washington Times that he wanted an "off the hook" public relations offensive to reach out to "the young, Hispanic, black — a cross section" and apply party principles "to urban-suburban, hip-hop settings."

There were two main reactions to this in the Republican Party: "What the hell is this guy babbling about?" and "I know what the hell this guy is babbling about, and I don't like it."

Rush Limbaugh does not want to take the Republican Party "off the hook." And he doesn't know hip-hop from the Bunny Hop.

But Rush Limbaugh knows that the real question confronting the Republican Party today is not who is leading it but who is still in it.

The party has rarely been more unpopular. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released this week shows that only 26 percent of Americans have a positive view of the Republican Party, compared with 49 percent for the Democratic Party.

According to a New York Times/CBS News poll released last week, "Americans identifying themselves as Democrats outnumber those who say they are Republicans by 10 percentage points, the largest gap in party identification in 24 years."

And Republicans don't even come in second. More Americans identify themselves as independent than as Republican.

You can view these results the way Steele does and conclude that the base has to be broadened. "I want to take the party back to communities outside its comfort zone," Steele said.

Or you can view these results the way Limbaugh does and say that the base has shrunk to true Republicans and that's who the party wants.

If you are a hard-core Republican, going outside the "comfort zone" means acting like a Democrat. It means backing President Barack Obama to gain favor with voters. It means abandoning social issues such as abortion, guns and gay marriage in favor of kitchen table issues such as jobs, health care and the environment.

Hard-core Republicans don't want to go there, and Rush Limbaugh doesn't want to go there, and that is why White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was more correct than incorrect when he said on CBS's "Face the Nation With Bob Schieffer" on Sunday that Limbaugh "is the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party."

Limbaugh understands the Republican Party. He understands that to those still in it, the party is still the party of Ronald Reagan. And the enemy is still big government, high taxes and regulation.

Is this a formula for future growth? Is this a formula for future victories?

Who cares? Victory is secondary to adherence to true principle. Victory is secondary to ideological purity.

Limbaugh believes that if the Republican Party is true to its core principles and voters continue to turn away from it, that is because the voters are idiots. And they deserve the chaos that will follow.

Michael Steele doesn't get that. And before he was forced to grovel and apologize, Steele said Limbaugh could be "ugly" and "incendiary."

Which is why one top GOP strategist was recently quoted as saying of Steele, "If his implosion continues, RNC members are likely to call a special session to dump him for an effective chairman."

Could Rush Limbaugh become chairman of the Republican Party? No way.

He would never take a demotion.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Roger Simon's column by clicking here.

Roger Simon Archives

© 2009, Creators Syndicate