As I’ve mentioned in past criticism of Michael Steele, his job isn’t to go around making controversial statements, his job is to quietly raise money for the RNC.
Apparently, the money raising isn’t going that well, but the controversial statements – abundant.
In his comments caught on camera at a fundraiser in Connecticut, Steele said Afghanistan was “a war of Obama’s choosing” and “not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.” He also questioned Obama’s strategy. “If he’s such a student of history,” Steele said, “has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan.”
He also called the relief of Gen. McChrystal “comical”.
I’m not sure what Steele is thinking when he says Afghanistan is a “war of Obama’s choosing”. We’ve been on the ground in that country since 2001. Nor do I understand what is meant by “not something the US had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in”. Again, we’ve been in country since 2001 and we’ve been prosecuting a war there. Perhaps not to the extent that some would prefer, but to claim it isn’t something “actively prosecuted” is nonsense. Pure, utter nonsense.
Now I’m pretty sure what he meant by a “war of Obama’s choosing” is Obama thought Afghanistan was a much more important war than Iraq. But that’s not how it came out, did it? Instead it make Steele look dumber than a box of rocks.
Lastly, the history lesson – it implies you don’t try because history teaches us those who have done so, have failed. Well, yeah, but their aim wasn’t nation building, it was conquest. Speaking of students of history, you’d think Steele might see that as a significant difference.
He’s right, there are other ways to engage in Afghanistan. Dozens. But, in the end, do they support the endstate goal of a country that can self-sufficiently govern itself, protect itself and not allow terrorist organizations a foothold there?
For the vast majority of them – no.
It becomes evident that even the tone-deaf Michael Steele has figured he stepped on it big time when a statement like this is issued on his behalf:
Steele later issued a statement saying he supports the president’s strategy in Afghanistan. “The stakes are too high for us to accept anything less but success in Afghanistan,” he said.
Of course the DNC didn’t waste anytime in cashing in on the bonanza of stupid Steele had provided:
“The American people will be interested to hear that the leader of the Republican Party thinks recent events related to the war are ‘comical’ and that he is betting against our troops and rooting for failure in Afghanistan,” the DNC communications director, Brad Woodhouse, said in a statement. “It’s simply unconscionable that Michael Steele would undermine the morale of our troops when what they need is our support and encouragement. Michael Steele would do well to remember that we are not in Afghanistan by our own choosing, that we were attacked and that his words have consequences.”
Unfortunately the GOP can’t argue with a single word or thought within the statement. In fact, they’d have issued exactly the same sort of statement had it been the chairman of the DNC saying such nonsense.
William Kristol and Liz Cheney are among a chorus of Republicans calling for Steele to resign after the remarks. Perhaps it is time for the GOP and RNC to hire a less controversial chair whose orientation is more on raising much needed funds and less on making dumb statements that embarrass the party and have a tendency to hurt fund raising efforts.