Friday, January 30, 2009

The Steele Pick

As you've probably already heard, the Republican Party has chosen its first African-American party chairman:
WASHINGTON — Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, was elected the chairman of the Republican National Committee on Friday as the party chose its first African-American leader in a vote that signaled a desire by Republican leaders to put a new face on an embattled party. [...]

Mr. Steele also represented an important break for Republicans for another reason: He was one of two outsiders — non-members of the committee — running to be its leader. Historically, the party typically chooses members to be its leaders.

Mr. Steele accepted the selection after a prolonged standing ovation from members who were clearly tired after five hours of voting.

“As a little boy growing up in this town, this is awesome,” he said.
The New York Times article fails to mention a few other things about Mr. Steele: he's pro-life, he's Catholic, and he's a former seminarian:
Deal Hudson, a Catholic political commentator, explained that he first became convinced of Steele's pro-life convictions by a 2003 meeting he invited Steele to with the U.S. Catholic bishops' executive committee.

According to Hudson, Steele spoke "very directly, but diplomatically, to the bishops about their need to promote the pro-life cause with greater vigor. He talked about his disappointment with their leadership and its consequences among the African-American community. When he finished talking there was a powerful silence in the room."

Steele's pro-life credentials were even further verified by his 2006 Senate run in Maryland, Hudson said.

The new chaiman was in good spirits Friday as he accepted the top post of the Republican National Committee. "It's time for something completely different, and we're gonna bring it to them," he said, according to FOX News. "Get ready, baby. It's time to turn it on."

"People like Mike," former Governor of Maryland Robert Ehrlich Jr. told the Baltimore Sun. "He's really charismatic. He's a really solid person. He's a solid family guy."

Michael Steele’s Catholic roots include attending Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington D.C. and then, in 1981, entering the seminary to study for the Augustinian Friars at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

I know that there are some conservative concerns about Mr. Steele, who is seen as being more moderate than some of the other candidates for the chairman position. But aside from some confusion about whether Mr. Steele supports overturning Roe v. Wade there is little question that he takes pro-life positions in general, and thus is in a position to be a powerful voice for the unborn within the RNC.

Time will tell, of course. But I find this choice interesting, and maybe even a little bit encouraging.


Deirdre Mundy said...

In general, from what I've seen of him, he makes sure his public positions are in keeping with the church's. (See him on stem cells. But also on the death penalty!)

As for the weasely answer on the Roe v. Wade thing, I've always chalked it up to the fact he was running in MD (where even the repubs are pro-choice!) and was trying to give a non-answer so he'd still have a shot at winning....

In his acceptance speech, he said he wanted to make sure the republicans "remain the party of lincoln" which I'm pretty sure is a call to recognize the personhood of the unborn and 'liberate' them from abortion....

Solid pick. Sure, Kathleen Parker said he might be a closet liberal, but her reason was that he doesn't own a gun????????? Is it just me, or has Palin-hatred totally warped her mind?

You can be pro-second amendment without having a gun..... I think people should have the right to bear arms, but I don't feel the need for any myself........

Anyway, Steele seems like a good choice, and he won't be afraid to take on Obama...

Daddio said...

Praise God. I hope he does well, and I hope he speaks often about the targeted, concerted, racist efforts of the abortion industry to decimate the black population.

Will there be accolades from the left and the MSM for the first black RNC Chair? Were there for the first black SCOTUS Justice? How about the first black Sec. of State?

Or, as Clarence Thomas would say, are these all the "wrong kind" of black people? Will they still be punished for not falling into line where they belong?

matthew archbold said...

I do believe that he's pro-life but there's no getting around that his appearance on Meet the Press was equivocating at best on the issue of life.
Pro-lifers need at least one party to stick to its guns on the life issue. I pray that Michael Steele will lead the GOP to an increasingly pro-life stance.

Maria said...

I'm very happy with this pick. Not only is Steele conservative, he is an innovative communicator and a great fundraiser - the most important skills needed in an RNC chair. I know conservatives wanted Ken Blackwell; he is a solid, solid conservative, but he is only an average communicator and a lousy fundraiser. The fact that Blackwell threw his support behind Steele in the voting rounds once he knew he wouldn't win himself strengthens my confidence in Steele's conservative credentials.