Log Cabin Republicans | Michael Steele | News | Republican Party

Michael Steele Elected Chair of the Republican Party

Michael Steele, the former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, has been elected chair of the Republican party. He is the first African-American to hold the position. I posted briefly about Steele earlier this week after allegations surfaced that rival RNC Chair candidate Saul Anuzis had attempted to smear Steele by forwarding GOP members an email from the Log Cabin Republicans praising Steele, thus casting him as a moderate.

SteeleWhile Steele is generally seen as more moderate than the other candidates that were up for the leadership position, there is some recent evidence of his positions on LGBT issues.

In December, he said he'd toe the party line if a federal marriage amendment ever came up even though he is personally against it: “As chairman of the party, it is in the platform. We will support it and if members of Congress introduce the bill, then we will be the advocates for that legislation. Personally, I do not like messing around with the Constitution. I really don’t and I’m conflicted by it and I really appreciate the idea of wanting to put something like that, same with the pro-life issue, same with gay marriage but I really believe we are a federal government.”

As Lt. Governor of Maryland in 2006, he told religious leaders that marriage is between one man, one woman, and God: "Marriage is not a purely human institution. Marriage defines not only the relationship between a man and a woman but also their journey through life. They should not be brow-beaten into thinking something that goes counter to what the people in the community aspire to."

And in 2005, Steele appeared at a 'Defend Marriage' rally, saying, "We are here to affirm that marriage is only between a man and a woman. We need to make it clear where Maryland stands."

Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon praised the selection of Steele: "Michael Steele is the right man at the right time to lead the GOP. It's a great day for our Party. Steele is an inclusive leader who will bring a new energy and a new vision to the GOP at a critical time."

Watch the announcement of Steele's chairmanship, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. How many members do the Log Cabin Repubs have? The site gives no indication. It was quite easy to learn of all the marvelous benefits that would be mine for various donations---those for $25K and up were especially tempting.

    I ask because I wonder how much longer this organization will be around. No one wants them, and I can't imagine that gay Republicans get much benefit from donating to them.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 30, 2009 6:25:46 PM


  2. This is a great day for my party. Mr. Steele is an outsider who will hopefully make some big changes in terms of structure and organization that have been long overdue. People who dismiss this as a 'token' or something similar don't really understand the intraparty war that the RNC has been going through the past few months.

    Oh, and as for his position on gay marriage, our current Democratic President also believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, so unfortunately, it appears we have a long way to go in both parties on that issue.

    Posted by: GayRepublican | Jan 30, 2009 6:25:57 PM


  3. Token Black! Bet he plays a mean base. Ain't nothin' gonna change ;).

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 30, 2009 6:38:27 PM


  4. No, he believes Civil Unions are what are necessary for now. I mean, his Church Marries Gay Couples so it's a purely political move.

    Posted by: occono | Jan 30, 2009 6:41:00 PM


  5. I might be (mis)underestimating Steele. But he did lose that election in 2006. And based on what we know of his positions, this isn't exactly "change we can believe in." It is the same hopelessly backward and reactionary Republican Party (with a token African American as nominal leader).

    Will the GOP win the 40 House and 10 Senate seats needed to gain control of Congress in 2010?

    Nothing is impossible in politics. Though I doubt it. The way they're going, it is highly likely the Republicans will be in the wilderness for many years.

    Posted by: John in CA | Jan 30, 2009 6:42:55 PM


  6. gayrepublican - it's difficult to read your defensive comment and not feel sorry for LGBT republicans. Most of you seem to be libertarians/fiscal conservatives who fantasize or hallucinate that the GOP does not have at its base a plurality of racist, homophobic, hyper-religious conservatives.

    It will be a great day for America when you and a good chunk of the Republican party realize that you need to separate the wheat from the chaff and act like decent fiscal conservatives but social liberals or moderates IN A NEW PARTY. You may argue all you like that we outsiders don't understand or are painting you all with the same brush, but it's hard to believe the GOP has much left in the tank. Rebrand or be replaced.

    Posted by: ALTONA | Jan 30, 2009 7:01:19 PM


  7. Ha ha! it's a great day for the Repugnican Party as the Log Cabin's see it.

    ??!?

    So, basically for the rest of us not in lala land, it's a meaningless appointment of another political hack who will do nothing, serve no one's best interests and prevent the country from any modicum amount of progress.

    HA HA... the comedy never ends. I for one will gleefully watch from the sidelines as this destructive increasingly irrelevant party implodes and I welcome all the GLBT (Repug's) back to earth when they wake up and say "WTF was I thinking!?!?"

    :P

    Posted by: Ed | Jan 30, 2009 7:04:01 PM


  8. Every time I see Michael Steele in a headline, I keep going to The Bangles bassist first. Then I remember he's not that cool.

    No disrespect intended, but the timing of his selection smacks of Palinism (that is to say, I think they chose someone whose demographics vaguely match the "opponent") rather than an actual sea change. Time will tell, though. If he can actually manage bipartisanship, good for him. Not gonna hold my breath.

    Posted by: Jay | Jan 30, 2009 7:05:30 PM


  9. Steele has a genuine record of advocating in favor of outreach and a broader GOP. He may disappoint, but he's by far the most moderate and progressive of the candidates for the position. Just this week he laid into the RNC's complete failure to reach out to diverse communities.

    I don't suggest giving him the benefit of the doubt (the GOP are out chances there), but I would urge giving him a fair hearing. And I would argue that slamming the door on the GOP's remaining moderate, pragmatic voices simply guarantees the continued dominance of the extremist right-wing fringe over that party. If gay rights are ever to be secure in this country, then BOTH parties will have to be worked with and both parties must be held accountable for their actions.

    Posted by: Clay | Jan 30, 2009 7:09:02 PM


  10. I didn't really consider my comment to be 'defensive'. I strongly disagree with your claim that the republican base is racist in any sense, but we're never going to agree on that issue, so debating it is rather pointless.

    However, I will comment on your idea of forming a third party. There is already a Libertarian Party out there. The problem is that the American political system (unlike other systems where coalitions can be formed easily) is pretty much a two-party system. In order for a third party to work, it'd take lots of Democrats and Republicans coming together to form that third party. That's extremely difficult. And not to act like I'm wearing tin foil, but with the corruption in politics today, the Dem and Repub leaders aren't going to let the formation of a significant third party happen without a fight.

    Rebranding is a much more realistic option and believe me, it's certainly being worked on at the grassroots level.

    As for what the GOP has left in the tank, we'll see how the 2010 and 2012 elections go. These are difficult times and the people will not be very forgiving. It's quite possible that Obama will be a one-termer (and perhaps for no fault of his own). I think it'd be wise for the Dems not to get too cocky just because they've done well in the past two elections. We all saw what happened to the Republicans when they got full of themselves and gave up their principles.

    Posted by: GayRepublican | Jan 30, 2009 7:16:11 PM


  11. I met and grilled him in Denver about his views on LGBT subjects. His exact words in regards to the Republican and it's views on Gays?

    "Don't worry my brother, a change is gonna come".

    I'm happy for him and think he might actually make some changes around there.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Jan 30, 2009 7:19:30 PM


  12. To clarify my earlier comment (since my obsessive compulsive self can't let it go), I meant rebrand in the sense of changing the image and themes, not the name and entire structure.

    Posted by: GayRepublican | Jan 30, 2009 7:26:02 PM


  13. I dunno Gayrepublican, I mean, the whole "Barak the Magic Negro" (which doesn't even fit the meter of the song) and that Repub women's organization that sent out the newsletter with the cartoon with Obama surrounded by watermelons. I'm not saying it's the whole base but the GOP definitely has issues.

    Posted by: DB | Jan 30, 2009 7:43:27 PM


  14. http://fablog.ehrensteinland.com/2009/01/30/fait-diver-lets-hear-it-for-eddie-cantor/

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 30, 2009 7:47:00 PM


  15. Geez, David, tell us how you really feel. :P

    Posted by: GayRepublican | Jan 30, 2009 7:48:29 PM


  16. "No, he believes Civil Unions are what are necessary for now. I mean, his Church Marries Gay Couples so it's a purely political move."

    If you're talking about Obama, then he has actually said that he believes that BS that marriage is one man, one woman. When asked if this meant that he opposed SSM, he said yes. Maybe it is just a political move, but I have my doubts. His actions will tell us what we need to know. As he has yet to actually sign any gay rights legislation or do much on gay rights (which is understandable since he's only been in office a few days), he's still a blank canvass upon which we can draw whatever fantasies we want. Don't misunderstand me. This is an area where I want to be wrong.

    Posted by: GayRepublican | Jan 30, 2009 7:55:09 PM


  17. Yes, the party of:

    - greed

    - money-grubing, unadulterated greed to enrich themselves and their family

    - hypocrisy
    a) saying they are for limited government all the while creating MORE government and intervention into people's lives
    b) saying they are for less spending all the while spending MORE than their Democratic counterparts

    is going to 'rebrand'.

    I think everyone on the planet knows that 'rebranding' is just advertising jargon for 'false advertising' and deception.


    Nothing in the Republican party will change until the OLD politicians with antiquated views are dead - which shouldn't be too long since the average age in Congress of the GOP must be about 85.

    America spoke on November 4th. Sorry it's taken you so long to get the message. But it must be related to the paragraph ahead.

    And just a reminder: Adolf Hitler was a right wing conservative.

    Posted by: mwf | Jan 30, 2009 7:58:12 PM


  18. gayrepublican, you must not have seen any of those videos outside (McCain/)Palin rallies with people screaming that BHO is a Muslim n-word and a dude waving a stuffed toy monkey called Barack. Most Republicans are probably not racist (nor are all liberals colorblind, sadly), but I'd bet a lot of money that most racists vote Republican.

    Your comment was pretty defensive - talking about tokenism and his stance on gay marriage before anyone else had commented on it. I know the comparison is inevitable but if you genuinely think his position on marriage is closer to the ideal than Obama's, then you're definitely hallucinating. But that's understandable: if I was a member of a party that seems to hate gay people more than they value freedom then I'd be offering up hocus pocus too. Why do you even identify as Republican? Why not call yourself a gay conservative? Anti-gay measures are a core part of the GOP platform. Y'all confuse me.

    Your arguments about a 3rd party might make sense on paper, but other countries miraculously make it work, so I don't see why we can't. You could always do your rebranding by liberalizing your social positions and shoving out the social conservatives into their own little group.

    I hope you're right about Steele acting as a moderating or even progressive force within the party and I'll certainly give him the benefit of the doubt. The fact that he's a Catholic at least means he probably believes in evolution, which is always a plus.

    As for the Republicans giving up their principles over the years, I think it's fairer to say they showed their true colors...

    Posted by: ALTONA | Jan 30, 2009 8:07:48 PM


  19. Oh, lordy, MWF, so much bile there. Talk about a form of reductio ad Hitlerum. Please tell me you didn't just say, "And just a reminder: Adolf Hitler was a right wing conservative." You do realize that one can name any number of leftists who were tyrants or evil? Your post is emotion-based, not logic-based.

    Posted by: GayRepublican | Jan 30, 2009 8:08:48 PM


  20. MWF - Godwin's Law :)

    Posted by: ALTONA | Jan 30, 2009 8:13:10 PM


  21. Altona,

    Thank you for your thoughtful response.

    I did bring up the 'token' issue, but the gay marriage issue was brought up by the blog post itself.

    Two things.

    One, I didn't say that Steele's position is closer to the ideal than Obama's. I was merely pointing out that on the issue mentioned by this blog that Obama himself has also stated he believes marriage is one man, one woman, so on that issue they seem to be pretty close. (Whether, as others here have suggested, that's just a political move on his part, is something we'll have to see.)

    Two, as for third parties, most countries where multiple parties work well have a parliamentary system where coalition government is not unusual. In order to have a similar situation n the US, we'd have to make quite a few changes to our structure and our Constitution. That's a tall order.

    Thanks for the reasonable discussion. It's refreshing to have one with someone on the 'other side' without it leading to name-calling. (I post on different political boards. Far too many people don't know how to act civilized on the Internet.)

    Take care. :)

    Posted by: GayRepublicasn | Jan 30, 2009 8:22:33 PM


  22. I think it's safe to say that party leaders are by definition hacks. That's their job!

    More worrisome are all the Clintonite water carriers that are bashing Obama already.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 30, 2009 8:27:31 PM


  23. Some of my best friends are Republicans :)

    Actually, I thought I was a bit snippy. You certainly win in the politeness ratings. Thanks indeed for the discussion!

    Posted by: altona | Jan 30, 2009 8:27:37 PM


  24. Wow, a republican accusing someone with an opposing view of not using logic...that's rich.

    I have come to the conclusion that one of the reasons the Republican party nurtured the evangelicals is that they are a gaggle of people that time and time again will prove they do not use logic, common sense or intellect.

    This was confirmed for the Republicans after the Catholic priest gay sex scandals. The Republicans realized that if someone rapes your son or daughter and you STILL continue to support the institution from where the abuse took place, imagine what the party could do with such a constituency.

    Anyone that was leaning Republican after dubya stole the election in 2000 and STILL believes in the principles of the Republican party 8 years later, is clearly someone that falls into that religious mind-set that will not use intelligence, common sense or logic. So the Republicans will continue to cater to that base.

    One way they did it was by proclaiming Democrats the "tax and spend" politicians.


    The Democrats, being a nicer group of politicians, did not go on the offense and use the term "borrow and spend" against the Republicans.

    When Democrats want something, they believe it should be paid for as it is created.

    In 1898, for the Spanish American war, America actually PAID for the war by taxing the wealthy, via a tax on their phone bill, as only the wealthy had phones in 1898. Though it took the government over a 100 years to eliminate the tax.

    Wonder what happened to 100 years of taxes toward a war that ended so very long ago?

    I can pretty much guarantee you that if the Republicans had told the American people there would be a tax to pay for the Iraq invasion/war, they would have been against it.

    When Republicans want something, they believe they can borrow the money, since they, as OLD people that have been career politicians and won't be around to pay even the interest on the debt they have created, much less pay off the principal, don't really care about what happens after they (the Republicans politician) are gone.

    And, if you tell your followers that by minimizing or eliminating social programs it will make people more responsible, it in reality hides the fact that:

    - More doctors, clinics, other providers, etc fraudulently bill and milk Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs than the few individual citizens that file fraudulent claims

    - More corporations, lobbyists, etc take advantage of government funds (tax dollars) than do individual citizens via entitlement programs, etc

    So while the Republican party has been raiding the cookie jar the past 8 years, they continue to cater to the deaf, dumb and blind, most of which believe in something called "heaven", "hell", "god", "devil", "bible", talking snakes, etc.

    Fortunately, we have elected a President that speaks for US, THE people. And fortunately, in district after district, WE, THE people have voted OUT the morons that call themselves Republicans.

    Because WE know that Republican in this day and time, just means "money-grubbing-greedy bastard" that only seeks to enrich himself and his friends.

    And I really see no difference between Adolf Hitler and a group of politicians that embrace stereotypes and feel Anne Coulter, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are intelligent and that "Barack the magic Negro" is funny.

    And yes, Mr Steele is a token.....much like Sarah Palin was for the election.

    Republicans, always trying to play catch-up. And in the most insincere way....

    Posted by: mwf | Jan 30, 2009 8:54:10 PM


  25. Wow, a republican accusing someone with an opposing view of not using logic...that's rich.

    I have come to the conclusion that one of the reasons the Republican party nurtured the evangelicals is that they are a gaggle of people that time and time again will prove they do not use logic, common sense or intellect.

    This was confirmed for the Republicans after the Catholic priest gay sex scandals. The Republicans realized that if someone rapes your son or daughter and you STILL continue to support the institution from where the abuse took place, imagine what the party could do with such a constituency.

    Anyone that was leaning Republican after dubya stole the election in 2000 and STILL believes in the principles of the Republican party 8 years later, is clearly someone that falls into that religious mind-set that will not use intelligence, common sense or logic. So the Republicans will continue to cater to that base.

    One way they did it was by proclaiming Democrats the "tax and spend" politicians.


    The Democrats, being a nicer group of politicians, did not go on the offense and use the term "borrow and spend" against the Republicans.

    When Democrats want something, they believe it should be paid for as it is created.

    In 1898, for the Spanish American war, America actually PAID for the war by taxing the wealthy, via a tax on their phone bill, as only the wealthy had phones in 1898. Though it took the government over a 100 years to eliminate the tax.

    Wonder what happened to 100 years of taxes toward a war that ended so very long ago?

    I can pretty much guarantee you that if the Republicans had told the American people there would be a tax to pay for the Iraq invasion/war, they would have been against it.

    When Republicans want something, they believe they can borrow the money, since they, as OLD people that have been career politicians and won't be around to pay even the interest on the debt they have created, much less pay off the principal, don't really care about what happens after they (the Republicans politician) are gone.

    And, if you tell your followers that by minimizing or eliminating social programs it will make people more responsible, it in reality hides the fact that:

    - More doctors, clinics, other providers, etc fraudulently bill and milk Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs than the few individual citizens that file fraudulent claims

    - More corporations, lobbyists, etc take advantage of government funds (tax dollars) than do individual citizens via entitlement programs, etc

    So while the Republican party has been raiding the cookie jar the past 8 years, they continue to cater to the deaf, dumb and blind, most of which believe in something called "heaven", "hell", "god", "devil", "bible", talking snakes, etc.

    Fortunately, we have elected a President that speaks for US, THE people. And fortunately, in district after district, WE, THE people have voted OUT the morons that call themselves Republicans.

    Because WE know that Republican in this day and time, just means "money-grubbing-greedy bastard" that only seeks to enrich himself and his friends.

    And I really see no difference between Adolf Hitler and a group of politicians that embrace stereotypes and feel Anne Coulter, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are intelligent and that "Barack the magic Negro" is funny.

    And yes, Mr Steele is a token.....much like Sarah Palin was for the election.

    Republicans, always trying to play catch-up. And in the most insincere way....

    Posted by: mwf | Jan 30, 2009 9:07:05 PM


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