Commentary Magazine


Contentions

The Silver Lining

Some conservatives are miffed that Republicans are criticizing Michael Steele. Don’t fight among yourselves! The Democrats will prosper! There are three responses.

First, when your side says something more than dumb but offensive and just plain wrong — whether it’s Rand Paul on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Steele claiming that Afghanistan is Obama’s war — it’s important to speak up. The public generally respects candor and can figure out when a statement is out of bounds, so it does no good to circle the wagons or pretend it’s all the “media’s fault.” (Plenty of things are, but transmitting a politician’s words isn’t a journalistic crime.) The alternative is doing what the Democrats did with regard to Richard Blumenthal — defending the indefensible at the cost of one’s own intellectual credibility.

Second, aside from Ron Paul, who is the touchstone of foreign policy quackery, the entire Republican Party told Steele he was wrong. There was no messy food fight or any circular firing squad — just a straightaway barrage aimed at Steele. So how is it a bad thing when Republicans show they are foursquare behind a critical military operation and stalwart in the war against Islamic fascists?

Third, how is the left, which can’t decide if this is a “good war” still,  going to make hay of this? “The party is in disarray over the Afghanistan war!” applies to the Democratic Party, not to the Republicans.

And finally, this seals Steele’s fate. After the election, he can be dumped, and a less gaffe-prone, more effective chairman can be installed. That is a good thing for the GOP as well.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.