As in, I’m starting to find Michael Steele’s “charm” offensive.
It’s not that Michael’s a bad guy. Gosh no. He seems just swell, but for some perverse reason (obviously I must hate myself), I wound up watching D.L. Hughley attempt to chat with Steele and Chuck D. on CNN Sunday night.
I saw “attempt” because Hughley is:
A) Not a journalist (Saying the RNC convention looked “like Nazi Germany?” Really? I was thinking more of a Kiwanis Club, the Forbes 500, a Promise Keepers Convention or a Stone Cutters reunion. Don’t make me agree with News Busters.)
B) Should not be asking anyone questions of any kind
That out of the way though, I’ve watched Michael in his efforts to re-brand the RNC and … sigh, this may be the ONLY time that I ever say this in the history of mankind but … Rush Limbaugh is right when he says your job is to figure out HOW to get Republicans elected, not go on a lengthy media “Award Tour” where you attempt to do battle with the likes of Chuck D (like stating that Chuck was from the projects when Chuck CLARIFIED that he was from Long Island and Steele had fallen into the trap of assuming all rappers come from horrid circumstances).
Of course Rush, being an asshole, didn’t quite put it that elegantly or politely and made a lot of gross generalizations because … like D.L. Hughley, he has no business being any kind of serious journalist.
(More after the jump.)
(Limbaugh laced) into Steele and (said) the recently-elected party leader was “off to a shaky start.”
“You know who needs a little leadership?and those at the RNC,” Limbaugh said, part of an unusual counter-attack against the elected head of the .
“I hope the RNC chairman will realize he’s not a talking head pundit, that he is supposed to be working on the grassroots and rebuilding it and maybe doing something about our open primary system and fixing it so that Democrats don’t nominate our candidates,” Limbaugh said, his voice rising. “It’s time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you’re having a tough time pulling off.”
(Source: Politico via Yahoo)
Now, as we step away from the perpetual angry, man (who hearts Bobby Jindal forever), let’s get back to Steele and the real reasons why his charm offensive is offensive.
He talks about “selling” the RNC to black people. It’s not about selling! It’s about the doing, man. What are you doing? Besides, you know, giving me shit to make fun of. Like this for example.
Exhibit A: Rep. Michele Bachmann, “You Be Da Man.”
See? This should be offensive. I should be offended. But since Steele walks around almost equally as clueless and disconnected from black people, how could I accuse her of being a numb-nuts? He probably ASKED her to shout that shit.
Michael: Psst. Hey, Michelle. I need to sound like I’m down wit my peeps. Can you shout, you da man at some point?
Michele: Is it you da man or you be da man?
Michael: I don’t know.
Michele: What do you mean you don’t know? You’re the black guy!
Michael: Right! Right. Say whatever feels blackest! “Be.” Using “be” makes it blacker. I BE DA MAN!
Exhibit B: He thought THIS MAN was a good person to flaunt while running for senate
I realize he’s his ex-brother-in-law. I GET that. I also get that a thousand years ago he was boxing’s youngest and most dangerous heavy-weight. He’s also CRAZY. And a convicted rapist. And a known woman abuser. And a known EAR abuser. He has a face tattoo and black people stopped being impressed by Mike Tyson sometime after Buster Douglass knocked his ass out.
Normal people, you know, people who actually understand black people, wouldn’t want to be caught within 100 yards of Iron Mike. Especially at a campaign event. To Steele’s credit he wasn’t completely thrilled with Iron Mike’s endorsement, but he didn’t exactly run away screaming from the man either.
Steele has said nothing to belittle his friend. In an interview with the New York Times, Steele said he would “welcome in a heartbeat” the boxer’s help, although Tyson has not done anything official for the campaign.
“He may be divorced from my sister, but I can’t cast him aside,” Steele told the Times. “You embrace. You love. . . . I’ve never sat in judgment of him, and I never would.” …
Also this week, the lieutenant governor secured the support of another controversial boxing figure, promoter Don King, who offered this endorsement: “I must have an indictment list longer than his awards list.”
Asked what to make of Steele’s eclectic backers — who include White House aide Karl Rove and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons — Matthew A. Crenson, a Johns Hopkins University political science professor, sighed deeply. “This guy has a very strange collection of friends,” he replied.
(Source: Washington Post)
If I were Michael Steele I would answer all “are you Mike Tyson’s ex-brother-in-law” related questions in this manner:
“You’re thinking of Shelby.”
That’s what I’d be doing, because I have self-awareness. You’re a politician, not a rapper. Hanging out with Iron Mike makes you look ridiculous. The media had Barack Obama forced to confront, runaway and again confront his minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who is actually pretty typical in the black community considering his age, education and background. He committed no crime other than the sin of talking very loudly about how many black people feel while Obama was trying to run for president. (Embarrassing for some.)
Mike Tyson signed autographs at a vote for Steele rally. What the hell?
Needless to say, Steele didn’t win that election.
Exhibit C: All hip hop, cool, daddio references
(Side note to Steele’s statements about these “rogue” Republicans: They’re in blue states. Cut funding to them and they’ll be replaced by Democrats. Trust. Only Arlen Spector would survive. Don’t listen to Neil Cuvato. He’s an idiot … or should I say … Listen to the Cuvato. He’s a genius!)
To say you’re going to make the RNC what’s hot in the streets scares me because, hate to break it to you, “hip hop” is not a catch-all for everyone under 35. I am not hip hop. I enjoy listening to hip hop music of a certain vintage. I have a well-documented B-Boy fetish. But I am not whatever you think I am. Jay-Z has absolutely NO EFFECT on my voting patterns.
I’m a Liberal Populist Progressive something or other. Most black people are social conservatives who vote with their pocketbooks (re: more populists) and are Liberal on Civil Rights, Human Rights and law enforcement issues. How are you going to address THOSE issues? Are you working on a bumper crop of populist black and white Bible thumpers who love diversity because … not to give you any ideas, but THAT’S WHAT I WOULD BE DOING! You know? Because that “let’s bring up Lincoln for the 100th time and call black folks ingrates and shit” that your fellow Republicans engage in when they troll my old blog on my old Michael Steele thread DOES NOT WORK. You cannot GUILT me into voting Republican when the parties pulled the ol’ switcheroo on several issues nearly 60 years ago. As far as I’m concerned I’ve got bad and worse to pick from (and a cadre of sad sack third party parties).
Also, back to Rush (being a dick and basically pulling a jack move by accusing you of caring more about your charm offensive than doing your job) he mentioned the whole you getting Republicans elected. This was the only iffy part of you being picked as RNC chairman that I could find. As recently as 2008 in a Georgia race for senate, the Republican incumbent told a group of supporters they really needed to make it to the polls because “those other people” were voting.
A few years ago he would have said something else instead of “those other people” and it would have been “macaca” all over again.
What are you going to do about that? D.L. Hughley’s ignorant ass actually had a point when he opined that often he felt unwelcome as a black person by the Republican Party. Steele, of course, argued that his election meant the wheel was turning. The RNC is betting on black and black wins! (Cringeworthy moment, if ever. I feared for Chuck D. to begin vomiting at any moment from either Hughley or Steele.) But can black help you win a Southern primary?
But maybe the Southern GOP doesn’t need Steele’s fundraising skills. Perhaps he’s going to be a dynamo in the North, East and West? Perhaps he’s going to do something about those things Pat Buchanan really didn’t think were a big deal.
Like … losing the Hispanic vote almost entirely, hence losing the Southwest and West and not bothering with most minorities because they’re going to vote Democrat anyway (which is one way to guarantee losing 90 percent of the black vote every time). No big! Whatever. Who NEEDS these fancy Hispanics ANYWAY with their ability to be either white or black? So confusing. Easier to treat them all like they’re in need for a good ICE sweep.
Way to ruin all of the Bush’s work to win the Mexican-Americans over! Leslie Sanchez totally HATES YOU, Pat.
That’s the mindset Steele is up against. A bunch of dry rot who said, “Fuck all, ya’ll” to everyone who was black, brown, poor, female, gay, non-Christian or [other]. While not everyone co-signed on the “Fuck all, ya’ll” platform, there are a lot, A LOT of true believers, including Rush, who, for some sick reason, Republicans are allowing the media and the White House to paint as the de facto leader of the party.
What kind of crack are they handing out over there? I haven’t seen an attack meme this subversive and potentially fatal since William F. Buckley got everyone to say “Liberal” like it was a dirty word.
To Steele’s credit he does realize the “Rush Is Your Leader” storyline is some bad, bad eggs. But what can he do? He’s up against CNN’s Rick Sanchez here who is getting high off his own little Rush flame war.
So. Everyone stop reading for a moment so I can speak to Michael privately.
Did you stop reading?
Look, Michael? Can I call you, Mike? Mr. “Not Iron” Mike? Let’s “rap.”
Stop patronizing your own people! It was bad enough when my beloved Mitt “Mittens” Romney cluelessly shouted “Who let the dogs out” to those poor, traumatized black teenagers in an act of Pat Boone uncoolness while on the campaign trail (on MLK Day, nonetheless!). What are you doing? You don’t have to talk down to us. Everyone talks down to us. Here’s something! Assume we’re smart and adults and talk to us in that manner, OK? Stop working the word “baby” into your interviews on FOX News. Be SERIOUS, dammit! These are serious times.
Now I realize you’re in a tough spot. You’re a black Republican living in the Obama Era. You’re about as popular as Judy Winslow, but you have GOT. TO. GET. IT. TOGETHER. It is getting embarrassing (for you). And I’m no Rush. I want you to succeed (at not making a complete fool of yourself).
Now. Relax, relate, release. Stop with the “You down wit GOP! You know me! All my Republicans in the house wave ya hands!” Negro pantomime and just be your tight suit wearing, Muppet-faced self. You’re not going to trick people into liking you.
Now, issues! Get some!