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GOP Michael Steele: Uncle Tom’s Party

February 4, 2009

tntalk-leon-walker-internetTNTalk! America. © 2009 by Leon A. Walker

Michael Steele, the first African American elected to lead the Republican Party, declared in his acceptance speech that it was “time for something completely different.” Palling around with the elite of the Republican Party is okay if that is your idea of having a good time. After all, this is America. However, right or wrong, people judge you by the company you keep. I wonder if Michael Steele understands that.

michael_steele_rncWhen the Republican National Committee selected Mr. Steele as their Chairman last week it sparked a discussion of intent and credibility that is both shocking and embarrassing within many social and political quarters. The GOP has decided to entertain itself with a game of political Monkey in the Middle (no pun intended), as their strained factions hunker down in distinctly separate bastions. I have given up in my efforts to in any way chronicle or digest the many tangled threads that were once the Republican Party. I would like to think that Mr. Steele is a capable and well intentioned leader.

michael-steeleIn a recent Washington Times article he talked passionately about outreach to women, blacks, hispanics and the need for Republicans to get their heads out of the clouds and out of the sand. Steele also offered his concern over the influence that religion is having on the party’s clear view of politics. In short, it seems that the Republican National Committee, in the attempt to map out the future of their party, is suggesting that changes are required. Mr. Steele has now become their agent for change.

Unfortunately for Steele and the GOP, on every other front, appearances are that change is the last thing that anybody in that party really wants. Large corporations, social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and right wing Christians may all be waiting with bated breath for sweeping change under Mr. Steele’s glowing leadership. I haven’t heard any of them say so.

steele-hugs-bushAside from Steele’s selection, the only significant headlines from the GOP last week were related to partisanship and racism. The Republicans in the House of Representatives responded to the President’s efforts to make concessions and an effort reach out to them on the stimulus plan with an historic 100% no vote. Two of Mr. Steele’s esteemed colleagues and competitors for the chairmanship of the RNC  made headlines. One was headlined for having been a member of an all white country club, from which he only just resigned,  and the other having circulated a music CD of a song entitled ‘Barack the Magic Negro’. If this is the basis from which Mr. Steele must commence the business of reaching out and cultivating a more diverse constituency, he has major problems and an embarrassing plight as well.

But what is it that he seeing? What is it about him that unto itself, would make being a Republican the least bit more palatable to a broader swath of voters? I don’t know about the women, blacks and hispanics that Mr. Steele plans to reach out to, but I do know that I don’t have any interest in aligning myself with people, as in the case of his high level RNC colleagues, who orchestrate the music of continued political partisanship, intolerance and racism. Clearly these stains are not embossed on every Republican in America. The problem is nothing about the party image or brand that says so. There is no welcome mat.

History has shown Americans that the Republican Party has been that of wealth and privilege for at least 30 years and that there is nothing that one could point to which suggests they have offered any measure of support for people of color or the American middle class. So now in a panic, they have decided to bring forth a token black guy in the hopes of engineering some sort of ‘coup de colures‘. In the past they have always been able to find one willing to do their bidding.

Mr. Steele is not and he will never be the real face of Republican Party leadership. The party has many faces of prominence, but none of them are black. The familiar faces and associated names are well known. Sadly, even non-politicians, irascible pundits such as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly,  possess more significant levels of influence over conservative voters.  This is not a national scale of acceptance that Steele could ever hope to gain.

McCain Palin‘Ole what’s her name’, galvanized a well defined Republican base during her run as John McCain’s sidekick. She molded that base into a hardened nucleus and regaling the visions of her rallies, there was a very intense passion and energy among her supporters. Among them, she is a rising star. If they have their way she will unquestionably be their standard bearer in 2012. There are only two problems with that. Her well-honed base is both an aging demographic as well as a socially rigid group that is overtly unwelcoming where matters of diversity and even moderate policy matters are concerned. Secondly, and more importantly, this passionate base has been rendered competitively and unsubstantial politically, due to its dwindling membership. The bulk of what remains of the party is the ‘Double Duce Club’. These are the 22 percent (W’s final approval rating) who stood by the former President to the end. Those right wing patriots watched their party run this nation into the ground economically and otherwise with impunity for the past eight years.

Desperation is the companion of futility. We have seen this before and recently! Recall what happened when Senator John McCain, in dire straits at the time, gambled by selecting ‘ole what’s her name‘ to be his Vice Presidential running mate. The bottom dropped out.

bailout-feverIn retrospect, exactly what is it that Mr. Steele expected to do? The answer is simple. He has been initiated to sell some good old-fashioned Republican snake oil. After Michael Steele has allowed the GOP to use him like a twenty dollar whore, he can take his place among the likes of J. C. Watts and Alan Keyes. The late great black pawns that the GOP has used and cast aside no longer possess any political capital, but must endure scarred public images in perpetuity for their brief effort at prominence. What Mr. Steele has accomplished is reckless and self serving. He has accepted the responsibility to do what is socially regressive, distasteful and impossible. He has known all along that with the office comes some measure of personal wealth and recognition for having reached his dubious pinnacle. He stands before the nation, asking with open arms that voters of different strains join him as members of a political party that is fractured at best and which represents the worst of all things that now plague America. Steele is inviting us to supper with Satan. He is asking that we join him among the racists, war mongers, homophobes and theocrats…oh yes, and the thieves that have looted the Treasury and financial capital of the nation. He is asking us to do this simply because he has a warm comforting smile, a black face and because they told him to.

snake-oilAmerican politics is a platform for choice which affords us the opportunity to align ourselves with that which we individually espouse. I understand such concepts as small government and fiscal conservatism which are major cornerstones of the Republican philosophy. But we know, and they themselves acknowledge, that the GOP has been pulled from the path that would lead their constituents back to their collective political comfort zone. That is because there no longer remains a collective political comfort zone under the umbrella of the GOP. A good front man, regardless of color, is not an effective mask for a political Frankenstein.

Michael Steele may be overly ambitious and suffering with a touch of the Roland Burris syndrome. Perhaps he is a self-envisioned ‘trail blazer’ who wants to be the first black anything, no matter how deceitfully it is served up. Perhaps he is a ruthless political monster who sold his soul. Given the carnage that the Republican Party has wrought, the latter seems more logical. After all, America’s people of vast diversity do realize that there is a Republican party. We have known all along that Steele and comparatively few others of color and modest prominence reside on that side of the political landscape. What we have been wondering is…why?

I have never read the Harriet Beecher Stowe classic. No matter how the GOP dresses it up, I have no desire to live it. No. You won’t find me palling around with the likes of Michael Steele. ~ Leon Walker

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Joey permalink
    December 26, 2012 8:30 pm

    I’m far from a fan of Mr. Steele the incompetent, weird Eddie Murphy wannabe, but the blog for The Young Turks calling him an Uncle Tom is reprehensible. If they conjured such an evil and bigoted thought, they should have said it on their show where people would hear it instead of on a blog nobody watches and be somewhat less cowardly.

  2. September 18, 2011 6:39 pm

    Agreed with the above!. If Rush Limbaugh is the Organ-Grinder of the GOP, then Mike was his monkey who danced when he ground the hand-organ like a nut.

  3. Kenny permalink
    January 14, 2011 8:44 pm

    What’s wrong with Michael Steele polishing Rush Limbaugh’s shoes. He is in love with Sara & Bristol Palin. O, what a 3 some! Sometimes a 4 some when the Situation jions them!!

  4. joe poblocki permalink
    October 23, 2010 7:26 pm

    Michael Steele, what are you thinking. You are an embarrassment to your people. Your chairmanship of the GOP is akin to being a jewish spokesman for the Nazi party.

    Where is your moral compass? You help elect people who create and instill messages that create a loathing for poor people. They have no power Mr. Steele.

    Reduce the 330 billion dollar military budget.

  5. Stephanie permalink
    September 16, 2010 8:38 am

    if you think Mr Steele is bad you should google a singer named Lloyd Marcus he is a black musician who performs at different tea party functions. He says he is not a black american he is an american!

  6. Coris Davis permalink
    January 10, 2010 3:23 pm

    I’m sorry but why is it okay to call a black man “Uncle Tom” just because we disagree with his party?

  7. norbit permalink
    December 10, 2009 6:33 pm

    How’ve things been going in the black communities where Democrats have been in power for the last 6 DECADES?……NOT TOO GOOD, EH!

    Dems can play the race card to win elections, they just can’t govern with it!!!!

  8. norbit permalink
    November 26, 2009 6:40 am

    Eventually you’ll all transcend the Primitive Concept of Group Identity, and understand the Reasoned Process of Individual Identity! It’s called EVOLUTION!

    Until then, you’ll be nothing more than programmed gnomes, spouting your particular group’s ideology.

    As for Michael Steele, he’s much more than the color of his skin, and unlike Congressmen voting on health care, Steele doesn’t need Jesse Jackson’s approval on whether he’s “black” or not!

    • Michael permalink
      January 10, 2010 2:21 pm

      What a hypocritical liar you are! For Republcians, it is downright terrible that Obama is President & OK to listen to racist bastards like Limbaugh, yet “Uncle Tom” Steele says something you like, everything is fine!

  9. MontrellW permalink
    November 3, 2009 8:34 pm

    The Republicans only have Michael Steele as their national chairman in hopes of gaining popularity since Barack Obama was elected president. Those conservative racists are just using him and are probably eating dinner somewhere right now calling him n****r.

  10. September 16, 2009 8:05 pm

    Michael Steele is an UNCLE TOM! He is the lowliest soul in the United States. I hate African Men who hate themselves and especially a Man who tries to destroy a sitting black President because he is not a Republican.

    I wouldn’t piss on Michael Steele even if he was on fire.

  11. Bryan Herman permalink
    September 12, 2009 5:28 pm

    Just watched Mr. Steele on CNN International; you are a loser, just like the rep. Joe from S.C. I think that attorneys in S.C. get their law license by holding up a confederate flag after finishing the 6th grade.

  12. Vilnis permalink
    July 21, 2009 12:18 am

    Mr. Walker, that’s one articulate and well-argued essay. I wish I could express my analysis as well!

    Regarding M. Steele: I’m, pretty sure that your thesis that…”he is a ruthless political monster who sold his soul” is correct. Behind it all, it appears he’s not as vacuous as “what’s her name” — if so, and indeed he’s astute and aware, then he’s one hell of a cynic. Which is just as dangerous as a vacuous politician.

    • Steve permalink
      April 14, 2010 4:12 pm

      Cynic? CYNIC?! Geez. Reread your own statements and reread the author’s article for cynicism defined! Goodness gracious! You and the author are “just as dangerous as a vacuous politician” by your own reasoning.

  13. February 15, 2009 9:41 pm

    Once again Leon Walker has driven home a valid point.The problem with the GOP is that it doesn’t seem to realize that it isn’t about black or white,but it is about truly representing the interest and needs of the average American citizen.Americans come in all colors and backgrounds.The truth of the GOP’s desperation was when’ole what’s her name’ jumped on board.She was the answer to Hilary Clinton,just as Mr. Steele is the answer to President Obama.I believe most Americans are beyond the race issue,which is evident by the election of Obama.
    I truly hope that Mr.Steele is able to rise above his obvious appointment,and be able to make a difference based on his own merits.Politics in America have changed,and the Republican Party has to change with it.Change does not come by the color or gender of it’s members,but the real reason that they do the job.They are elected to represent all of us>Americans are tired of our polititions working against each other,sometimes I feel like a child listenning to my parents argue.The majority of Americans wish to have a united country,and not one that is constantly chopping at our throats.
    Michael Byerley

    • Steve permalink
      April 14, 2010 4:14 pm

      The GOP doesn’t realize it’s not about black and white? LEON WALKER doesn’t realize it’s not about black and white! Read the article!

  14. February 4, 2009 12:38 pm

    Thank you so very much for your eloquent voice. It is just about time that someone pointed out the painfully obvious, Mr. Steele was pushed to center stage as a token to assure Black Americans that the Republican Party really does like Black people. For me, Steele is the personification of the voice of the racist GOP saying, “We aren’t racists. Some of our best friends are Black.”

    • Steve permalink
      April 14, 2010 4:27 pm

      Why do you assume that Steele is a token? He could not possibly have earned the position based on merit? An African-American is not capable? For me, you Helen(and Mr. Walker) are the personification of the voice of the racist Democratic party saying, “We aren’t racists, but African-American’s who don’t share our opinions are Uncle Toms.”

      • April 14, 2010 7:41 pm

        Mr. Steele himself stated that the GOP was afraid of Black people. So in a small way he must realize that he is a token. Take into account the timing of his appointment, the political climate in which he was appointed, and the backlash from the GOP and the RNC following a few “indiscretions” in paying for “entertainment” (i.e. the Stripper Bondage Club), and it is clear that he does not have the support of the RNC. Compare the reaction of the RNC to Michael Steele’s stripper tab problem with the complete denial by the GOP that members of the Black Caucus in the House were called the N-word and spat upon, and you have further evidence that Steele was selected by the RNC as an effort to demonstrate that they are a minority friendly party.

        Here’s a little quote for you:

        MARTIN: But your candidates got to talk to them. One of the criticisms I’ve always had is Republicans — white Republicans — have been scared of black folks.

        STEELE: You’re absolutely right. I mean I’ve been in the room and they’ve been scared of me. I’m like, “I’m on your side” and so I can imagine going out there and talking to someone like you, you know, [you’re like,] “I’ll listen.” And they’re like “Well.” Let me tell you.

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