GOP: “Everyone is basically pissed”

Immediately after the outright debacle that was the Republican effort in Election 2008, the political chattering class started speculating about who would be the next leader of the Republican National Committee.

Since the GOP is out of power in the executive branch and both houses of Congress, the post is one of the few true leadership positions available in the party right now.

However, the wrangling has gone non-stop for a couple of months now, with no clear leader emerging…it’s a total shit show!

Option #1 is the current party leader, Mike Duncan, essentially a Karl Rove appointee whose political baseball card features -21 seats in the House, -8 seats in the Senate (assuming Al Franken hangs on in MN), and a net loss of one in governorships. A smelly resume to say the least, but he wants to keep the job.

Duncan: You don’t change horses in midstream, so you DEFINITELY don’t change horses in a horrifying deluge. Right? RIGHT???

Keep in mind however, he is a past winner of the Vic Hellard Award, proving that he is “a values-driven, virtuous gentleman who loves Kentucky“!

Option #2 is Chip Saltsman, Mike Huckabee’s former campaign manager, who made waves by courting delegates with a comedy CD featuring the timeless classic, “Barack the Magic Negro.

Huckabee and Saltsman, the Magic Crackers

This caused a huge firestorm of controversy in the mainstream media that some say will deep-six Saltsman’s chances, while others say it will boost them, since GOP loyalists hate them some MSM.


Still, tough to see how the guy best known for utilizing Chuck Norris as his main campaign surrogate and distributing a song calling the President a Negro is the right choice for the 21st century GOP.

Option #3 is Michael Steele, the former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland. On the surface, he seems an intriguing choice – an African-American from a “border state”, with the more moderate positions that the pundits consider crucial for a rapid GOP comeback.

Steele: I’m ashamed to be Republican. Let me lead the party to victory!

All that seems nice, until you recall that in 2006 Steele talked all kinds of smack about the Republican Party in an “anonymous” interview with Beltway reporters while in the midst of getting his butt handed to him in a Maryland Senate race. His identity was so thinly veiled that he was unmasked within hours of publication, humiliated, and destroyed in the election.

It’s doubtful that the party faithful will want their new leader to be the guy who said “For me to pretend I’m not a Republican would be a lie. [But running as a proud Republican?] That’s going to be tough, it’s going to be tough to do…If this race is about Republicans and Democrats, I lose.”

Option #4 is Saul Anuzis, the Michigan Republican Party chairman who is best known for saying “WTF?!?!” when John McCain shut down his campaign in the state last fall.

Anuzis: A proven track record….for me to poop on!

Anuzis is big on revitalizing the Republicans through the use of cutting-edge technology, but his love of bits, bytes and binary code hasn’t done him any good when it comes to winning actual elections. Michigan Republicans have been soundly thumped in federal and state elections during his tenure. He’s already at a disadvantage being from a blue state located far from Republican strongholds, and his awful track record doesn’t inspire much confidence.

Option #5 is Ken Blackwell, former Mayor of Cincinnati and Ohio Secretary of State, who is loathed by Democrats for his involvement in the allegedly-controversial 2004 elections. This kind of press can only help him in the race.

Like Steele, he also happens to be African-American, but he’s shown greater devotion to the GOP tenets on a series of key issues like taxes, social conservatism and guns than Steele has.

Blackwell: Will stick to tried-and-true “calling opponents gay” strategy that has served him well since 2nd grade.

He seems to be the most plausible of all the challengers, but Blackwell has a few strikes against him. First, he ran for Ohio Governor and directed a really slimy campaign in which he essentially accused his opponent (now-Governor Strickland) of gaiety. In the swing state of all swing states, he got OBLITERATED and lost by over 20%.

Additionally, he’s not a Southerner, which seems to be a key qualification, since the base skews strongly southwards. He’s not that tight with RNC members, and may not have the pull to get it done.

If you think the GOP losses in 2006 and 2008 were basically a fluke and the country is still center-right, Blackwell would be a fine choice. If you believe, a la Newt Gingrich, that the way back to power is a more moderate, conciliatory angle, Blackwell isn’t the man for you…

Option #6 is the elusive Katon Dawson, the head of the South Carolina GOP, who has infrequently gained notice for things like his only-recently-resigned membership in a whites-only country club. Seriously?? This took place after the year 2000? South Carolina, ladies and gentlemen!

Dawson: Don’t call him a dark horse, he’ll get kicked out of his country club.

Dawson has also racked up a DeLay-esque $75,000 in expenses to the SCGOP budget in recent months, ostensibly making under-the-radar trips to attract support for his bid. Just what the GOP needs, more slush fund spending sprees. It doesn’t seem to be working very well because nobody is hyping the guy.

With this slate of deeply flawed candidates, it’s no wonder that the GOP faithful are up in arms and angry at everybody.

POLITICO reports:

As Republicans struggle to determine the future of their party after a tough election, intraparty tensions have flared over three forums next week that may prove crucial to determining the winner of the six-way race for the chair of the Republican National Committee — a post that will hold considerable sway over the direction of the GOP.

“Some people are pissed off at [Americans for Tax Reform President] Grover [Norquist]. Some people are pissed off at the Conservative Steering Committee. Some people are pissed off at [current RNC chair] Mike Duncan. Some people are pissed off at social conservatives. The social conservatives are pissed at leaders in Congress,” said a Republican consultant who has worked with the RNC. “Everyone is basically pissed.”

It looks like the best option here might be for the GOP to hold its nose and stick with Duncan. Mike Dunk is seemingly a boring loser, but all the other candidates appear to be public relations, electoral or ideological liabilities.

Just as the GOP will have to lie in the weeds and wait for the Obama/Reid/Pelosi triumvirate to make a false move, so too will they potentially have to accept a weak RNC chair until someone exciting like former chair and Mississippi governor Haley Barbour becomes available to take the reins…

UPDATE: We’re now fully behind Mike Duncan after learning of his dramatic, cutting-edge plans to revolutionize the party’s online apparatus. “We have to do it in the Facebook, with the Twittering, the different technology that young people are using today.” Yessss! The Twittering!! You’re going down Obama!

About Alpine McGregor
Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. All in the game, though, right?

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