Taking Over a Losing Team.


Larison on Steele’s Republican Party:

Even though this is a job he actively sought, I have to say I feel sorry for the man. Supposing for a moment that he proved to be as effective in his role as Howard Dean has been at the DNC, Steele is faced with an electorate so much more hostile to his party that his task is the thankless one of a coach who labors in obscurity rebuilding an absolutely decimated and humiliated franchise. Jim Schwartz, the unfortunate new head coach of the Detroit Lions, comes to mind as an example of what I mean. It is not going to be Schwartz’s fault that the Lions will continue to be terrible for the next several years; the flaws of the organization and the legacy of years of poor management would drag down the most successful and talented of coaches. Schwartz is by all accounts an excellent defensive coordinator, and the Titans’ defense has been outstanding during his tenure, but he is not a magician. Steele reportedly has been successful as a political operator, albeit not as a candidate, which is how he has maneuvered himself into the current position, so one imagines that he has some instincts for political tactics that may prove valuable. Regardless, his talent is not going to be all that important. The flaws of the party and the legacy of the last eight years will drag Steele down despite his best efforts, at which time everyone will hold forth on what it means that Steele, who we will continually be reminded is the GOP’s first black chairman, “failed” to work miracles. Like Schwartz, he is inheriting a team that has little talent. Unlike Schwartz, he isn’t going to get the opportunity to recruit the best new talent, because these are the people (i.e., degree-holding and young voters) who are fleeing from the GOP the fastest. Among these groups of voters, it is more and more as if the GOP held a draft and no one bothered to enter.



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • young_

    I suspect that Steele himself will have plenty to do with his failure to turn around the GOP’s fortunes. I don’t think his aggressive, attack-dog political style will play very well in the present “post-politics” climate.

  • ladyfresshh

    irony is
    there is now two black men in positions of power
    and there is this ‘short end of the stick’ feeling to both positions

  • Steve

    Most of what i know about him involves his frequent appearances on the “big fat morning show” when he ran for Senate…and he did not come across like a traditional attack dog politician…but RNC chair is clearly that type of role. Honestly though, he always came across well to me…and seemed geniune about who he was. I think he might have won that senate race if it wasnt such a bloodbath that year for the GOP