The Forecast for 2010

I’ve laughed at GOP Chairman Michael Steele on this blog before, but we’ve also noted his occasional flashes of friendliness toward the liberty movement.  His tenure as chairman of the GOP has been interesting, to say the least. 

Today, Steele is criticized at the National Journal (H/T to Hot Air) for his recent statement to Sean Hannity that he doesn’t know if the GOP is ready to lead the country:

“I don’t know. And that’s what I’m assessing and evaluating right now. Those candidates who are looking to run have to be anchored in these principles,” he said, referring to 5 conservative ideals he lays out in his new tome. “If they don’t [anchor themselves], then they’ll get to Washington, and they’ll start drinking that Potomac River water, and they’ll get drunk with power and throw the steps out the window.”

The seven comments on the article, as of this writing, are universally negative.  Steele is termed a “wimp,” a poor leader, and called to “move on.”  But why?  I mean, he certainly hasn’t got a great record as GOP chairman to date.  But he should resign for this?  For apparently wanting to take the time to find candidates who won’t be corrupted immediately on arrival in DC?  For seeming to approach regaining the majority with some sort of thought?

I’m not a fan of Michael Steele and am very skeptical that the Republican Party will actually exercise the kind of caution and principled behavior he describes any time soon, whether under Steele’s leadership or not.  But this sentiment, especially if sincere, hardly calls for criticism.  The GOP hasn’t exactly proved itself capable of good leadership for the last eight years (some, of course, excepted); caution seems warranted now.

The article on Steele also notes that “projections suggest GOPers are headed for a 20-30 seat pickup, just short of what would be required for a majority.”  If this — or even a majority in one of the houses — happens, it’s important to keep in mind the height from which the Republican Party so recently fell…and why it fell.  Government playing Santa and ignoring the desires of the citizens it represents is government which is not ready to lead — and the GOP has been doing just as much of that in recent years as the Democratic Party has.

In short, Steele may not have been well-advised to say this in public, but he’s right.  As the 2010 elections come and go, we must keep an eye on the new “small-government” candidates who are elected and “hold them accountable for promoting true change in the form of reducing the size and role of government in our lives.    Likewise, we will have the courage to tell those who promote the opposite, in no uncertain terms:  You are wrong.

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