Former RNC chair Michael Steele criticized his replacement’s response to the Donald Trump fiasco on Meet the Press Sunday morning, telling current chair Reince Priebus that he had to forcefully condemn the celebrity plutocrat candidate or risk appearing disingenuous to voters.
“You’ve got to have that Sister Souljah moment with the party, where you have to be honest and call it what it is,” Steele said. “People are sophisticated enough to know when you’re just full of BS.”
“Everyone in the country reacted to this and you didn’t, the party didn’t, and those who want to be president didn’t — until what? This week? That’s a problem. It’s a problem of authenticity. It is a problem of legitimacy when you’re going to go speak to that community.”
Priebus called Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants “not helpful,” more than two weeks after they were originally made, part of what many consider a too-tepid response from a party seeking to court Hispanic voters.
Washington Post political editor Chris Cillizza agreed. “You cannot be afraid of the party’s base!” he said. “You will not win that way.”
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele appeared on MSNBC yesterday, and when host Alex Wagner asked what kind of advice he’d give his party’s leaders in Congress, Steele offered some sound advice. “The first would be, ‘Get a grip,’” he said.
Steele’s comments came to mind after reading this report published last night by USA Today.
Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn warns there could be not only a political firestorm but acts of civil disobedience and even violence in reaction to President Obama’s executive order on immigration Thursday.
“The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation,” Coburn said on Capital Download. “You’re going to see – hopefully not – but you could see instances of anarchy. … You could see violence.”
The far-right senator went on to say, “Here’s how people think: Well, if the law doesn’t apply to the president … then why should it apply to me?”
It’s hard to know what to make of such an odd perspective. If Coburn is correct, why weren’t there similar outbursts of anarchy and violence when Presidents Reagan and Bush took very similar executive actions? If the masses are so deeply concerned about separation of powers and the often-ambiguous lines surrounding executive authority, wouldn’t we have seen instances of pandemonium before?
As a practical matter, I’m not even sure how this would work. The Obama administration has limited resources, so it appears likely to prioritize deportations for criminals who entered the country illegally. So, in Coburn’s vision, anti-immigrant activists will become violent, perhaps literally rioting in the street, until more unobtrusive families are broken up?
Brian Beutler reminded Republicans overnight that “just because right-wingers are blind with rage doesn’t mean Obama’s immigration action is illegal.”
It turns out that the laws on the books actually don’t say what you might think they say. Other presidents have discovered this, too. And since nobody wants to write a “maybe I should’ve asked some lawyers first” mea culpa column, they shifted the debate from the terrain of laws to the murkier terrain of political precedent, norms, and procedure. […]
What’s new is that Republicans have perfected a strategy of rejectionism with the help of a media amplification infrastructure—Fox News, Drudge, Limbaugh—that the left hasn’t adopted and doesn’t yet enjoy. Rather than simply fight to reverse the policy in Congress and on the campaign trail—as liberals do when Republicans weaken environmental enforcement—the right can also now scream “Caesar!” without reference to any objective standards, and get a full hearing.
The NSA ensnares far more bystanders than targets, Israel arrests six in connection with Palestinian boy’s death, and more.
1. Report: NSA sweeps snare bystanders far more than intended targets
Surveillance carried out by the National Security Agency led to the collection of significantly more information on “incidental” innocents than on the NSA’s intended targets, according to The Washington Post. Citing files provided by Edward Snowden that detailed collections between 2009 and 2012, the Post found that only about 10 percent of accounts culled in that time period belonged to targets; the rest belonged to people accidentally caught in the agency’s wide search nets. Further, many of the files — a large portion of which belonged to Americans — had a “startlingly intimate, even voyeuristic quality,” according to the Post. [The Washington Post, The Guardian]
2. Israel arrests six in Palestinian teen’s death
Israeli police have arrested six suspects in connection with the abduction and murder of a Palestinian teenager whose death set off days of violent protests. Police have not identified the suspects, though the newspaper Ha’aretz said law enforcement described the suspects’ motive as “nationalistic.” Sixteen-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was abducted Wednesday outside his home in East Jerusalem in what Palestinians claimed was revenge for the abduction and murder last month of three Israeli teens. Israel killed five Palestinians and rounded up hundreds more in the search for the missing teens, further inflaming tensions between the two sides. [Associated Press, Ha’aretz]
3. Argentina, Netherlands advance to World Cup semis
Argentina topped Belgium 1-0 and the Netherlands outlasted Costa Rica in penalty kicks on Saturday as both teams advanced to the World Cup semifinals. Costa Rica was on paper one of the weaker teams in the entire tournament, but they made a surprising run to the final eight and nearly knocked off the powerhouse Dutch team before succumbing in the shootout. Germany and Brazil already advanced to the semis with wins on Friday. [Fox Sports]
4. Purported ISIS leader makes first public appearance in new video
A video posted online Saturday claimed to show the leader of the Sunni extremist group ISIS delivering a sermon in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. The video, which was purportedly shot Friday, is said to show Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, though so little is known about al-Baghdadi that officials could not immediately confirm it was him on the tape. The video was released through websites and promoted on social media accounts linked to the insurgent group, and the Iraqi government is analyzing it to determine its authenticity. [Associated Press, CNN]
5. Petra Kvitova wins Wimbledon
Petra Kvitova routed Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0 on Saturday to win her second Wimbledon title. Kvitova was so dominant it took her less than an hour to finish off the match. On the men’s side, top-seeded Novak Djokovic will take on seven-time Wimbledon champ Roger Federer Sunday in the title match. [ESPN, The Washington Post]
6. California swimmer attacked by great white shark
A swimmer was bitten by a great white shark Saturday in Manhattan Beach, California, after swimming too close to the hooked killer. A fisherman had snared the seven-foot shark off a pier and was trying to reel it in when the victim, one of several distance swimmers training in the waters, swam by. The 40-year-old man suffered what a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman called a “moderate” wound to the torso. [CNN]
7. Nigerian troops kill 53 insurgents
The Nigerian army said Saturday it had killed 53 fighters from the militant group Boko Haram. The army said the insurgents were killed after they attacked a military base in the town of Damboa. Five soldiers and one officer were also killed in the clash. [Reuters, Bloomberg]
8. Afghanistan nixes proposed Facebook ban
The Afghan government won’t ban Facebook after all as it sorts out the winner of last month’s contested presidential election. Supporters of the two candidates had exchanged inflammatory threats online, prompting the government to ask Facebook for help scrubbing the comments and to consider a blanket ban. “There are people on Facebook who spread hatred and cause damage to national unity,” Fayeq Wahedi, a government spokesman said, “but after talks the council decided not to ban Facebook.” [The Guardian , The Telegraph]
9. Spain’s Running of the Bulls begins today
Spain’s iconic bull running festival kicks off Sunday in Pamplona. Thousands of revelers packed the main city square to mark the start of the nine-day festival, whose main event involves, as the name suggests, thousands of thrill-seekers dashing madly through the city streets ahead of rampaging bulls. [Associated Press]
10. Kanye West booed during mid-show rant in London
Rapper and self-described “God” Kanye West was booed during his set at London’s Wireless music festival this weekend. West interrupted his show to assail the media for trying to “dishumanize” him. But as he continued on his five minute tirade, audience members began to heckle him and chant “off, off, off.” [The Independent]
Everybody expected plenty of tea-leaf reading about the future of the GOP on the Wednesday morning after Election Day, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe did not disappoint, with Cokie Roberts’comment that “it was not a good night for the tea party” setting off former RNC Chairman Michael Steele and former Barack Obama advisor David Axelrod.
“There’s only so much money to go around in a 2014 congressional election cycle,” Steele said, referring to the Alabama Republican primary, in which an “establishment” candidate backed by the Chamber of Commerce and wealthy contributor Joe Ricketts beat a tea party challenger. “A special election in Alabama—that’s a very different environment for a Joe Ricketts to play in. I don’t think we should overstep. Next year, we’ve got a whole different dynamic. The tea party is not going to go quietly into that good night, certainly not on the money front.”
“The fact is the business community had made a Faustian bargain with the tea party in 2010 and 2011 and 2012,” Axelrod said. “It all came home to roost in the shutdown, in the flirtation with default, and they realize, this is serious business, and we need serious people. That was reflected in where they put their money in these races.”
Axelrod also cautioned against reading too much into the effect of Obamacare on the Virginia race, and extrapolating from that a winning strategy.
“If Republicans think they can get on this Obamacare kick and win in 2014 on that, I think they’re mistaken,” Axelrod said. “If you look at the polling, even throughout all this Obamacare debacle, their numbers have not moved. They have not gained. So I think it is too facile to say, ‘We’re just going to talk about Obamacare and win this election.’ They’ve got deeper problems than that.”
In an unexpected move, FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly apologized for falsely claiming — during more than one segment — that no members of the Republican Party were invited to speak at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington on Wednesday.
During his ‘Tip of the Day’ segment on The O’Reilly Factor, the man known for his often bigoted and racist rants actually showed professionalism and admitted the error in his statements. He not only apologized, but said that invited members of the GOP were wrong for not attending.
I said that there were no Republican speakers invited. Wrong. I was wrong. Some of the Republicans were asked to speak; they declined. That was a mistake; they should have spoken. Now, the mistake…entirely on me. I assumed that since all the speakers were liberal Democrats that Republicans were excluded. Now, here’s the tip of the day: Always check out the facts before making a definitive statement. And when you make a mistake, admit it. By the way, I’m sorry I made that mistake. Because I know that you guys watchThe Factor for accuracy.
We’re stunned. True, the facts were easily proven and his claim so easily disproven that he really had no other option, but still…we’re stunned.
See clip below:
As previously reported by NewsOne, not a single Republican elected official — not one — participated in the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, despite invitations from event organizers.
Republicans came up with a laundry list of excuses, from ill health to scheduling conflicts, to justify their absence, but former Republican Chair Michael Steele said that the conservative response is a typical — and damaging — one:
“It’s part of a continuing narrative that the party finds itself in with these big deals for minority communities around the country and how they perceive our response to them,” he said.
Steele was not invited to speak because he isn’t a current party or elected official. “But if I were the current chairman and hadn’t been invited, that’d be a different story,” he said. “If I hadn’t been invited, I would have forced myself on them.”
“We had a very concerted effort, because this is not a political moment. This was about us coming together as a community, so we wanted to be sure that we had all political representations,” Daughtry said. “We attempted very vigorously to have someone from the GOP participate and unfortunately they were unable to find someone who was able to participate.”
House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio), the highest-ranking Republican in Washington, was invited to attend Wednesday’s gathering but declined because of a scheduling conflict, aides said.
Boehner was in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and had no public schedule Wednesday but has been headlining dozens of GOP fundraisers nationwide this month. Aides noted that he led an official congressional commemoration of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on July 31 at the U.S. Capitol that other top congressional leaders attended.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) received an invitation to attend 12 days ago, which was too late to change scheduled political appearances Wednesday in North Dakota and Ohio, aides said.
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), currently the only Black senator serving in the United States government, was not invited to speak, but his spokesperson issued a statement minimizing any political controversy that fact could potentially cause.
When Real Time with Bill Maher’s staff booked both Ed Schultz and Michael Steeleto appear on the show tonight, everyone involved had to be salivating over the potential for the two to get into loud disagreements. And when the panel debated politicians’ relative honesty and proposed Medicare vouchers, the inevitable came to pass.
It started with a mention of the already-infamous Jon Kyl/Planned Parenthood controversy, which Maher called “American lying at its finest.” Faced with the unenviable task of rationalizing Kyl’s handiwork, Steele noted there are “hyperbolic statements on both sides,” specifically about Republicans’ supposed desire to watch old people “get sick and die.”
This, though, prompted a retort from Maher – if Republicans don’t want that, what to make of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed Medicare voucher. At this point, things really started getting loud. There was Schultz yelling at Steele for mentioning President Barack Obama in the same breath as Kyl. There was Steele begging Schultz to “bring it down a notch.”
And there was Steele, when asked about what would happen to seniors who run out of Medicare voucher money:
“We don’t know yet.”
That one got quite the audience reaction, and Schultz clearly relished the chance to make an incredulous face. There was even a hint of a fistfight at one point, but Maher wasn’t too keen on the idea. Oh, and Amy Walter, political director for ABC News, was there also. Unfortunately for her, during the segment you’ll see below, she mostly functioned as Steele-Schultz buffer. (Which, come to think of it, was probably a key role.) Watch – and listen – via HBO.
One of the mantras of congressional Republicans over the past two years has been to ask, “Where are the jobs?” House GOP leader John Boehner (OH) made this into a theme of the campaign last fall. As then-GOP chairman Michael Steele summarized the argument: “Americans are still asking, ‘Where are the jobs?’ … Washington Democrats still have no answers.”
This afternoon, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and other progressives took to the floor of the House of Representatives to turn this question back on their Republican colleagues. Ellison and the others asked where all the jobs-creation legislation was, excoriating their conservative colleagues for focusing on legislation like terminating the HAMP program, which would do nothing to create jobs:
– Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN): “The Republicans’ no-jobs agenda has been exposed, Mr. Chair. The majority has done nothing to create jobs or protect homes. All they do is criticize programs that could use some improvement. Rather, they would get rid of them altogether.”
– Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY): “[The Republicans] have no plans of their own to address the foreclosure crisis that is hurting neighborhoods and disrupting lives throughout their country. Like the jobs bills they said they would have. We have yet to see them.”
– Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX): “Your cities have been impacted positively by the HAMP program. Job growth is picking up. Investing and growing jobs should be the mindset of the American Congress for that’s what we were sent back to Washington to do.”
At one point, Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) took to the floor to respond to the progressives. She attacked the HAMP program, urging her colleagues to end it, and signaled that she would oppose progressive amendments to the GOP’s bill for ending the mortgage modification program. Then, she incredulously told her colleagues to stop talking about jobs and focus rather on the substance of the amendments:
BIGGERT: I would urge my colleagues to support — oppose this amendment. And stop talking about jobs, let’s focus on the substance of these amendments.
One would have to wonder what a certain congresswoman who asked at a hearing — on February 25, 2010 — “Where are the jobs?” would think about Biggert’s statement. That congresswoman was Biggert herself. Watch it:
Reince Priebus just became the 65th Chairman of the RNC by garnering 97 votes in the seventh round of voting. After the fourth vote, Michael Steele dropped out of the running and said, “It’s very clear that the party wants to do something different.” Saul Anuzis obtained 43 votes and Maria Cino 28 votes. Here is what you need to know about the new RNC chairman:
– Priebus’s law firm sought funds from Obama’s stimulus package: Connecticut GOP chairman Chris Healy noted that Priebus’s Wisconsin law firm helped its clients obtain federal stimulus funds, citing the fact that Priebus’s name was attached to the “Stimulus and Economic Recovery Group.” Priebus immediately responded to the story, claiming he had never worked with his firm’s “Stimulus and Economic Recovery” group.
– His law firm says the recently passed health care bill is constitutional: Priebus’s law firm not only says the law is constitutional, but has touted its benefits to clients.
– Implicated in voter caging: While Priebus was chair of the Wisconsin GOP, the state party engaged fomented voter fraud conspiracies and hatched a voter caging plot with well-funded right-wing allies to suppress minority votes. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said, “When voter suppression allegations have surfaced in Wisconsin for the past decade, the name Reince Priebus isn’t far behind.”
– He has the backing of many of the Barbour clan: Henry Barbour, a committeeman from Mississippi and the nephew of Gov. Hale Barbour (R-MS), enticed Priebus into running for the RNC chair. Also, Nick Ayers, a close Barbour associate and executive director of the Republican Governors Association, reportedly gave behind-the-scenes support to Priebus, leading many to believe Priebus would favor Barbour for president in 2012. Priebus responded by saying, “I’m not Haley’s choice, I don’t think that Haley has any horse in the race, and he’s made that pretty clear on the record.”
– Priebus had close ties to former chairman Michael Steele, then stabbed him in the back: Priebus was Steele’s general counsel and frequently served as Steele’s top liaison to committee members. In a memo sent to RNC members, Connecticut Party chairman Chris Healy said that Priebus is partly responsible for the RNC’s poor performance. Commenting on Priebus’ run, Steele recently said, “It’s disappointing, you would hope that the bonds of loyalty were thicker than they apparently were.”
– Priebus mistakenly called for Obama’s execution:In a media conference call about Osama Bin Laden, Priebus slipped and accidentally called for the “execution” of Obama three separate times. “My guess is he would believe that Obama should be executed and he oughta be treated as a war criminal,” Priebus explained.
Priebus has said that he is dissatisfied with the 20 million dollar debt ran up by Steele, but as has been shown, Priebus worked closely with Steele during his tenure. So there’s a new face, but it’s still the same old party.