Shortly after being elected RNC chairman on Friday, Michael Steele declared, “We want you to work with us, and for those of you who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over.” Today on Fox News, Steele elaborated on these comments:
And for those Democrats and others who just want to put up roadblocks and do the crazy typical play that they normally do — the name-calling, the obfuscation, and the sleight-of-hand — I don’t have time for it. Because there are important issues we have to face on the economy, the war, and issues that affect the poor, and I want to have this party in a position to move on those issues.
Ironically, what he described is exactly what House Republicans have been doing over the past week on the economic recovery package. President Obama repeatedly met with Republicans to get their input on the bill, but instead of working with him on “the economy…and issues that affect the poor,” they made a pact to all vote “nay.”
When host Chris Wallace pointed out to Steele that conservatives may come off looking like obstructionists, Steele simply replied, “I think you propose something that is not in my best interest, why am I an obstructionist if I don’t agree with it?” Watch it:
The point is not simply disagreeing or holding out for better provisions. What conservatives did over the past week is obstruction for anticipated political gain. In fact, they were “delighted” and “celebrating” the fact that they all did nothing to help the struggling economy after Wednesday’s vote, hoping the bill failed so that Democrats would be blamed.
Steele repeatedly said that conservatives have all these new ideas to offer to the public. But what are they? So far, they seem to be a recycling of failed, rejected ideas. House conservatives have advocated a return to Bushonomics, even though those policies helped the country reach the condition it’s currently in.
Today, Steele also said that he wanted to use the “Contract With America” — a 1994 document created by Tom DeLay and Newt Gingrich — as a model. But as Judd Legum notes, “polls showed the vast majority Americans had never heard of it. Of the few that did know, half said it made them less likely to vote Republican.”
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