The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Memo to Michael Steele

Mr. Steele,

When you were elected chairman of the RNC, I rejoiced.  I saw in you an opportunity to move the GOP  forward from its questionable past to a future as a tru party of inclusion. I remember watching the voting online, and me and my son jumping up and down when the final tally was announced. I had high hopes for you, and hoped you’d succeed during your chairmanship.

I saw you take on Rush Limbaugh. Saw you doing what you had to, to reestablish your authority. I’ll admit to some concern, but saw you sticking to what you said and thought, “maybe there’s hope for the GOP after all.”

And then you apologized-retracted, clarified, walked back, whatever you’d like to call it-for everything you said. Your words, not mine:

“My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh. I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”

A question, Mike…what leadership? Aren’t you the head of the Republican National Committee? That’s what I thought…

Unfortunately, you’ve proven yourself no better than James Harris. That, for you, is a far fall.

I’m not going to address what this means for the GOP, because I know the argument that’s being made: leader or not, Rush has power and influence. Better to have him on your side than against you. I’ll let the GOP deal with that in their own way (translation: cue applause!!), and I’ll make this personal.

One of the things that I can’t stand about some-admittedly, not all-black conservatives and Republicans is the general “go along to get along” attitude that is unspokenly expected of us. In some circles, we’re expected to show up for the events, shrill for the candidates, and talk down the opposition (on camera, of course!!) to our communities. And, at the end of it all, we’re supposed to sit down, be quiet, and not actually involve ourselves in the political process-or (worse) actually speak up when we see something stupid-either from a moral or strategic perspective-happen.

I didn’t take you to be that kind of person. Apparently, I was wrong. But let’s reduce it to a level that’s even more basic.

I believe you meant what you said when you called Limbaugh “incendiary and ugly.” Saw your eyes, heard your words, and that’s the conclusion I came to. If that’s so-if you really stand by your comments-then as a man, why would you feel the need to back off them to appease people? Stand by what you say. Take a lesson from-of all people-Nancy Pelosi: don’t involve yourself in the pop culture. Let the entertainers entertain; you lead.

So that’s it. All I can do is wish you the best from here on. I can’t wish for you to fail.

In my book, you already have.




Written by Coby Dillard

March 3, 2009 at 8:11 am

2 Responses

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  1. Personally I was disappointed in Steele’s response since I hoped that the GOP was trying to appeal to a larger base. Additionally, I wanted the GOP to make some real fundamental changes to their image; however, I am disappointed to see “fanatical conservatives” still are forcing the GOP into an evolutionary standstill. Steele’s election was a step forward for Republicans in the right direction (the “real” reasons why they chose him is still subject for debate) however, his apology (which undoubtedly came from his peers) for his comments about Rush Limbaugh made me rethink. I have come to the conclusion that Steele was elected to appeal to minority/independent voters and moderate republicans. While this may appeal to some I am not fooled, I believe that being pressured to apologize for making true statements to a known vocal prejudiced man made me look at him as a proverbial “house negro”. This apology reinforced all of the ugly stereotypes the GOP is allegedly trying to get rid of…I wonder how Steele feels about the power of his position now. As for me I will sit back and watch how Steele will attempt to rebound from his prostration. Maybe he’ll rebound and earn my respect again, one can only hope.

    Coby: …and there lies the problem. The people who he hoped to do most of his outreach to will look at him the same way.

    There’s very few ways he can rebound that won’t come of as pandering, and-of course-he’s already ticked off the base, and he needs them. The terms of the remainder of his chairmanship are going to be dictated to him.

    To moderates and independents, he looks like an ineffective leader. That’s worse than anything the GOP can cast on him.


    March 3, 2009 at 10:14 am


    Let the entertainers – – entertain. You LEAD!!



    March 3, 2009 at 12:25 pm

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