Steele didn't "root for failure" anywhere. And he isn't really "betting against our troops." He's saying that this an inherently unwinnable situation, however brave and tough the troops are. I don't know if that's what he believes, but that's what he said. Clearly, Dems are opting for strong language to break through on a Friday before a holiday weekend in the belief that this does raise real questions about Steele's candor. But this is Karl Rove's playbook. I don't care how often Republicans do it -- this blog is not on board with this kind of thing from either party.Adam Serwer:
It ought to be acceptable in public discourse for political figures disagree with American foreign policy without it being suggested that doing so is inherently disloyal. It's disgraceful that there now seems to be a bipartisan accord that being skeptical of American military intervention abroad is by definition unacceptable. How foolishly shortsighted of the Democrats, who will never be able to deploy this script as effectively as their Republican opponents.Actually, however, this is just an excuse for me to remind everyone that the Chair of the national party committees is not a very important person in American politics. The parties are very important. However, our parties are split between formal organizations and informal networks, and the formal organizations are organized into dozens of separate entities: on the Republican side we could talk about the RNC, the two "hill" committees (NRCC and NRSC), the House and Senate Republican conferences, the fifty state party organizations, and whatever other independent committees (state LCCs, state legislative caucuses) are out there. The formal party organizations aren't necessarily hierarchical, and it's likely that at least in some ways informal party networks are more important than the formal organizations. As almost always is true in American politics, there's a lot of variation...an effective RNC chair can presumably have a lot more influence within the party than a weak one can. But basically, it's mostly a nothing position.