Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The sinews of politics

The first report in our ongoing Michael Steele Deathwatch comes from the Moonie Times (h/t Pam at Pandagon), which reports that "Randy Pullen, the RNC’s elected treasurer, former RNC General Counsel David Norcross and three other former top RNC officers have presented Mr. Steele with a resolution, calling for a new set of checks and balances on the chairman’s power to dole out money."

Four years ago, after the DFH's managed to get Howard Dean elected as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, probably the most important thing Dean did was distribute oodles of money to the state parties so they could ramp up their party-building efforts. This move was applauded by rank-and-file Democrats and condemned by the party's Beltway mandarins, who sneered that Dean was "just hiring a bunch of staff people to wander around Utah and Mississippi and pick their nose." Dean meant his "Fifty-State Strategy" to be a long-term effort, so probably nobody was more surprised than Dean himself when his efforts bore fruit in two short years, resulting in the Democrats' regaining control of Congress.

Admittedly, Michael Steele's first few months on the job has seen the GOP lurch from one disaster to the next, with yesterday's defection of Senator Arlen Specter acting as a sort of grand crescendo, so you can see why they'd be growing wary. But never fear! It looks like those clever Republicans are going to make sure their new chairman doesn't spend any money hiring a bunch of staff people to wander around California and Massachusetts and pick their nose, so we can expect things to turn around for the Republican Party any day now.

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