Michael Steele Accepts RNC Chairmanship

Today is a good day to be a Republican.

Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele has been selected as the next chairman of the Republican National Committee. After six ballots, Steele won the election with 91 votes, beating out incumbent Mike Duncan, Ken Blackwell, Katon “All White Country Club” Dawson, and Saul “Gay Baiter” Anuzis.

Steele is an inclusive, big tent Republican who has what it takes to lead the Party with integrity and focus. He brings the enthusiasm, experience, and personality necessary to unify and strengthen the Republican Party.

Congratulations to Chairman Michael Steele and kudos to the RNC members who elected a fine man and the right candidate for the job.

Will Republicans Get An Inclusive RNC Chair?

At the height of Palinmania, liberal feminist author Rebecca Walker wrote a piece for The Huffington Post boldly calling for a bigger feminist tent. She criticized the “habitual distancing of women [like Sarah Palin] who don’t serve the progressive feminist agenda” and addressed “the necessity of finding commonality with women who don’t hold progressive views.”

You can imagine how well that went over with the “progressive” HuffPo crowd.

Many commenters dismissed Walker’s ideas. They reveled childishly in the opportunity to smear Palin with the usual chorus of “she’s not a real woman” and “she doesn’t get to call herself a feminist.” Also included, a generous sprinkling of “she’s a terrible mother,” “conservative women are tools of the patriarchy,” and the ever popular insult, “Bush in a skirt.”

I’m reminded of the venomous responses to Walker’s HuffPo post as I consider the current state of the RNC Chair race. Many of the 168 voting Committee members are clamoring for a uniformly conservative Party that brands social moderates, libertarians, and centrists as ideologically impure. Even those who pay lip service to Ronald Reagan’s notion of a big GOP tent seem comfortable marginalizing Republicans whose conservative bona fides don’t measure up to their questionable standards.

Minnesota GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis donned his RINO-huntin’ gear early in the race for national Chair and set his sights on Michael Steele, the former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland. James Richardson explains:

Shortly after launching his campaign for RNC Chairman in mid-November, Saul Anuzis, the beleaguered MIGOP Chairman, began circulating news of LGBT (read: moderate) support for former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele to prominent social conservative committee members.

Steele’s past work with Christine Todd Whitman’s centrist Republican Leadership Council, his dissenters argue, disqualifies him to lead the Republican Party as the faithful opposition to President Obama’s social agenda and economic recovery plan.

Later, when the Log Cabin Republicans reached out to each of the RNC candidates, an Anuzis operative named Katie Packer responded on his behalf, calling him “a reasonable individual who does not seek to grow the party by dividing it.”

Right. So first Anuzis uses gay support as a not-so-subtle litmus test to indicate an opponent’s failings, and then his rep cozies up to the Log Cabin Republicans. But wait, there’s more:

After news of Team Anuzis’ correspondence broke, Saul quickly distanced himself from Packer and said he had approved no such outreach, nor did he seek Log Cabin’s endorsement. Still working to build inroads in the social conservative community, Saul simply couldn’t afford the perception that he was seeking to “grow the party” with the help of, gasp, gay and moderate Republicans.

I understand that many Americans, President Obama included, do not support full equality for gays and lesbians, but is it really required political posturing for an RNC Chair candidate to publicly distance himself from gay outreach? Is Anuzis worried his RNC buddies will think he picked up GRIDS cooties from contact with the gays?

Last November, Senator McCain won more of the gay vote than any other Republican presidential candidate has ever received – 1.3 million votes and 27% of the LGBT vote, according to exit polls. Let’s hope we can continue that trend with an RNC Chair who understands and believes in a big Republican tent, not one who makes nice to gay Republicans and moderates in private while publicly rejecting their support and excluding them from Party politics.

Are Liberal Gays Losing Their Hope-on for Obama?

It’s getting tough to keep up with the spastic narrative of love, hate, passion, and betrayal that reflects gay liberal sentiment toward President-elect Barack Obama. On any given day he could be messiah or pariah, depending on anything from the gay-friendliness of his cabinet to how often he drops the word “gay” into speeches. The liberal blogosphere is constantly abuzz with speculation as to whether this man on whom so many staked their hopes and dreams will be the progressive savior of the liberal gay community. Will he offer change they can believe in, or just More of the Sameâ„¢?

This schizophrenic attitude was most apparent among Barack Obama’s fair weather friends in the liberal gay community when they became outraged at his choice of Proposition 8 supporter Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation. For days they decried his betrayal of progressives, lamented their failure to achieve genuine political clout, and railed against Obama’s cunning duplicity. They employed the foul language and vitriol normally reserved for Rethuglicans, godbag fundies, and anyone with the last name Bush or Cheney.

And then hopey days were here again.

With the announcement that gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson would be delivering the invocation at the beginning of Inauguration Week, the fickle far left warmed to Obama as quickly as they had turned on him. They grew giddy when Whitehouse Press Secretary Robert Gibbs promised a forthcoming repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and gay activist leaders seemed appeased by the Obama transition team’s ramped up LGBT outreach efforts.

Ideological treason forgiven, it would seem.

But not so fast. Even as Obama was giving gay folks a cursory shout out during his speech at the Lincoln Memorial Sunday afternoon, a renewed movement to kick Obama to the proverbial curb arose when it surfaced that Gene Robinson’s invocation was not televised with the rest of the festivities. Even most of those present on the National Mall were unable to hear his prayer due to speaker malfunctions, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC was never introduced or identified by name when they sang with Josh Groban at the event.

Hoodwinked and bamboozled again!

Obama was for gays before he was against them and he’ll be for them again soon, his aides will explain. But how long will gays and lesbians ride this emotional roller coaster before they grow sick of the bones they’re occasionally thrown? How long until they realize the Defense of Marriage Act isn’t going anywhere on Obama’s watch and he won’t be revamping the federal tax code to benefit same-sex couples any time soon? How long until all that cultish hope evaporates permanently and liberal gays realize that rumors of impending change have been greatly exaggerated?

Unlicensed Reporter Heading to Israel

Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher, derided by the angry far left for being an “unlicensed plumber,” is now an unlicensed war correspondent for Pajamas TV. The AP reports:

The Ohio man, who became famous during the U.S. presidential campaign after asking Barack Obama about his tax plan, is heading to Israel as a war correspondent for a conservative Web site called pjtv.com.

Dubbed “Joe the Plumber” by McCain’s campaign, Samuel “Joe” Wurzelbacher was held up as an example of an American worker who would be hurt economically by Obama’s election.

Wurzelbacher says he’ll spend 10 days covering the fighting and explaining why Israeli forces are mounting attacks against Hamas.

He tells WNWO-TV in Toledo that he wants “go over there and let their ‘Average Joes’ share their story.”

Michelle Malkin has begun the countdown to death wishes aimed at Joe The Plumber from his far left “admirers.” I’m taking bets on who will be the first to suggest he’s heading to Israel to help Bristol Palin cover up the exact date of Tripp Palin’s birth.

Not My Cup of Tea …

… but New York based SerendipiTea is hoping that if President-elect Barack Obama sends thrills up your leg, their new Inaugural Blend will be yours. Predictably (and offensively) enough, “OBAMA 44 ~ Inaugural Blend ” is a Kenyan black tea with a taste of all American apple pie and just a hint of Hawaii. Here’s the promotional email I received yesterday:

SerendipiTea & TEA A Magazine Commemorate History

OBAMA 44 ~ Inaugural Blend
Kenyan Black Tea, Apple, Mango & Cinnamon

Commemorate this Historic 2009 Inauguration with a Tea toast for a Change.
Enjoy a brisk, clear cup of straight-forward Kenyan Black
blended with a taste of All-American Apple Pie
& a hint of Hawaii (Apples, go-Mango & Cinnamon).
For the maverick lurking within, add a drop of Milk or Soy….
Then settle in to observe or jump for joy.
$10.00/4 oz Box Retail approx. 50 cups

Just don’t brew your Inaugural Blend for too long – it might lead to bitterness.

President Bush Signs Law Protecting Retirement Savings for Same-Sex Partners

While gay rights activists were engaged in fits of apoplexy over Barack Obama’s selection of Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation, outgoing President George W. Bush quietly took a small step toward ensuring equality for same-sex partnerships by signing The Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (WRERA).

American employers will soon be required to allow the partners of gay and lesbian employees to inherit 401(k) retirement savings accounts without incurring tax penalties. The newly signed legislation will allow any designated beneficiary to roll retirement savings over into an IRA, a benefit employers may limit to spousal survivors under current law.

As you might imagine, commenters in the progressive/gay blogosphere had a little trouble giving “Bushitler” credit for taking this small but meaningful step. The upstanding folks at Minnesota Independent reveled in Bush’s perceived betrayal of his base and engaged in a little Christianist bashing (just for good measure.) The gang at Think Progress is pretty sure this law only got the thumbs up because BushCo failed to read the legislation attentively, possibly due to a drug-induced stupor. To be fair, a few commenters at The Huffington Post offered Bush their gratitude; others celebrated what was termed a fundie smackdown, but explained that the legislation was only approved by Bush so he could throw one last bone to his log cabin cronies.

Perhaps it’s best that the mainstream media ignored the passage of this law. There’s always something to be said for avoiding a large scale outbreak of Bush Derangement Syndrome.