This is some unfortunate timing: RNC chair Michael Steele will launch a new effort today to proclaim that the GOP is making a comeback — less than 24 hours after newly released polling revealed in fresh detail that the Republican Party is in extraordinarily dire straits.
Steele will make a big speech today to RNC officials which focuses the party on “winning the future.” He has an accompanying Op ed in The Politico that proclaims that the “Republican Party has turned a corner.”
But unfortunately for Steele, this bold assertion comes right at the moment when the political classes are digesting new Gallup polling that finds the number of people self-identifying as Republicans has plunged among almost all demographic subgroups.
Other optimistic noises coming from Steele today are similarly challenged by polling data. Steele’s Op ed claims that the GOP represents the “concerns of a majority of Americans.” But a recent New York Times poll found that only 20% trust Congressional Republicans to make the right decisions about the economy, and only 27% trust them to make good decisions about keeping us safe.
The problem for Steele of course is that he is hamstrung by his own party. Right now the inmates are running the asylum so any true attempt at outreach will be seen as weakness and met with scorn and derision. The GOP has convinced itself that it is the voice of the American people. And no matter how many times the American people shout from the hills in elections and polls that they don't agree with the GOP, Republicans still aren't trying to hear it. Recently the talking point I have heard is that the American people just haven't caught up to the GOP way of thinking yet, but supposedly this will all change soon. Yeah, good luck with that. I don't hold Michael Steele in high regard at all but right now he is in a no win situation. You can't have the party pushing to purify itself and expect to bring people into the fold. So while Steele is going to get fired eventually and some of it will be his fault, the truth is the problems the GOP is having are fundamental and not likely to change anytime soon no matter who is leading them.