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Chairman Steele’s Complete Flip Flop

Yesterday, Republican Party chairman Michael Steele tried to blame the war in Afghanistan on Obama:

This was a war of Obama’s choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in. It was one of those, one of those areas of the total board of foreign policy … that we would be in the background, sort of shaping the changes that were necessary in Afghanistan as opposed to directly engaging troops. But it was the president who was trying to be cute by half by flipping a script demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should be in Afghanistan. Well, if he’s such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan.

However, last December, Steele was singing a very different tune:

Although this decision took far too long and it should not have, I am glad the president will finally provide General McChrystal with the troops he needs. However, tonight’s speech must be the beginning, not the end, of the case President Obama makes to the American people as to why this is, as he said during the campaign, ‘a war we have to win.’ If the president remains committed to this crucial fight, Republicans – and the American people – will stand with him.

Steele used to be a cheerleader for sending troops into Afghanistan, but now he claims that Obama should have known better. I guess he also lied about Republicans standing with Obama. Not to mention that he seems to have forgotten who started this war.

UPDATE: Conservatives are going nuts about Steele’s statement, and are calling for his resignation. One GOP operative put it this way: “This is the height of stupidity and epitomizes the problem that is Michael Steele.” In fact, the December statement by Steele (quoted above) was originally distributed by another GOP operative. And the RNC communications director tried to “clarify” Steele’s statement, but only managed to make things more murky. So, will the Republicans jettison their chairman and engage in another costly leadership fight just before the all-important midterm elections?



  1. I’m reminded of “Teddy” from Memento.

    Friday, July 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    My question is, if Obama changes his mind and pulls out of Afghanistan, how many milliseconds will it take before the Republicans attack him for that?

    Friday, July 2, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink
  3. Sammy wrote:

    IK, If Obama signed an executive order ending the income tax and outlawing all abortions the Republicans would find something to attack about that.

    Friday, July 2, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Doesn’t anyone remember that under Regan, we hired the excess Arab princes to go to war against Russia? And the Princes with nothing ahead of them in Saudi Arabia stayed in Afghanistan and formed the Taliban? Can’t anyone remember where this all started? It was started under the Actor.

    We put the people of Afghanistan under the regime of the Taliban. Women in the 1950s in Afghanistan we highly educated, wore poodle skirts, (short below the knees) The latest novel by the author of Kite Runner is trite but shows Afghanistan as it was before we messed it up. We have a moral obligation to try to do out best to straighten it out.

    And had Russia won the war if we stayed out of it? You tell me.

    I get viseral about the destruction we created in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 7:56 am | Permalink

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  1. Political Irony › Backtracking Steele on Monday, July 5, 2010 at 10:09 am

    […] Lindsey Graham (R-SC), currently touring Afghanistan, when asked about Michael Steele’s recent comments about this being “Obama’s War”: This is not President Obama’s war. This is America’s war. … I want to separate myself […]