Meet your next commanding general of Afghanistan.RNC chairman Michael Steele is either dumb or really likes making his party angry and/or sigh, because yesterday he was caught on video in a circus tent saying that the Afghanistan war is bad and didn’t need to be fought. (And Obama is a bad president for inventing this war.) Steele forgot that Republicans love wars, such as the one in Afghanistan, which Republicans invented a decade ago to celebrate the first 9/11. He also forgot nobody cares what the Republican Party chairman says unless he says something crazy. Like he always does.

“Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama’s choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”

Whaaaa? There was something commonly referred to as 9/11 maybe? And there was a president named George W. Bush? We’ll give Steele the benefit of the doubt and say he meant this is a different war than the one it was before, because somehow no Republican ran up to Steele and stabbed him when he said this.

“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.”

That was cute? Well, yeah, everything Obama does is adorable. That man is a walking Lisa Frank product.

At least we can respect Michael Steele for his doctorate in Afghanistan history. [TPM]

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  1. Steele knows that the closet racists in the GOP leadership are afraid to fire him, as they’d risk appearing as what they are but for the wrong reasons.

  2. To be fair, he played the lead role in Racine’s Alexander the Great in a college production. He’s just a little fuzzy on the timeline.

  3. The Afghans haven’t failed in their land wars in Afghanistan. Sure, they’re “country” is steaming slag-heap of rubble, but they won! We should learn from their example, is what Mikey’s trying to say here.

  4. Steele’s right. Cheney and the neoCons thought Iraq was the problem thus allowing two wars to fester instead of just one.

  5. Steele is so far past Batshit Junction that even Bill Kristol is calling for his resignation. You don’t demonize the beloved land war in Asia, Steele! I, for one, hope Steele stays as head of the RNC — it’ll be precious hearing him talk about how Afghanistan is Obama’s Iraq.

  6. Steele needs to take his treasure chest of speaking fees and buy a $61 billion shooting range in Afghanistan right now. Or the teatards will just support some other wingnut.

    Of course, the range could look like the rest of the country. And that isn’t much money by Afghan improvement project standards.

  7. Steele is a Democratic Party mole, just as Alvin Greene is a Republican Party plant. What give them away? The pointless “e” at the end of their names.

  8. Jack, the Steelman (Ironman, whatever) knows that when push comes to shove Barry is going ask Israel to split the difference and nuke Iran which is about half way between Baghdad and Kabul.

    [re=611019]Katydid[/re]: Ouch! Fess-up Jack.

  9. Either he’s staged as un-obvious mis-direction OR he is truly stupid…

    I’m beginning to believe that republicans still don’t get that invention of yesteryear called VIDEO TAPE… AND, more frightening than ever is the fact that it can be REPLAYED !!!

    OR, his brain just died.. what ever fits the moment..

  10. [re=611033]freakishlystrong[/re]: Apparently, he ran the government for a few months in between the Clinton and Obama Presidencies.

  11. Dear Ann Landers,

    I am concerned.

    Bill Kristol and I both agree Steele was wrong here.

    Given Kristol’s track record (0 for ever), should I be worried?

    Bleeding Gums Liberal

  12. Everybody knows Afghanistan is where Noah’s Ark of the Covenant is. Buried high up on top a Turkish mountain. That’s why it’s unconquerable.

  13. Talking Points Memo is speculating that he might have actually crossed the Line of Death this time. Though I hope he stays in his job, continuing all the comic wonder that is Michael, think of the cool stuff he’d say if they actually can his ass. A fully uncensored, embittered Steele would be a thing of beauty. Like a cow after the train has passed.

  14. The Republicans didn’t go pincushion on him because they caught his drift immediately. Amuricuns are so damned stupid and racist that they’ll believe anything bad they hear about Obama if it’s said with enough sincerity. To wit: Obama invaded Afghanistan, Obama pals around with Prince Bandar, Obama’s deregulation led to the Enron debacle, Obama left the nation’s guard down on 9/11, etc, etc. Go ahead–say any of these things to a group of ten random strangers and six of them will nod their heads. And two of the others won’t know who Obama is.

  15. I’m…so…what the fuck is he saying?

    Our current president “demonized Iraq”, then insisted we should, what, START a war in Afghanistan, a country we’ve been in since 9/12/2001?

    Did someone switch his morning briefing papers with some Democratic briefing papers from 2002?


  16. Yo, whddaup y’all! Steele done and gone and pissed off the Neocons. Shit is about to be all up in hiz shizzle fo’dizzle.

  17. I think the RNC put Michael Steele in that job because they are racists. They picked the dumbest black guy they could find so that they could say, “See what happens when you put a black guy in charge?” So that’s Michael’s job: Dumb Black Guy. Congrats, Michael, you are a credit to your &c.

  18. I wonder if this is one of those Kinsey-esque gaffes where in his way Steele actually admitted that he thought the war was stupid and that we should get the hell out of there. Impossible, you say, because he’s an idiot but I’d like to point out that if there’s one thing Hollywood has taught us other than that Vampires sparkle during the day is that retarded people usually say the wisest things.

  19. I have heard Michael Steele’s comments regarding Afghanistan and the President.

    I have read the RNC’s statement on the matter.

    The RNC statement is indecipherable in the context of what Michael Steele actually said.

    The war in Afghanistan is not a war of Barack Obama’s choosing. It is a war of Al Qaeda and the Taliban’s choosing. We responded.

    Michael Steele must resign. He has lost all moral authority to lead the GOP.

    This is funny cause it’s from Redstate.

  20. Once again, I’m going to go on record saying that Michael Steele is the best thing the Republicans have going for them. If only they’d listen, instead of advocating Endless War. I mean, I understand the importance of supporting the troops, who are fundamental to American democracy, but advocating a situation where we just send our service members to terrorist havens that don’t want us into infinity seems a little, well, Sisyphean. Which in itself is not troop supporting.

    So way to go Michael Steele, court jester that I love. As for blaming Obama for this mess, however, I’m somehow doubtful that that message is really going to stick.

  21. [re=611064]edgydrifter[/re]: I think this is exactly right. Republicans say the craziest shit imaginable because they know that their flock doesn’t know the difference. It does not matter if they contradict themselves completely one week later on the very same tv program – they know that no one watching will remember anything at all about what they said last week.

  22. In all seriousness…if Steele favored the Iraq War, then by saying Obama is “demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should be in Afghanistan” isn’t Steele doing the same thing with the countries reversed? Or does he not get that these were two separate wars with two different justifications? What an ignoramus.

  23. Keep in mind again, Michael Steele is not of the GOP choosing, he is not a chairman that those white people actively elected or wanted to engage in.

  24. [re=611043]SayItWithWookies[/re]: And yet the Republican position is that Bush was so inconsequential as a President that nothing he ever did could be to blame for anything happening anywhere ever.

  25. Of course no one would even contemplate firing Michael Steele, because

    a.) of the orbiting constellation of CIA rail guns.

    b.) his karate is too good! He fight dragon-style!

    c.) without him, how would the RNC address the big urban-suburban hip-hop demographic? Seriously, how would it?

    d.) THERE’S ACTUALLY NO WAY TO FIRE HIM! HE CAN SAY OR DO WHATEVER HE LIKES! He’s got the best job in America.

  26. Well, he’s right about land wars in Afghanistan! For trying to pin it on Obama, he’s a stupid jerk.


  27. [re=611144]you cannot be serious[/re]: …$1 Trillion in precious metals…. I know this is crude Marxism, but wars always seem to be about getting some kind of stuff: land, oil, etc. I used to think Afghanistan was about getting ahold of the $80 billion per year opium biz, but this precious metals find (which the Russians knew about when they were in Afghanland), is much bigger.

  28. [re=611139]snideinplainsight[/re]: I think when a party spends an entire day of congressional hearings bashing Thurgood Marshall, it shows that the party has pretty much decided that it’s not really concerned about going after the big urban-suburban hip-hop demographic.

  29. Uh, it’s easy to talk shit when you’re the loser and talk out of both sides of your mouth. As soon as Obama drops Afghanistan, Steele will attack him for his “inability to maintain US Security”. It’s the usual GOP tactic.

  30. [re=611162]Maus[/re]: Given that this is Michael Steele we’re talking about, he’d probably say: “It’s the only good thing Obama’s ever done.” And then William Kristol’s head would go *bang!* all over his office walls.

  31. I just can’t take it. The guy is way too funny. He’s the GOP’s laff offensive. My workday is shot from LOL’ing so much.

  32. Remember last year, when the line was “There were no terrorist attacks on American soil under George W Bush”? And now this great little piece of revisionism pops up! Man, the next editions of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History” / “American History for Christian Schools” are going to be side-splittingly hilarious.

  33. Some advice for Steele, from someone who knew a thing or two about Afghanistan:

    “When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.
    Go, go, go like a soldier…”

    Rudyard Kipling

  34. The best part of Obama being elected is that the GOP felt they had to install their only black member as the head of party in order to seem relevant. Especially after the Hispanic guy didn’t work out. That’s why they’re finally dropping any pretense of not being racist; they see Martinez ane Steele and it validates all of their deeply-held beliefs.

    Although neither one’s really stupider than any of the white or orange members of the party.

  35. This just in from today’s L.A. Times Op-Ed by John “The Walrus In a Toupe” Bolton:

    “Instead, we require a sustained military presence in Afghanistan devoted to the grim, relentless crushing of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, coupled with substantially enhanced Pakistani military pressure there. This means protracted military action, not social services, which Team Obama is thoroughly unwilling to endorse. It turns out, entirely predictably, that Afghanistan was not “the good war” after all.”


  36. Oh, Michael, “flipping the script?” You’re still trying to work that whole hip-hop thing aren’t you? Now that’s what I call cute.

  37. [re=611269]StanTheComedyMan![/re]: I’ll make the nasty remarks around here, Thank You Very Much.

    [re=611281]DP[/re]: Your Mother wears Army Boots.

  38. [re=611006]Jumping Jim[/re]: You mean GAY sex scandel, preferably in diapers or involving crystal meth off hookers’ asses….

  39. Heh, I knew if I looked in here I would find a bunch of racists. Of course, it doesn’t occur to racists that calling a democratically elected black man the puppet-slave of his racist masters pretty much cuts his balls off, which is what I know all of you racists *really* want to do.

  40. [re=611051]actor212[/re]:
    Dear Actor Dear Actor

    You have no complaint
    You are what your are and you ain’t what you ain’t
    So listen up Buster, and listen up good
    Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood

    Signed, Dear Abby

  41. [re=611267]StanTheComedyMan![/re]: So basically his approach is “better to be feared than loved”. Someone roll W. W. Rostow out of his grave and ask him how THAT development strategy works out.

    [re=611475]Obamas Left Testicle[/re]: Trolls? In my Wonkette? It’s more likely than you think!

    So sure, Aghanistan is Obama’s war, as the newspapers and magazines have made clear; I’ll even accept that little bit of received knowledge, by the sad logic that Obama will probably need to devote more manpower and money to Afghanistan that our man W did. But do try to remember who actually invaded Afghanistan, installed cronies, and then kept a feeble number of troops on the ground while the situation deteriorated because of the need to fight two wars at once. There’s no way in hell you can possibly defend Steele’s ludicrous assertion that this is a war of “Obama’s choosing” or the muddled temporality of his statement insinuating that Aghanistan was only pursued after Iraq.

  42. Hi Brahms, I note the success in Iraq and the coalescing consensus that failure in Afghanistan is inevitable. Obama has the standing to pull out of Afghanistan and cut our losses. His continued refusal to do so makes it his war without qualification.

    Mr. CivicHoliday: don’t worry, there’s no way in hell that you could possibly hang here with us.

  43. Another bunch of USAID workers just got blown to bits in another Taliban suicide raid in Northern Afghanistan.

    Someone really out to put a bullet into this clown – pronto. Were is James Earl Ray, Jr. when we REALLY need him?

    [Sorry. Was that offensive? Or more accurately: Any more offensive than this lying, self-serving, hypocritical Piece of Shit.]

  44. [re=611126]BarackMyWorld[/re]: “My fear is that after he’s fired he will be replaced by someone competent.”

    In a way, he already has – there is an underground Republican power circle that I recently read about, that includes Cheney, which is maintaining contact with the big donors Steele has pissed off, &c, but sorry I completely forgot the name of this group. They make the decisions. Steele has fucked up so much and alienated donors that he’s a figurehead now, drawing attention away from what the real Republican power brokers are up to. Also.

    Regarding another comment, Sarah Palin is the secret Russian spy plant. She lives too close to Russia and watches Putin too damn much. Her winking and state of her cleavage send secret signals to her overlords.

  45. Winking and cleavage are key to the code, but, they are only two legs of the stool. The third is a combination of skirt length and heel height.

  46. Amazing how you amateur gynecologists can’t stop talking about Palin’s tits. It’s almost as bad during the presidential primaries when you just couldn’t get enough of Hillary’s fat ass.

  47. [re=611586]Obamas Left Testicle[/re]: Gynecologists work a little lower. And we like tits, even if they are surrounded by a useless pile of fail like Sarah Palin.

    The quality of the trolls we attract these days continues to disappoint.

  48. [re=611586]Obamas Left Testicle[/re]: YOU ASSHOLE!!! HOW DARE YOU CALL HILLARY’S ASS FAT!! You cut us deep, bro. What’s next? Michelle O’s monster thighs? It doesn’t matter, you already went straight for our juggsular. I hope your happy now.

  49. [re=611512]Mad Brahms[/re]: “There’s no way in hell you can possibly defend Steele’s ludicrous assertion that this is a war of “Obama’s choosing” . . . .”

    Much as I state to anything that might be construed as a defense of Michael “Uncle Thomas” Steele:

    Actually, you can make this argument. Obama made a deliberate decision, during the campaign, to “focus on Afghanistan” — but to “focus” in terms of more troops, military resources, etc.

    Then, after he was elected, Hopey dug himself in deeper by not immediately calling for a meeting of all the “players” and asking some very pointed questions, e.g., (1) What, precisely is the goal?; (2) How, precisely, do you plan to achieve it?; (3) What, precisely will it cost?; and (4) Why, precisely, do the historical experiences of the British, Russian and other empires not apply (i.e., why is this not “Vietnam With Sand,” right down to the Karzai clan equally the Diem family)?

    Having gotten answers, Obama could have punted the entire thing to Congress, e.g., asking for a vote to approve a continued involvement in a war/occupation (1) aimed at a goal that is vaguely defined (and unachievable); (2) conducted by strategies/plans that have no historical basis, make no sense, and are inconsistent with the time, money and lives that America is prepared to spend; (3) that will cost trillions of dollars at time when the US economy is floundering, etc.

    Let the GOP, and the Red Dog Democrats, vote for THAT package.

    Obama didn’t do this, because he is a Spineless Centerist, a la Jimmy Carter, who “lucked into” both his Senate seat and the Presidency. Sure, he talks well, is intelligent, and probably is a very nice man. But his luck has run out. (That is the problem with luck, as opposed to principles.)

    In a way, Obama is worse than Nixon in this context. In 1968 the latter campaigned on his “Secret Plan to End The War,” but never mentioned that this secret plan was “Bombing The Living Shit Out Of North Vietnam.” As wrong as this was, it at least was a “plan.”

    In contrast, Obama went forward with a failed policy/approach/war when he really didn’t have to, and could have disengaged from relatively easily, and at relatively low political cost — at that juncture.

    The Real Issue/Question now is what happens in July/August of next year? The GOP and the military already are beating the drums of “We Can’t Leave Now,” which sets up the whole “Obama Lost Afghanistan,” “Obama Was Beaten By The Taliban/Al Queda,” and “Obama Wasted American Lives” themes for the next election. As a result, Obama is going to have to stall the troop draw-down to protect himself politically.

    So over the next couple of years, when you read about American troops and/or aid personnel, being killed and maimed, do so in the firm knowledge that Our Noble Dead Gave Their Lives For A Truly Worthwhile Goal: Getting Hopey A Second Term.

    In closing, “Happy 4th!”

    ASSHOLE Endowed Chair of History And Exploding Thingies
    Some Rathole Community College In The Middle Of Nowhere

  50. [re=611642]Neilist[/re]: Though overall I agree with you on Afghanistan and getting the hell out of it, I do quibble with a couple of your points:

    Hopey dug himself in deeper by not immediately calling for a meeting of all the “players” and asking some very pointed questions, e.g., (1) What, precisely is the goal?; (2) How, precisely, do you plan to achieve it?; (3) What, precisely will it cost?; and (4) Why, precisely, do the historical experiences of the British, Russian and other empires not apply

    On the contrary, he spent so much time last year telling the military and his advisers to come up with answers to 1 and 2 (and maybe 3 to a lesser extent) that he took a lot of heat from the GOP and even hawks in his own party for dithering. Remember when the opposition was demanding he make decisions even if they were the wrong ones? You and I may disagree with what he chose to do in the end, but I think he did his due diligence, as you lawyers say.

    Having gotten answers, Obama could have punted the entire thing to Congress…Obama didn’t do this, because he is a Spineless Centerist

    Punting to Congress would have shown spinelessness, but he took on responsibility for the war himself. He stood up in front of a few hundred cadets at West Point and told them he is sending them over to Afghanistan and some of them may not come back. I think it’s accurate to say he’s taking his official responsibility as CINC of the armed forces seriously.

    There’s nothing wrong with being a centrist, either. I’ve never understood the argument that a centrist lacks principles somehow. What it means is that a person is open to hearing and engaging arguments from both the left and the right. Contrast that with the idealogues on the left or right who have a near-Pavlovian response that anything coming from the other side is automatically wrong-headed and bad.

    And yeah, the military is already beating the drums of “We Can’t Leave Now” but some people have been beating that drum on Iraq since Hopey came into office, and yet last I checked our draw-down on troops there is still on schedule. So maybe (admittedly a big maybe) Obama will be immune to that sort of pressure.

    Enough seriousness, it’s a holiday. I’m going to go get drunk for freedom.

  51. [re=611647]imissopus[/re]: A rational discussion with that ASSHOLE Neilist?!? Are you MAD?????

    1. “Punting to Congress would have shown spinelessness, but he took on responsibility for the war himself.”

    The idea that a President shows “spinelessness” by making Congress decide on whether to declare/wage war — as required by the Constitution — shows precisely how far downhill the Nation as a whole, and citizenry thereof, have gone since WWII and Cold War. The idea of the “unitary Executive” is now so ingrained in our thinking that even Commie Liberal Scum like Wonkies take it as part of the baseline for the analysis.

    2. “There’s nothing wrong with being a centrist, either.”

    Implicit in that statement is the idea that “There is no right or wrong answer,” e.g., you can take a “Split the Baby” approach and satisfy both sides of the political spectrum — both wings of which are driven by economic/class/cultural considerations of self-interest.

    Tell me, how is that “centrist” approach working out regarding Climate Change? [Ans: It ain’t. And it won’t.]

    Next time you visit The Wall down on the Mall, remind all the ghosts “There’s nothing wrong with being a centrist.” Or better yet, go into Walter Reed and tell all the amputees, “Hey, sorry about that. The Centrist Approach, ya know?”

    [WeeGee may confirm that, back during The Late Unpleasantness In Southeast Asia, “Sorry About That!” used to be a euphemism for “Fuck you!” As in “My Lai? Sorry About That!” Maybe it’s time to bring back that usage? Since we’re re-fighting TLUISA?]

    3. “[A]nd yet last I checked our draw-down on troops there is still on schedule.”

    I’d bet you’re wrong. But I hope you’re right . . . if only because I’m sort of looking forward to the stories about the hangings/shootings when Kabul falls; the return of oppression of Afghan women; and the loss of governmental control in the Federal/Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

    Chaos sells more newspapers, after all, and makes a more interesting read. Also, the sooner “Islamic Extremists” get access to nuclear weapons, the sooner things are going to get REALLY Interesting.

    4. “Getting Drunk For Freedom.” At last, common ground:

    Where’s my G&T? Boy! BOY! Another glass! Chop! Chop! And this time put some ice in it, you bloody beggar. I-C-E!

    Lt. Col. Neilist
    OBE, MM
    That Overstuffed Chair In The Corner Over By The Fireplace
    Dozing Under The Club’s Only Copy Of Today’s Times
    Empire Club

    Read more at Wonkette:

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