Michael Steele, on ABC’s “This Week” program this morning, was asked about Rand Paul’s statement that the Federal Government should not have the power to ban racial discrimination by private businesses. Steele attributed Paul’s statement to a,
“… philosophical position held by a lot of libertarians, which Rand Paul is. They have a very, very strong view about the limitations of government intrusion into the private sector. That is a philosophical perspective.”
Mr. Steele then tried to dismiss the issue by saying:
[A] lot of members go to the United States Senate with a lot of different philosophies, but when they get to the body, how they work to move the country forward matters. […]
Jake Tapper tried to pin Chairman Steele down by asking him, “But do you condemn that view?”
Chairman Steele replied:
I can’t condemn a person’s view. That’s like, you know, you believe something and I’m going to say, well, you know, I’m going to condemn your view of it. It’s the people of Kentucky will judge whether or not that’s a view that they would like to send-
Mr. Tapper then asked, “Are you comfortable with that?”
Mr. Steele replied:
I am not comfortable with a lot of things, but it doesn’t matter what I’m comfortable with and not comfortable with. I don’t vote in that election. The people of Kentucky will. As a national chairman, I’m here to say that our party will move forward in fighting for the civil rights and liberties of the American people, especially minorities in this country, and we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that everyone who’s going to come to the United States Congress or go to state capitals with a Republican label are in that fight with us.
Mr. Tapper then said, “It sounds like you’re not comfortable with it.”
The Chairman replied:
I just said I wasn’t comfortable.
It is obvious that Michael Steele did not want to criticize Rand Paul if he could possibly help it. When pressed, he voiced his “discomfort.”
What I find most interesting about this is Mr. Steele’s statement that he cannot condemn a person’s view. Now, perhaps what the Chairman was trying to say was that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion on any given issue, no matter how much you or I might disagree with it, or even how repellent you or I might find one particular opinion or other. If that is what the Chairman meant, it is hard to quarrel with that. But that’s not what he said. What he said was he cannot condemn a person’s view.
That is a sad commentary on Michael Steele. To tell the truth, I have never been a big fan of Michael Steele. He was my Lieutenant Governor, but I did not vote for him, even though I am a registered Republican. I also did not vote for him when he ran for the U.S. Senate against Ben Cardin and pretended to be a Democrat.
In that same campaign, Mr. Steele likened stem-cell research to the mad experiments carried on in KZ Auschwitz-Birkenau by Josef Mengele…. a statement for which he had to apologize.
Anyway, back to the main point, there are any number of views that are per se condemnable. Examples that come quickly to mind are…
— Jews are Untermenschen who should be removed from society, or used as subjects in medical experiments;
— Blacks are genetically inferior to Whites, are suitable only for use as beasts of burden and as chattel slaves;
— Women are mentally incapable of higher thinking and cannot be allowed to vote or to hold public office;
— Gays are criminals who should receive capital punishment for expressing their sexuality;
— Muslims are inherently dangerous and should be expelled from the country if they do not convert to Christianity;
— I, a white man, should not have to drink from a water fountain that was just used by a Black man: rather, I should be entitled to use a Whites Only water fountain;
— The end justifies the means. It is OK in the larger picture to lie to the American people and trick them into going to war against a country that is no real threat to our existence, if some good will come out of it in the end.
Just to name a few. It really wasn’t all that hard to come up with them. Surely Michael Steele could come up with a few, if he was interested in trying.
A transcript of the relevant portion of the Tapper/Steele exchange appears here: