In racquetball, part of the strategy of the game is to control the center of the court. The center is important because you can move to different areas of the court a lot more efficiently, especially as you age. In any good battle on the court you will find both players battling to occupy that prime piece of real estate because the player controlling the center controls the game.
Republican party chairman Michael Steele, I believe, tried to pull his party to the center when he made remarks that implied that the war in Afghanistan was initiated by President Obama. You don’t need a doctorate in history to know that former President George W. Bush initiated the war against Afghanistan. Because of this widely accepted fact, Mr. Steele’s comments, made at a fundraiser and caught on video that went viral, left many people dumbfounded and members of his party especially ticked.
Can’t blame the Republicans for being miffed. The war in Afghanistan, which was prosecuted with the noblest of intent, was the crown gem in an otherwise lackluster collection of poor policies. For Mr. Steele to insinuate that the war is not only Obama’s war but also now a mistake borders on treachery. It is no wonder that some Republicans are calling for his removal.
If the Republicans were to reflect a little more on where Mr. Steele wants to go with this argument, they may be able to capitalize on it. While the Tea Party may be making inroads on influencing the process, they are not exactly endeared by the American center. They are still viewed by many as a bunch of wing nuts. Their organizational structure and message, however, have enabled them to capture media attention which means grabbing the attention of and away from the Republicans.
What Mr. Steele has done, in admittedly an ass-backward if not bold way, is offer his party a wake-up call and an exit strategy. Mr. Obama’s willingness to drag out an unpopular war will not score him any points with the coveted center. His liberal base is already upset with Mr. Obama’s foot dragging. The center and a few upset liberals will need somewhere to go come this fall and definitely in 2012.
Yes, maybe Mr. Steele went about it the wrong way, but a bonk on the head is sometimes what’s needed to get someone out of a malaise. Besides, Mr. Steele should know something about staying low and being centered. He is a fencer. A little prodding from a long lance may be in order for the GOP.