Problem with Steele’s strategy on Afghanistan is his tactic

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.

About Alton Drew

Alton Drew brings a straight forward and insightful brand of political market intelligence. Alton Drew graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and political science (1984); a Master of Public Administration (1993); and a Juris Doctor (1999). You can also follow Alton Drew on Twitter @altondrew.
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One Response to Problem with Steele’s strategy on Afghanistan is his tactic

  1. Kevin James Brown says:

    You cannot be serious! Among the virtual plethora of ill-conceived, poorly implemented, and long-since-demonized policies of the worst presidential administration in American history, Afghanistan and Iraq were the intellectual bastard children of Dick Cheyney and George Bush. Obama has done the best he could with Afghanistan and Iraq, as he has with economic malaise, financial catastrophe, and global isolation. To somehow credit Michael Steele with anything other than an ill-informed and far-fetched throw away comment in this case is to give him far more credit than he deserves. Yes, the Tea Party pundits are considered little more than right wing nuts. And yes, many progressive Democrats are frustrated that President Obama has not accomplished more than he has since taking office. But until John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and the rest of the GOP playground bullies decide to work together with the majority in both the House and the Senate, it will continue to be a frustrating ride for team Obama. However, to believe that the Republicans can muster any sort of serious challenge to team Obama in 2012 with the likes of Sharron Angle, Jan Brewer, Eric Cantor, Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal, Mike Lee, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Tim Pawlenty, et alia just waiting to be called up from the GOP’s Class A farm team in Dubuque is only wishful thinking. Dream on, all you right wing wackos!

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