I’m working on a new theory regarding RNC Chair Michael Steele. How to explain his hilariously disastrous tenure? The conventional wisdom has been that he’s kind of a schmuck–incompetent, and possibly just not very bright. My own contribution to that theory was that his rise up the political ladder has been aided less by any sort of real skills than a pathological impulse to say exactly whatever he thinks the person standing right in front of him wants to hear, regardless of the consequences.
But the more I think about it–and the more I reflect on Steele’s apparent indestructibility–the more I think I’ve been underestimating him. Maybe it’s not so much that he’s incompetent as that he just doesn’t give a shit.
Think of it this way: He’s figured out his way into a well-paying job that it’s seemingly impossible to fire him from. Put yourself in that position. Which is dumber: working long hours and trying as hard as you possibly can to save a political party that will remain in perpetual meltdown no matter what you do? Or fucking around on national television a little bit and focusing on the real work of raking in extra cash through speaking fees and book royalties? Maybe his countless on-air gaffes aren’t so much because he’s undisciplined as they are because he realizes that, wait a minute, he can say whatever the hell he wants and still keep his job.
I’m only half-serious about this, but it does make a weird kind of sense.