We can't remember a time when we have had a significant disagreement with Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft. He's our conservative blogging colleague, fellow Sarah Palin supporter and a Catholic brother in Christ, but there's a first time for everything. Posting at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, Jim has joined the "Sarah Palin for RNC Chair" bunch:
"Michael Steele has made too many critical missteps and has failed to lead the party against the radical Socialist agenda of the Progressive Democrat movement. The failure of Chairman Steele to successfully sell Liberty over Socialism, and to cultivate and facilitate those future candidates who can, is emblematic of the dysfunction of the Republican party, a dysfunction which has over the past four years led the party to near-ruin. We need a true and tested leader."The Missouri blogger then urges his readers to sign a petition to draft Gov. Palin as a replacement for Steele at the RNC and also links to a website created for the purpose of doing the drafting (Links to both are in Jim's post). While we agree with Jim that Steele has failed as RNC chairman and also that we need Sarah Palin, we do not agree that the best way for Gov. Palin to meet that need is necessarily from the RNC chairmanship. We have several good reasons.
"We need Sarah Palin."
"The Republican Party needs Sarah Palin. The country needs Sarah Palin to battle the radical progressives in Washington."
As we said back when the idea of replacing Steele with Gov. Palin was first floated, we're not so sure that she would want the job. And we've long since moved on from trying to pressure her into doing things she may not want to do or may not yet be ready to do at a given point in time. We trust Sarah Palin to make the right decision in all cases. While we may not agree with every decision she makes, we will support her in all of her decisions nevertheless. She seems to be really enjoying the freedom to do what she's doing, and she's been very successful with the majority of the endorsements she is making. Why tie her down?
Plus, the chairmanship of either major party is largely a thankless job and literally a hot seat. It is mostly a place where politicians go to die after their they can no longer be viable candidates for elective office. And we don't believe Sarah Palin is necessarily through with being a player in elective politics. She hasn't ruled it out, and she's even hinted that if the right situation presents itself, she will take advantage of it. We're not among those who believe the push to sit the governor in the RNC chair is an ee-vill conspiracy by her political enemies to take her out of the 2012 presidential race, one which she hasn't (formally at least) yet entered. We're just not convinced going to the RNC lies along the path she has planned for herself. At best, it is a detour with few rewards and plenty of pitfalls.
We also believe that there is no shortage of Republicans who could do a swell job in Steele's place. Mitt Romney is just one of many. He's a great fundraiser, isn't given to putting his foot in his mouth nearly half as often as Steele, and he is well-liked by the establishment types who dominate RNC. Many of those establishment types aren't enamored of Gov. Palin, and it is their votes which determine who gets the chair. More likely possibilities than Romney or any other outsider include, but are not limited to, Steele's former rivals for the job such as Katon Dawson and Ken Blackwell. Other possibilities may present themselves after the RNC primaries are concluded this summer.
As we said in our first post on this matter, the RNC Chairman's only duties are to raise cash, recruit candidates, give speeches and not generate bad press. Unlike Obiwan Kenobi saving the Galactic Republic from the evil Empire, the GOP will not be saved by its chairman, and Sarah Palin is not our only hope for having a capable person in the position. The Republican Party will be saved, Ronald Reagan style, by a conservative presidential candidate who can make conservative principles make sense to swing voters who don't consider themselves conservatives. We believe Gov. Palin's talents would be wasted at RNC and her appeal to everyday Americans also lost in the job, one which involves dealing with the GOP high and mighty for the most part. In our opinion, she would be much more valuable as a candidate for public office or just doing what she is currently doing.
Finally, those who are climbing on the bandwagon on its way to the railroad tracks should be aware that the train has already left the station, and there won't be another one arriving until Steele's term runs its natural course ending in January. With only six months left in his two-year term, GOP movers and shakers want to avoid a battle to oust him when all of the party's energy needs to be focused on the midterm elections which are only a hundred or so days away. When they finally get around to making Steele a one-term chairman -- and they will -- the committee members will likely go with an insider, i.e., someone from among their own ranks. Against their nature, they went with Steele -- an outsider -- and that decision blew up in their faces. They will be disposed to return to what has worked for them in the past and elect one of their own.
So, no, we're not in the "Sarah Palin for RNC Chair" crowd.
Update: Jonah Goldberg agrees that the next RNC Chair should be chosen from the GOP establishment:
"I don’t think it’s a great idea for Palin to become GOP chair. It would certainly be fun, and Kevin makes some good points as to why Palin should do it, but I think the ideal GOP chairman (uh, -person) should be the most tea-partyish establishment Republican possible."- JP