Steele Traps Republicans in Race Card Shuffle

(Author's Note: excerpt of my piece in theGrio)

Rumor has it the GOP is gearing up to replace Michael Steele as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). At first glance this isn't too surprising, considering Steele himself has made so many gaffesyou would think he was trying to lose the job.

Yet firing him doesn't quite add up though once you take a look at the victories he's notched under the his belt during his RNC tenure. He's presided over gubernatorial victories in Virginia (expected but nice) and New Jersey (far from expected), and Scott Brown's Senate victory in Massachusetts (deemed impossible until Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate, decided to play chicken with voters and got plucked).

More impressive still is that these victories occurred when the GOP had about as much momentum as a fantasy league team starring Brett Favre and Randy Moss. Not only was Steele able to build on the excitement created around these victories, he was also able to pour money into midterm races throughout the country. Steele has said he used Howard Dean's successful 50-state strategy from four years ago as inspiration.

"The Republican program, dubbed D2H -- Delaware, the First State, to Hawaii, the 50th -- sent money and staffers even to Democratic-heavy areas," according to the National Journal. Furthermore, Frank Luntz, a celebrated Republican strategist known for 'crafting messaging" (you know, twisting words like limbs at a Cirque du Soleil performance) has conducted surveys showing that early investments helped voters -- the majority of which made up their minds months ago -- to buy into GOP candidates. And buy voters did. Republicans picked up 60 House and 6 Senate seats, and reserved U-Hauls for many more governor's mansions.

So why get rid of Steele now? What purpose does it serve?

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