Still a Republican in good standing?

STILL A REPUBLICAN IN GOOD STANDING?…. One of the key takeaways of last week’s Shirley Sherrod controversy was getting a better sense of who Andrew Breitbart is, and what his right-wing operation is all about. As Joshua Green noted last week, “[T]he moral ugliness of what’s just happened is glaring, and it’s hard for me to see how the media can justify continuing to treat Breitbart as simply a roguish provocateur. He’s something much darker.”

But as scandalous as Breitbart’s misconduct was, it’s apparently not quite scandalous enough to bother the Republican National Committee.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has a party fundraising event coming up in August that is scheduled to feature a very special guest: Conservative media activist Andrew Breitbart, according to a copy of the invitation exclusively obtained by TPM.

The fundraising event, billed as an “Election Countdown,” will take place from August 12-14 in Beverly Hills, California, and will also feature other politicians such as California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, and Nevada Republican gubernatorial nominee Brian Sandoval. Steele and Breitbart are scheduled to co-headline a welcome reception on the first evening, August 12.

When TPM got in touch with RNC spokesman Doug Heye he confirmed the existence of the event, but wouldn’t comment on Breitbart’s scheduled participation.

Now, it’s possible that the RNC invited Breitbart to be part of the campaign/fundraising event before he promoted a misleading video that smeared an innocent Department of Agriculture official.

But last week was a permanent credibility-killer for the conservative media activist, and for Michael Steele to pal around with him for some Beverly Hills cash is ridiculous. The RNC is shameless, but is it this shameless?

If the RNC invited Breitbart to be a special guest before his recent hatchet-job, the party can simply change course, and announce that he will no longer be participating. But to go ahead with the Breitbart/Steele headlining now would be crazy, even for the RNC.