The wrong spokesperson for the wrong issue

THE WRONG SPOKESPERSON FOR THE WRONG ISSUE…. RNC Chairman Michael Steele is pushing as hard as he can to derail health care reform. But the party has to have better spokespersons than this guy.

It started yesterday with a speech at the National Press Club, which went very poorly. Steele not only parroted a consultant’s memo word for word, he demonstrated the fact that he doesn’t understand health care policy at all. In fact, pressed for any kind of details, Steele conceded he doesn’t “do policy.”

Today, it got worse. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Steele boasted of all of his ideas to bring down health care costs. None of them, Joe Scarborough noted, would actually address the issue.

As the interview continued, Scarborough repeated his question over and over again. “Michael, listen to me, I’m going to ask it again,” he pressed. When Steele tried to dodge, Scarborough pressed: “Ok, I’m obviously not being clear.” Steele, trying to diffuse the situation, said, “I’m with you Joe. We may sound like we’re on opposite sides here, but I’m agreeing with you.”

Soon after, Steele appeared on CNN, and struggled with a question about what kind of health care he currently has, unaware of even what company provides his coverage.

This comes the same day we learn that Steele lacked insurance for himself and his family for years, going so far as to tell his kids, “Don’t break anything, because Daddy can’t afford to fix it.”

And this is the guy the Republican National Committee is sending out to take on the White House on health care reform?

Look, I realize that Steele is neither a lawmaker nor a wonk. He’s effectively conceded that he’s attacking for the sake of attacking, and doesn’t really understand the subject at hand. One can reasonably make the argument that it’s not Steele’s job to be able to speak intelligently about health care. Fine.

But with that in mind, maybe the RNC should find anyone else to talk about health care to national audiences, rather than force Steele to pretend like he knows what he’s talking about.