Steele doubles down

STEELE DOUBLES DOWN…. Shortly after Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele blasted the U.S. president. It was widely seen as an unseemly attack, even generating criticism from conservatives like Pat Buchanan and GOP operative Scott Reed, the latter of whom said Steele “should not have done that.” For its part, the DNC noted the similarities between Steele’s criticism of the president and the Taliban’s.

Last night, Steele doubled down, sending out a fundraising appeal to RNC members, telling them that the Nobel Peace Prize has become “meaningless.” Responding to the DNC’s criticism, Steele (or, more accurately, the staffer who writes these letters) wrote:

[W]hen challenged to answer the question of what the president has accomplished, Democrats are lashing out calling Republicans terrorists. That type of political rhetoric is shameful.

The Democrats and their international leftist allies want America made subservient to the agenda of global redistribution and control. And truly patriotic Americans like you and our Republican Party are the only thing standing in their way. [emphasis in the original]

So, in one sentence, Steele is outraged by “shameful” incendiary rhetoric. In the next sentence, Democrats and international leftists “want America made subservient to the agenda of global redistribution and control.”

It’s almost whiplash inducing.

As for the bigger picture, we’ve reached an interesting time in partisan politics. At RNC headquarters, the day the U.S. president wins the Nobel Peace Prize, their first reaction is to attack. Their second reaction is to ask for more money as a symbolic protest of the president’s latest honor.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.