Steele still struggling

STEELE STILL STRUGGLING…. Choosing to let Michael Steele lead the Republican National Committee was always a very bad idea. The poor guy doesn’t know how to run anything; he’s easily confused; and he’s failed in pretty much endeavor he’s tried in his adult professional life.

But things just seem to keep getting worse for the clownish RNC chairman. We learned just two weeks ago, for example, that the bungling party leader has been using his title to line his own pockets — marketing himself for paid public appearances, with fees of up to $20,000 a pop — to augment his $223,500 annual salary. The side payments drew criticism from three former RNC chairmen, all of whom agreed that Steele’s little scheme was, at a minimum, inappropriate.

Yesterday, things got a little worse for fiasco-prone Steele, when we learned that he’d transferred $20,000 in RNC funds to the Northern Mariana Islands, as part of an apparent payback for a backroom deal that made Steele chairman in the first place.

And then there’s the new stuff.

[C]onsider what Steele has said on “Hannity” last night as he promotes his new book, “Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda”:

— Steele not only admitted that Republicans probably wouldn’t take back the House in November (a view shared by most political handicappers), but more importantly suggested that Republicans might not be ready to govern. “I don’t know [if the GOP is ready],” he said. “And that’s what I’m assessing and evaluating right now. Those candidates that are looking to run have to be — have to be anchored in these principles. They have to be — they have to understand … these steps, because if they don’t, then they’ll get to Washington, and they’ll start drinking that Potomac River water. And they’ll get drunk with power.”

— Per liberal-leaning Media Matters, he also made a comment that some might find inappropriate or offensive: “Our platform is one of the best political documents that’s been written in the last 25 years. Honest Injun on that,” he told Hannity.

Republican strategist Kevin Madden told ABC News today that Steele’s latest antics are likely to hurt “both the fundraising and the grass-roots organization” of his party.

It’s unlikely the party would dump Steele now, less than a year before the midterms, in large part because it would be disruptive to the party’s efforts. For that matter, it’s certainly possible Republican candidates nationwide can and will do very well at the ballot box, despite having an incompetent RNC chairman.

That said, whether they’re prepared to admit it out loud or not, Republican officials have to realize Michael Steele is a hopeless embarrassment, and allowing him to become chairman was a humiliating mistake.