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Steele the one?


To put RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s anti-Afghanistan-war comments from last week into perspective -- and how they fundamentally break with GOP orthodoxy -- the equivalent of what Steele said would be if Howard Dean, circa 2005-2006, called for staying the course in Iraq. (In fact, the only Republican who praised Steele was Ron Paul.)

Yet Steele’s retraction on Friday afternoon might have made things even worse for him, because it begs the question why Steele ever said those anti-Afghanistan-war comments in the first place.

Here's what Steele said in a statement Friday afternoon, after this video of him went viral.

As we have learned throughout history, winning a war in Afghanistan is a difficult task. We must also remember that after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, it is also a necessary one. That is why I supported the decision to increase our troop force and, like the entire United States Senate, I support General Petraeus’ confirmation. The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan.

Steele’s job appears to be safe, given that it’s just four months until the election; given the fact that most Republicans seem resigned to riding out the rest of the chairman’s term; and given that Republicans are donating money to the Republican Governors Association or the National Republican Senatorial, or are figuring out other ways to fund state party turnout efforts.