As Michael Steele swans his way out the door at the Republican National Committee, one wonders: "Is this the end of Michael Steele being the rhetorical gift that keeps on giving?" The answer is "sadly, yes," but for the time being, he's still delighting the world with his strange self-conception. Yesterday, he went into Wolf Blitzer's Room Of Some Situations, and averred that he was somehow never a member of the Republican "establishment."
"I think the people in the party, particularly the establishment, are breathing a sigh of relief," Steele said Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room." "They have control of the RNC now; let's see what they do with it."
This has always been a strange insistence of Steele's, that he -- the chairman of the Republican National Committee -- was somehow some kind of outsider insurgent to the political process. There was that time he went on the air with Neil Cavuto and seemed peeved that the Fox host would suggest that he was "establishment."
"I don't know who that is, by the way," Steele laughed. To which Cavuto replied: "You! You! You! You-you-you-you-you." (Steele used the same line in an appearance on "Fox And Friends" a few weeks later, and fared better because The Brown Haired Guy From "Fox And Friends" is much more easily baffled than Neil Cavuto.)
Of course, Steele has also recently compared himself to Julius Caesar, and let me tell you, folks: Julius Caesar was plenty establishment. Conquered the Gauls, member of the First Triumvirate, won out in a civil war to become the first Roman Emperor. Big-time establishment.
Steele differs in many ways from Caesar. For instance, Caesar was warned of his downfall by a soothsayer, while Steele was warned of his downfall through two years of other Republicans loudly complaining in the press that he was majorly blowing it. But one way in which he was similar is that they both were firm "establishment" figures.
The former chairman has had some literary misadventures lately, so maybe he's not referring to the "Et tu, Brute" Caesar of Shakespeare. But even if he's referring to himself as a salad, the Caesar salad is an "establishment" salad.
For the time being, it seems that Steele is pretty determined to maintain his status as an outsider, probably because that deflects the blame for his foul-ups onto the idiots who put someone "non-establishment" into the job in the first place. As he told Blitzer:
"My style is very different, much more engaged on the streets of America as you saw on the bus tour ... I like to be out there with people. So it's just a different approach and a different style."
In re: "different style," see also, "majorly blowing it."