Michael Steele’s speech at the RNC Chairman’s meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, was touted as the first page of a new chapter in the GOP’s history. Speaking to a crowd of fellow Republicans, the Chairman made the case that President Obama had drastically overreached in his short time in office. He argued that conservative principles were as fresh and relevant as in years past and deemed the moment right for a political resurgence.
“This change comes in a tea bag!” he declared triumphantly at one point, referencing the populist anti-tax protests that erupted several weeks ago.
But while the address was long on prophecies and proclamations, it lacked — quite noticeably — substance. Insisting that the “era of Republican navel gazing is over,” he focused almost exclusively on defining the opposition. And when it came to actual ideas, Steele either glossed over or ignored many policy proposals that could have gone some way towards reasserting the GOP as a party of new ideas.
A search of the advanced copy of his speech reveals that Steele made no mentions of the words: terrorist, terrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Social Security.