Take a good look. It's The Statement. The one to which all politicians resort whenever they've been caught being naughty.
Of course they always staff it out. Michael Steele will not "dignify" this atrocious claim with a direct response. His director of communications will do that for him. The smart money says you never directly acknowledge the problems in your own house. This makes you somehow "above" the fray.
Ridiculous. Michael Steele presides over a party that is bleeding itself dry. Having turned its back on its conservative "base" (whatever the heck that means anymore) it finds itself losing the confidence of its registered voters; the very voters that it desperately needs to pull off any real victory this November. It claims to need a bigger tent, to be somehow more inclusive of fringe voters that have been artificially elevated to an ethereal status of near omnipotence at the ballot box. Yet the tent itself is damaged. Far from providing any sort of shelter within which voters may take shelter, it has been ripped, torn, slashed, and haphazardly patched back together so that it provides no cover against the force of even the smallest political storms.
So now we find that the machine behind the politicians is dirty. It's not just the grease that's getting old; there's grit in the gears, and a few cogs are even missing.
It's not that the charges themselves are overly incredible. Heck, this is what political machines do, isn't it? They spend money promiscuously and indiscreetly, then pay staff to cover their tracks, or throw themselves under the bus when they don't do a good enough job. Someone, at some point, had to see a receipt in the expense accounts for a strip club and should have raised the roof at that point. But they didn't, and we are left with Larry, Moe, and Curly pointing fingers at each other, or poking each other in the eyes, while the national press have a field day with the committee's ethical lapses.
Mark me: If Republicans do not fare well, and I'm not ready to predict any sort of significant turnover in Congress this fall, fingers will correctly point back to this incident as the beginning of the end. It won't be the failure to prevent health care reform, it won't be the decided lack of economic recovery in the face of stimulus after stimulus, and it certainly won't be Sarah Palin. It will be the complete failure of the RNC to provide any meaningful support or direction to its candidates.
In fact, I might even go out on a limb here and say that if (IF) Republicans do at all well in the upcoming elections, it will be because they did so despite the best efforts of the RNC. Michelle Malkin has a running meme of "RNC Rejection Slips" where people who are disgusted with the RNC and its current direction are sending back requests for donations with all sorts of reasons why the committee doesn't deserve their hard-earned money. Their reasons largely echo my own: the committee has demonstrated time and time again that they have no interest in fronting for true conservatives. They seem to have pinned all their hopes on moderates who will give them plenty of rope with which to hang themselves. This is why we have so many "representatives" who refuse to represent my particular interests: secured borders; fiscal conservatism; a return to constitutional limits of government power.
The RNC is more than done. They are toast.
Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™
1 hour ago