Friday, August 28, 2009

Steele Trap

Steve Inskeep of NPR interviewed RNC Chair Michael Steele on Morning Edition. It did not go well.

At one point, Steele tied himself into knots trying to explain his view on the proper role of government after saying that “there are issues in the insurance market that we can regulate a little bit better”:

INSKEEP: Wait, wait — You would trust the government to look into that?

STEELE: No, I’m talking about the private — I’m talking about citizens. I’m talking about — (CROSSTALK)

INSKEEP: Who is it you — You said it is something that should be looked into. Who is it that you think should look into that?

STEELE: Well, who regulates the insurance markets?

INSKEEP: That would be the government, I believe.

STEELE: Well, and so what. Now wait a minute. Hold up. You’re doing a wonderful little dance here and you’re trying to be cute. But the reality of this is very simple. I’m not saying the government doesn’t have a role to play. I’ve never said that. The government does have a role to play; it has a very limited role to play.

INSKEEP: Mr. Chairman, I respect that you think I’m doing a dance here. I just want you to know that as a citizen, I’m a little confused by the positions you take because you’re giving me a very nice nuanced position here —

STEELE: It’s not nice and nuanced. I’m being very clear.

Steele also had to admit that sometimes private insurers do get “between the doctor and the patient,” but he quickly added that if the government were involved, it would be “10 times worse.”

Steve Benen noted, “There were several candidates seeking the RNC chairmanship this year. The party chose the most ridiculous, least qualified, most confused one. That Steele reflects poorly on the party, its agenda, and its ability to be serious about public policy is a dramatic understatement.”

Transcript via Think Progress.