The Republican religious right lost and put its own decline on display when big-tent former lieutenant governor of Maryland Michael Steele was elected the first black Republican National Committee chairman in history, Friday.
Underlying party direction didn’t change and the Culture Warriors will still get plenty of attention. But Ken Blackwell was the candididate of the James C. Dobson wing of the Republican Party, as you can see from a quck look at his list of endorsers.
Steele, a former Catholic seminarian, promised immediately to upend the public perception that the Republicans are “a party unconcerned about minorities, a party that’s unconcerned about the lives and dreams of average Americans.”
Good as he is, that’s unlikely, but things have unmistakably changed. Calling Steele a “moderate,” however, would be a miscategorization.
GetReligion notes with justified puzzlement that major newspapers led with the race issue and ignored the fact that Steele is a former seminarian.
I am not, let me stress, saying that the racial issue is not important. I am saying that it is very, very strange — when everyone knows the importance of centrist Catholics in American politics — to offer no information on the religious element in the story of the new leader of the Republican Party.