Publicly, Mr. Steele has shied away from using the socialist line.
“We don’t see this president so much as a socialist as we see him as a collectivist,” he told Fox News. “When you strip away this idea that the individual matters, for this concept of the collective - all of us pulling together and working towards some governmental goal - that’s what I’m more concerned about.”
But in an April 6 memo to RNC members, Mr. Steele said that “Democrats are indeed marching America toward European-style socialism, and I will continue to criticize their dangerous policies in that regard - but I believe these proposed resolutions will accomplish little than to give the media and our opponents the opportunities to mischaracterize Republicans.”
The second resolution, whose chief sponsor is Illinois RNC member Demetra DeMonte, urges Republican lawmakers to reject spending earmarks, which “corrupt the legislative process, wastefully expand government and are designed to help congressmen get re-elected.”
The third resolution, whose chief sponsor is Oklahoma RNC member Carolyn McLarty, commends congressional Republicans who have “opposed bailouts and reckless spending bills and celebrates the unanimous opposition of Republican members of Congress to [Mr. Obama’s] 10-year budget plan and the ‘cap-and-trade’ energy tax bill.”
Some say the internal battle taking place reflects a yearning among Republicans for a single, undisputed figure to counter the popular Mr. Obama and take on Democratic congressional majorities.
“You need a single voice,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, told The Washington Times. “I think Steele - I don’t know him that well - but he needs to be the one who does that job.”
Mr. Bopp said that the times “demand bold and aggressive leadership by the RNC. … And it is time to identify the Democrats for what they are.”
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
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