Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has been plagued by gaffes and spending scandals so why isn't the GOP firing him? Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert has a two-word answer: "Affirmative inaction."
Since assuming office, Steele has taken heat for saying his party would not retake Congress in the 2010 midterm elections, publicly criticizing Rush Limbaugh and spending almost $2000 at a lesbian bondage club. Under Steele, Republicans have seen their cash reserves dwindle from $23 million to $8 million.
The RNC fired the staffer responsible for spending party money at the bondage-themed night club but the damage was already done. And it could get worse, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council encouraged conservatives to "give directly to candidates who you know reflect your values" instead of the RNC.
Some pundits theorize that Republicans aren't calling for Steele to be fired because he is black. "He is an African-American and you have to be careful about what signal that sends to remove an African-American," according to Democratic strategist Karen Finney.
"So here we are folks, the Republicans hired this strong, competent leader not because he is black," Colbert emphasized, "but now they can't fire this weak incompetent leader because he is black."
"They are trapped," he observed, and an onscreen graphic added "between a rock and a black face."
To get around the RNC, a group of Republicans, including Karl Rove, is forming a group called American Crossroads to raise money for conservative candidates. ABC's Jake Tapper explained that the group was a sort of "shadow RNC."
"Right! A shadow RNC only with a little less shadow," joked Colbert.
"I say all, and I mean all Republicans should ditch the RNC for American Crossroads. After all, Rove has a proven track record," Colbert advised.
"And by giving the real power to the shadow party, the Republicans get to tiptoe around the firing of their first African-American chairman which is good because otherwise it would look like they are treating him differently because he is black," Colbert concluded.
This video is from Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, broadcast April 8, 2010.