In remarks at a fund-raiser in Connecticut yesterday, Michael Steele took a curious position on the war in Afghanistan. “This was a war of Obama’s choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in,” he said, apparently forgetting that the war began with widespread approval under President Bush. “If he’s such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan?” he said, coming perilously close to quoting The Princess Bride’s Vizzini. “All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed.” There’s actually plenty of Democrats, in Congress and throughout the country, who would agree with that.
But Steele is the leader of the Republican Party, one that almost universally supports continuing America’s military campaign in Afghanistan. When asked to explain the comments, Steele’s spokesman basically just talked about something else entirely, indicating that they’re not immediately certain how to spin their way out of this one. Steele may not have a lot of time — Bill Kristol has already called for his resignation, and he probably won’t be the last.