An Important Moment for the Republican Party

I’d like to go back and watch it again, but I think that Ken Blackwell’s speech withdrawing from the race and throwing his support behind Michael Steele, and urging the Republican Party to once again show itself to be the party of Lincoln, was an important symbolic moment. It represented the triumph of a younger, more inclusive generation over the old guard. Steele was a relative outsider in the sense that he was not an active state party chair, while to those voting, Katon Dawson was one of their own. I didn’t have a dog in this fight and have my own doubts about how effective Steele will be as a manager. But there was just no way that the Republican Party could take a step backward, and elect Dawson, a man who had a long membership to a whites-only country club and who talked about how desegregation turned him into a conservative.