Michael Steele Crashes the DNC, Talks Drug War and Libertarians

CHARLOTTE—Former Republican National Committee Chairman and current MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele was roaming the concourse of the Time Warner Cable Arena hours before the Democratic National Convention gaveled to order on Thursday. Steele, who said he could be described as a libertarian-leaning Republican, made the case that libertarians should vote for the Republican Party’s candidates and not the Democrats or Libertarians.

“I think the argument can be made honestly, looking at our libertarian roots in the party, that, ya know, government has its role, its purpose but it’s limited in its power,” he said.

Steele had to stop the interview frequently as conventiongoers repeatedly interrupted and wanted their picture taken with him. Steele took it all in stride.

He agreed that Obama has tossed aside his talk of softening the nation’s approach to the war on drugs but said that it’s just not a major issue.

“Put it in the proper context, it is not at forefront of people’s minds right now. When you’re unemployed it’s just not something you’re going to go to battle over and it’s not just the war on drugs, it’s abortion, and some of the other social issues,” he said.

When asked if either party takes the drug war issue seriously he simply replied, “No.”

Steele admires Gary Johnson but thinks the third party song and dance is tired because it’s just not realistic in the current electoral system.

“I do appreciate what he is doing to get his message out there but at the same time we need to put everything in the right context and recognize what the opportunity is here,” Steele said. 

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  • Tman||

    HE'S A WITCH!!!

    BURRRRNNNNN HIMMM!!!

  • Red Viper||

    What the fuck are you talking about? Are you that serious enough to believe him?

  • Tman||

    Maybe not the part about the republicans being the best option for libertarians, but the rest sounds about right to me.

    “Put it in the proper context, it is not at forefront of people’s minds right now. When you’re unemployed it’s just not something you’re going to go to battle over and it’s not just the war on drugs, it’s abortion, and some of the other social issues,”

    This is true.

    When asked if either party takes the drug war issue seriously he simply replied, “No.”

    This is also true.

  • Red Viper||

    I apologized for my asshole attitude.

    I agreed, but I won't trust him. He hasn't done enough to make me convinced.

    He supported affirmative actions and ban on gay marriage. He is obsessive with skin color identity.

  • Red Viper||

    I am not convinced.

  • Sheldon J. Plankton||

    ...we need to put everything in the right context and recognize what the opportunity is here,”

    And what opportunity is that, exactly?

  • Brian D||

    The opportunity to get a liberal out of the Oval Office in favor of a liberal.

  • ||

    Yeah. I don't blame someone too much for wanting Obama out of office on the basis of Obamacare, but I think Obamacare's not a big enough issue for that. I can understand the reasoning, but I disagree with it very much. There's no reason compelling enough for me to vote for Romney.

  • SIV||

    The opportunity to get an imcumbent liberal out of the Oval Office in favor of a liberal challenger .

    You don't have to support Romney to want Obama to lose.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm in this camp. I'm voting for Johnson, but I'll be happy to see Obama packing his bags.

  • Paul.||

    I'm in this camp. I'm voting for Johnson, but I'll be happy to see Obama packing his bags.

    For yet another trip to Oslo for the screening of Peace Prize II, This Time We're Serious?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't care where he goes, but he can't stay here.

  • Paul.||

    I wish I were an artist.

    I would make up a poster for a fake movie called "Peacemaker".

    Upon it would be a Rambo-esque, shirtless Obama with twin machine-gun belts over his chest. His Nobel Peace Prize Medal hanging around his neck with a desert background replete with explosions, one of which would be a group of terrorist-ish looking insurgents of the middle-eastern variety and a drone in the air above them, a streak of smoke leading down to the explosion.

    Hanging from his leg, Frank Frazetta-style would be a bikini-clad Michele Obama, laying across the decaying refuse of fast-food containers burning under Obama's feet.

  • Red Viper||

    I'm voting for Mitt Romney, because Joe Biden comment about "back in chains and balls" and false race issues from so-called "liberals" piss me off.

    BO's comment about "you didn't build business" piss me off too.

    Go die in fire, you left-wing dumbasses! I am sick of your racism bullshits!

  • The Hammer||

    Oh goody, another battered-wife HitandRunPublican. Obama sucks! Romney is the only possible alternative! He only hits me because he loves me, it will be different this time!

  • Red Viper||

    Oh goody, another retarded liberal who can't handle facts that there is many wrong things with Barrack Obama and his pathetic team Obama.
    Piss off, liberal. When we meet face-to-face, you would be dead already, you vile parasitic dumbass. I am sick of you dumbasses making an excuses for Joe (shit-eating grin retard) Biden's comments and liberals' racism bullshits.

  • Red Viper||

    I do not dare to expecting Mitt Romney to be wise enough to understand Drug Wars, Middle East Wars, and Welfare problems.

    I would be expecting Media to keep it's eyes on every Mitt Romney's moves, unlike Obama.

    I am so sick your racism and class warfare craps. Go die in fire, vile liberals. You do not care to question what is right and what is wrong. All you care is playing games for your king wannabes, so king wannabes can live off us like a flithy pig kings they are.

  • Brandybuck||

    The opportunity here is NOT to be taken for granted by the GOP yet again. What possible influence can libertarians have in the Republican Party if the leadership knows we'll just roll over and vote for whatever statist they put on the ballot?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yeppers.

  • Sheldon J. Plankton||

    The libertarians weren't taken for granted. The GOP went out of their way to screw Ron Paul supporters to the wall and rub their noses in it, and they'll do it again, and as many times as necessary.

  • Paul.||

    This is an interesting point, and one I agree with.

    The GOP was, for possibly the first time since I can remember, very afraid of the libertarian contingent within their midst. And they're very proactive to stamp it out everywhere it sprouts.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's hard to see that as a bad sign. We're finally viewed as a threat. Good. We are.

  • Paul.||

    You know who else was viewed as a threat?

  • pmains||

    Self-Godwin. I like it.

  • Overt||

    Holy Shit. A report of what happened without a bunch of libertarian snark?

    Will wonders never cease?

    FWIW: Steele was a disaster for the GOP so near as I can tell because he was terrible at running the party- fund raising, messaging, etc. His pro-lib talk is the same "Come on baby, I'll take you home to meet my parents next week, now open up" that you usually get from the GOP.

    I tolerate the GOP, but this talk about being pro-libertarian is so high level and abstract as to be meaningless.

  • Brandybuck||

    There was also a stripper scandal down in Southern California that contributed to his ouster.

  • ||

    Can't we just have a single recorded message that goes through various audio modulations to sound like different voices?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Just keep voting for us while we ignore your entire agenda. We'll get around to reducing the size of government some day. I swear.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    “Put it in the proper context, it is not at forefront of people’s minds right now. When you’re unemployed it’s just not something you’re going to go to battle over and it’s not just the war on drugs, it’s abortion, and some of the other social issues,”

    Someone should remind him that the war on drugs isn't a social issue.

  • ||

    Good dog! Come to your dog whistle! Good boy!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I suppose that if *I* couldn't come up with a plausible definition of culture war/social issues which includes the issues cosmos care about but excludes the issues paleos care about, then I too would make use of insults, too.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I notice that when I flagged a story about the none-of-the-above option on the Nevada ballot (which Republicans want to abolish), I didn't provoke any comments.

  • SIV||

    Most drug "reformers" and the harm reduction crowd cast it as a public-health issue.

    It's actually a property rights issue.

  • Paul.||

    Democrats prefer it as a public health issue.

    Without a drug war, how are you going to maintain a war on obesity?

    No drug war, no job for Michele Obama. Or however many fucking ELs there are in her damned name.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yeah, the drug war is not in the forefront of people's minds because I don't think people comprehend the scope and damage of it. Eighties cop shows and the evening news have made talk of drug dealers/users being charged is relegated to the din of things that always was and always will be.

  • SIV||

    Especially with that new PCP that has the child-beheading side effects.

  • ||

    i see this same argument from libs, conservatives and libertarians... distilled as such "if only they knew what *****I**** know about the evilness of (insert policy X) well, there would be way more people against it, etc.

    it's easy to surround oneself with fellow travelers and such arguments seem obvious.

    but there are a LOT of people out there for example who believe drug dealers should get much harsher penalties. heck, i've heard from people who support the death penalty for selling "meth to kids" etc.

    i've gone to community meetings and there are some PISSED off people who want to see the "druggies" at the "drug house" down the street thrown in prison for a long time.

    a lot of the "suspicious" calls we get are some guys sitting in a car and lighting up (something), but the assumption is CRACK (oh noes) or METH (ditto) etc. and they want to the cops to come and bust them.

    mj fortunately has seen a substantial change in attitude, but there are PLENTY of people who are well aware of the scope of the drug war and they think it isn't wide or deep enough and would like nothing better than to see harsher penalties and EVERY single doper and dealer in prison

    you are dismissive of the hoi polloi and how they are informed from "eighties cop shows" , but my point is i think you would be surprised how many people are FAR from "live and let live" when it comes to "hard drugs" use, let alone dealing.

  • shabadu15||

    Y'know? Normally, I'm all for civilized, intellectual discourse but Michael Steele can eat a dick! Why should I vote Republican? With Democrats you get Big Government. With Republicans you get Big Government... and empty rhetoric about limited government and free markets. And just because the War On Drugs hasn't destroyed my life doesn't mean that I don't care that it has destroyed the lives of millions of Americans (as well as millions of people living in other countries). Contrary to popular opinion, we're not libertarians because we only care about ourselves but because we care about the rights of everyone. The Democrats loathe us and the Republicans treat us with contempt by thinking that by mouthing some platitudes about freedom we're going to vote for them. So I'll say fuck you very much to the false choice being offered by the major parties and vote for Gary Johnson in November.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    The third party option is realistic if Romney loses on a margin of people that vote for Johnson.

  • ||

    since i live WA i can comfortably vote for johnson because romney doesn't have a chance in hell in my state. but i agree with many here that both parties suck, but clearly obama sucks MORE than romney

  • CE||

    Everyone can comfortably vote for Johnson, regardless of which state they live in. Just punch the ballot, fill in the oval, press the lever, etc. It takes no more effort than voting for the other candidates, and it expresses your preference (if that is your preference), which is the point of voting.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Some people might have to write in Johnson. That sucks.

  • CE||

    Steele admires Gary Johnson but thinks the third party song and dance is tired because it’s just not realistic in the current electoral system.

    After all, it's just not realistic to expect voters to actually consider the records of the 3 major national candidates objectively, what with the news media of every stripe treating only 2 of the 3 as viable.

  • Joe R.||

    It's not realistic in the current system, because this is the most important election in our lifetime, again!

    This election is the Scorcher VI of elections.

  • Libertarian Book Club||

    "Steele admires Gary Johnson but thinks the third party song and dance is tired ..."

    Huh. You know what song and dance *I'm* tired of?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Oh no! You can't be tired of the Silence of the Lambs dance!

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bLy26TwtyI

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