For the longest, Michael Steele was all hip-hop and one-armed midgets. He was everywhere. You couldn't get out of bed without tripping over a Michael Steele quote. But then the Rush controversy happened and Steele followed it up by rightfully calling abortion a "choice."
I suddenly couldn't think of the last time I'd heard from the GOP leader. My Black Paranoia kicked in. Surely, he couldn't be among all those angry white folk for this long, claiming to be their leader, and something not have happened to the boy. I'll be honest. I was getting a little worried.
Using my Tome press credentials, it still took awhile to find the Republican leader. It took even longer to convince him to grant this interview. I had to come with some booty--a Boppy pillow, a box of finger cots, some Ho-Hos, and a whole lot of grape Kool Aid.
I got off the train at Farrugut North and went up the escalators to K St., where Steele's new offices were. I was greeted by the strangest sight. A long line of white people--and only white people--that stretched for blocks and blocks. My first inclination was to write it off, thinking Wayne Brady must've been in town, but, with the demise of print journalism, this blogger suddenly found himself a journalist and needed to investigate.
The line had grown to over three blocks long. There were some women, but the crowd was overwhelmingly male. It was a jubilant crowd, with lots of loud drinking and crude joking. They refused to tell me why they were all there, but they were more than happy to tell me where they were from: Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Hoover Institute, Manhattan Institute, American Civil Rights Institute, Focus on the Family, NRA, National Right to Life, Operation Rescue National...
It quickly became obvious that this was a Republican line and that we both seemed to be heading to the same source: Michael Steele. As I moved farther up the line, the faces became more familiar, the mood even more jovial: Gary Bauer, Dick Armey, Newt Gingrich, Eric Cantor, Michele Bachmann.
When I finally reached Steele's office, I found myself surrounded by Republican royalty: Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Ann Coulter, John McCain, Laura Ingraham, Megan McCain, Sarah Palin, John Boehner, and Sean Hannity. The GOP was supposedly in disarray and everybody at each other's throats. But drinks flowed like blood and hugs and kisses, like automatic gunfire.
My Black Paranoia kicked in again. All these happy, conservative white folks together could not be good. I wanted to get the fuck outta Dodge, but I had a job to do. I was a journalist--I heard on NPR this morning. Besides, it was Michael Steele making all these white people so happy. The brother must've been doing something right.
I announced myself to the receptionist and was about to sit down when Steele's office door was thrown open. Rush Limbaugh emerged, sweaty and smiling, with only a towel covering his genitalia. He pumped his meat fists in the air. "It's good to be the king!"
Everyone cheered and slapped his back in congratulations. Someone gave him a Cuba. Suddenly, the room reeked of Rush sex and cigars. I wanted to vomit.
"Chairman Steele will see you now," the receptionist informed me.
For those who don't know, Michael Steele is a very imposing man. Well over six feet and 200 pounds, Steele has an athlete's frame and keeps it extremely fit. In other words, if you met Michael Steele in a dark alley, you'd definitely be giving up the wallet. However, now seeing the GOP chairman in rouge, cherry-red lipstick, a pink tube top, stilettos, and denim mini-skirt, I was suddenly wondering who was giving up what to whom exactly.
"The Boppy please," he groaned.
I handed him the large, padded donut pillow. He placed it on his seat behind the desk and sat down with a wince.
"Did you bring the cots?" he asked.
I handed him a box of what I thought were called finger condoms. "You turning a lot of pages around here?" I chuckled, uncomfortably.
"No, we use them for condoms," he informed.
"But they have neither a receptical tip nor lubricant."
"They fit, OK?" Steele whined. "We're talkin' Republicans here, ain't we?"
"Why do you think we become Republicans in the first place?!"
"What would I know? I used to be an anarchist."
"The Ho-Hos and grape Kool-Aid please."
I handed over the rest of "the booty," and he immediately began chomping and guzzling down my offerings. Amongst the chews, though, I could hear sobs, and, before I knew it, Michael Steele, former Lt. Gov. of Maryland and current chairman of the National Republican Party, was weeping.
I knew the interview was over at that point. I could never report this, what they had done to this man. I never really agreed with Steele on any issue, never really liked him all that much, but I never wished this on the man. I mean, Steele was from DC. Petworth. I'm not sure, but I heard it used to be rough. Now, these Republicans had this big, bad brother hopping around in Daisy Dukes?!
There were so many questions to ask, but I couldn't bring myself to ask even one. Steele downed another glass of the grape Kool-Aid, burped, and looked me intently in the eye. He saw the pain on my face. I saw the pain on his. We shared a moment. I was just about to say something. He raised a massive hand to stop me.
"No, you're right," he anticipated, gravely. "I should've never backed-down from Rush Limbaugh."