Donald Lambro

Now, brace yourself, because Steele's critics are not only going after him for writing this book but also for being paid to do so, the same kind of arrangement many senators and congressmen have signed to promote their political ideas. And like all other authors, they make appearances at book signings and other events to sell more books. There is no law against this, even in the age of Obama, at least not yet, and there is nothing wrong with it, either.

But Steele's critics have a lot of trouble with the fact that he's going to make a few bucks on this book, and they are plotting to offer a resolution at the RNC's upcoming winter meeting that will demand he stop promoting his book and turn over any money he received for it to the RNC.

Steele has shot back, telling his detractors to cease and desist in these obviously politically motivated attacks. "I'm the chairman. Deal with it," he replied, daring them to fire him. "If they want it, take it from me. Until then, shut up, step back and get in the game and help us win."

Unlike past party chairmen, some of whom have been among his critics, Steele is not a member of any law firm, fat-cat lobbying outfit or corporate board of directors.

Former RNC Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf "was associated with three different law firms in Nevada and Washington during his party tenure" in the Reagan presidency. "In addition to his salary as RNC chairman, Clayton Yeutter received a consultant fee and received payments for serving on the boards of directors of three major corporations," according to a 2008 study of past party chairman by the Center for Public Integrity.

"Remember, you're not working for the government, you're not talking about Congress, you're not talking about getting a federal salary," Fahrenkopf told the Center for Public Integrity. The two party committees "are private entities, and they are run by private folks and they can set their own standards," he added.

The tiny number of RNC members (just two or three names have actually surfaced in public out of 168 members) who are among the complainants are by and large people who did not support Steele's election in the first place and are out to bring him down by hook or by crook.

It is a disgraceful effort on their part, coming at a time when the GOP has been making a remarkable political comeback against all odds and is entering a midterm-election year when party unity is critical to its success.

Steele's critics are obviously people who have too much time on their hands. They need to get a life or at least get out of the way.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.