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Sound and Fury

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele keeps making news, which most Republicans wish he would stop doing.

The national committees - the RNC and the DNC - have a specific role in a mid-term election year: They are transfer agents. They transfer cash, talent, and research to the state parties and to selected campaigns.

The chairman of one of the national committees is not the designer of legislative strategy. Either he/she is the chairman of the committee which is the same party as the President, in which case strategy comes from the White House. Or they are the chairman of the other party in which case the legislative strategy comes from the leaders of the same party in the House and Senate.

Michael Steele is one of those people who is missing the gene which says: Just because it comes into your head, doesn't mean it has to come out of your mouth.

Vice President Joe Biden is missing that gene as well but Biden has, for the most part, kept his mouth in check. Steele has not.

The reality of the Steele kerfuffle is that there are about five hundred people in the country - outside the Beltway - who can name both the chairs of the RNC and the DNC - without Googling them.

I cannot bring myself to believe that someone who was not going to vote in November will now vote for a Democrat because of Steele; or someone who was going to vote for a Republican will now stay home.

It is fodder for the cable chat shows - and MULLINGS - but as Shakespeare might have written: It is otherwise "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

While we're talking about national committees, someone needs to explain to me why the RNC and the DNC should be given tax dollars to hold their quadrennial elections. You paid $65 million in 2008 for each of the two parties to conduct the ritual of officially nominating their candidates for President and Vice President even though the matter had been settled by voters months before.

And, now that I'm on a roll about tax dollars being used for political parties …

… why should the taxpayers of Virginia, or Nebraska, or any other state pay for the Republicans and Democrats to choose their candidates for public office. I am fairly certain that if I e-mailed the Virginia State Board of Elections suggesting that I would like the good people of Virginia to pay for an election - workers, machines, space, trucks, and all the rest - so that the Mullings Party could choose its candidates I would be visited by whatever the modern equivalent of a guy with a butterfly net might be.

Nearly 40 percent of the electorate self-identifies as "independent." Why should they pay for Republicans and Democrats to run elections which are, in most states, closed to anyone who is not a member of the Republican or Democrat party?

Last time I looked, just about every state was running a deficit and we know about the numbers at the federal level.

If any political party wants to hold an election, it should pay for it. And, if any political party wants to hold a presidential nominating convention, it should pay for that, too.

Ah! The car is ready. Put this edition of Mullings down as more sound and fury signifying nothing. And, I know you remember the beginning of that quote from your English Lit class - it is "a tale told by an idiot."

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