Here's a quick primer for readers wondering why, given the parade of bad news stories about the Republican National Committee, it won't fire Michael Steele.
Reason one: It's hard. Being the party of loyalty and hierarchy, the Republicans have made it virtually impossible for members to throw out a chair; it'd take a vote of two thirds of the membership.
Reason two: Steele is no less popular, publicly, than other Republicans -- it's not like he's a magnet for negative energy. OK, well maybe he is. But not MORE of a magnet than other Washington-based party leaders.
Reason three: Fundraising tactics aside, he's proven to be a fairly competent fundraiser. And there'll be plenty of money for Republicans outside the RNC.
Reason four: The press would focus obsessively on the impeachment process, and Republicans could look bad...uh, worse, than they do now.
Reason five: He's black. Republicans don't want to be stuck with the symbolism of having rejected their first elected black chairman because of financial issues or problems controlling his public image.
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is a former contributing editor at The Atlantic