Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thoughts On O'Donnell in DE

A few things strike me with the results in Delaware tonight. There has been a lot of Conservatives squabbling over her candidacy. One look at my Twitter feed over the last few days would make that obvious. You had some in the blogosphere and establishment GOP backing Mike Castle; and the tea party, Sarah Palin, with others in the blogosphere backing O'Donnell. I kind of stayed out of it because my thought is to leave this to the primary voters in the state of Delaware. I see the arguments on both sides, the moderate Castle while not a conservative would have gotten the Republicans one seat closer to firing Harry Reid as majority leader. He was leading in all major polls in a hypothetical matchup against Coons. O'Donnell on the other hand speaks of true conservative principles and had the energy of the tea party behind her.

I was not around in 1976, but understanding what started happening to the Republican party at that time has some parallel in today's disagreements. An outsider Governor who was bucking the GOP establishment which at that time believe it or not was very entrenched in the Northeast blue blood culture. The man he beat for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, George H.W. Bush, was the poster child for the ruling class. The Southern stronghold had not developed yet, although Nixon famously used the Southern strategy to win the Presidency twice. That governor was Ronald Reagan and his brand of conservatism has changed the party for the better forever. Not trying to give a history lesson here but it is to put the debate over O'Donnell-Castle in some context. This kind of stuff happens for the heart of parties all the time, and it can be productive if people take away the right lessons. What has occurred nationally is a mood of not anti-incumbency but anti-big government and dead set against out of control spending, plain and simple. People are looking for candidates who espouse that line of thinking regardless of party stripe. The Republican Party has always been the one that has been the ideological home of this line of thinking since Abraham Lincoln, save a few exceptions(Teddy Roosevelt,Herbert Hoover). So if this battle over O'Donnell and Castle move the party closer to actually adhering to these principles instead of paying it lip service as it did during the Bush years, then I am all for it.

The thought that only moderate Republicans like an Arlen Specter should be nominated in the Northeast to me is nonsense. As a conservative who was raised in New Jersey and now lives here I hear this argument all the time. Yes of course this is not Alabama and most voters in our state are not as conservative. But they are mostly independent and if you constantly trot up candidates that are not discernibly different from the Democrat, why the hell would the electorate choose them? If you cannot articulate a true alternative to the leftist liberals that run as Democrats up here than you will not win. An independent voter is going to vote for the Democrat because at least they know what they will be getting. Look at what has happened to the GOP in New York, it is a total dysfunctional joke mostly because they consistently send up total squishes that the electorate cannot understand what their principles are.

At the end of the day what makes your party relevant is winning elections. In that vein I understand the urge to elevate the candidate who can just win, but this presidency has given us a unique opportunity to right the ship of the GOP. That is more important for long term success in opposing the Progressive agenda and forging a future based on the principles contained in the Constitution. Just think, two years ago the punditry were writing the obituary of conservatism and the GOP. I have been saying since day one they misread the 2008 election so greatly that it would bite them in the ass. Just didn't think it would happen in the first mid-term. I will support Christine O'Donnell even with all her flaws, even if the NRSC will choose not to, and wish her much luck in the general. She will need a lot of it. I just hope Republicans don't start openly sounding like libs in bashing the Tea Party movement. The establishment needs to learn to work with the grassroots or November's gains will not be as dramatic as some think. Shooting itself in the foot has been the party's specialty as of late so I won't put it past them.

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