Where They Stand: Senate

Thursday, October 28, AD 2010

With five days until election day, I decided to take a close look at each of the Senate races, and to offer some prognostications about how I think each will end up.

First, the lock-solid holds for each party:

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19 Responses to Where They Stand: Senate

  • Paul,
    I have been following the Senate races fairly carefully, and I agree 100% with your predictions and caveats.

  • Good analysis Paul. I differ from you in regard to California and Washington. I think the huge anti-Democrat tide will carry Fiorina to victory in the formerly Golden State, and Rossi to victory beyond the margin of fraud often used by Washington Democrats to steal state wide elections in that state. I recall in 2006 that the Democrats won all the close Senate races and I expect the Republicans to do the same this year. However, I suspect that even I underestimate the true power of the anti-Democrat tide running in this country right now, which is something unprecedented in living memory.

  • I hope you’re right Don, but my gut says Boxer hangs on. The problem is Fiorina doesn’t seem to be getting any help from the top of the ticket. And even in wave elections like this one, there are always a few races that the surging party leaves on the table, and I have a feeling this will be one. As for Rossi, he’s starting to seem like one of those perpetual candidates who always just loses. (Well, the first time around he arguably didn’t really lose, but that’s a topic for another time.)

  • An interesting look at the polls in the Rossi-Murray race.


    I think most pollsters are understating Republican strength at the polls by around 3% this year, because they are dealing with an unprecedented situation as to the anti-Democrat wave, the enthusiasm gap between the parties and the fact that independents around the country are breaking hard for the Republicans. We will soon find out, and the accuracy of the polls will be a subject I will be intensely interested in post-election. Watch many polls this weekend showing a mini-surge to the Republicans in the Senate races as pollsters hedge their bets.

  • Great analysis and predictions Paul!

    There may even be a surprise in Delaware ( I realize it is unlikely though) – http://weaselzippers.us/2010/10/27/dnc-at-defcon-1-is-christine-o%E2%80%99donnell-now-leading-in-dem-internal-polls/

  • “… there are always a few races that the surging party leaves on the table …”

    Not in 2006. Every close Senate race broke to the Dems(see, e.g, Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island, Virginia).

  • On the ground here in WA… Murray holding on to her seat is the likely scenario from my perspective. First and foremost, we are a blue state. King, Snohomish and Pierce counties make it so. The corruption in King County (think Seattle) elections makes it even more so (as you alluded to the gubernatorial race of 2004).

    What’s more, there are two different feelings among tea party folks around here. One, which is more aligned to the GOP is that we must defeat Murray at all costs. You heard this all over local talk radio after the primary when Clint Didier withheld his endorsement of Rossi (based on a lack of support for some key GOP platform issues).

    The second element in the tea party is the more libertarian leaning group, one that strongly identifies with the ideas put forth by Ron Paul (and strongly behind Didier). They feel rather disgruntled about the primary, where Rossi was a late comer, and ran something of a non-campaign saving his war chest for the general.

    We’ll see… will the third time (for a state-wide election) be the charm for Rossi? If he loses, blame will be placed squarely on the Didier die-hards for with holding their vote. One thing is for sure, if Rossi loses, it will be one more tick mark in a long string of losses by moderate Republicans in state-wide elections. This begs the question… should the WSRP court more conservative candidates?

  • I’d love to see Her Royal Senator Highness overthrown, but CA is one of those states where getting rid of an incumbent liberal is akin to Hell freezing over.

    If you wish to disagree with that assessment, fine, but don’t call me sir or RL. Call me Beloved General Field Marshall of the L homestead; I worked hard for that.

  • The just released Rasmussen poll on the Washington Senate race has Rossi up by one 48-47. Murray still being under 50% this close to election day is trouble for her.


  • A sign of the public mood:

    “According to pollster Doug Schoen, whose new poll shows vast support for the Tea Party movement among voters, the president is still liked by about half the nation. In fact, more like him personally than like his policies. Some 48 percent think he’s a nice guy, while just 42 percent approve of his job performance.
    But that personal favorability doesn’t translate into re-election support when voters are asked if Obama deserves a second term. Says Schoen: “Despite voters feelings toward Obama personally, 56 percent say he does not deserve to be re-elected, while 38 percent say he does deserve to be re-elected president.” Worse, Schoen adds, “43 percent say that Barack Obama has been a better president than George W. Bush, while 48 percent say Bush was a better president than Obama has been.”


  • In Wisconsin, I wouldn’t count Feingold out. While Johnson has been ahead in most polls, the gap’s been closing in recent weeks and Johnson hasn’t fared well in the debates. Feingold, with three terms under his belt and being a smooth debater, is still pretty popular in a purple state. Johnson may still win, but his lead is shrinking.

  • New York is a sad case. Less than a year old it looked like both Gillibrand’s seat and the governorship would easily go to Republicans. Unfortunately for Republicans, Paterson decided not to run and the GOP basically conceded the senate seat without a fight.

  • Joe, you probably have a better sense of what’s going on in Wisconsin than I do, but the polls seem to have flattened out over the past week. Feingold certainly can make it interesting, but with Johnson now consistently polling in the low 50s, I’d be surprised if he lost.

    As for 2006, there was one race the Dems lost that was considered something of a toss-up. It was the TN Senate race that Harold Ford (call me) lost to Corker by about 3 points. That said, I can’t really think of any other close race over the past 2 cycles that the Dems have lost.

  • RR –

    New York is just an embarrassment for the GOP. Rudy Giuliani could certainly have won any of the statewide races had he decided to run, but evidently he is under the delusion that he could still be President one day. And as bad as Pataki is, he certainly could have been competitive with Gillebrand. The same is true for Lazio if he had set his sights on the Senate instead of the Governor’s Mansion.

  • “whatever the party breakdown is after Tuesday is the way it will remain for the 112th Congress”

    Maybe, maybe not. If the Republicans get to 50, they’ll be throwing every deal they can think of at the most nervous-looking Democratic senator they can find. If Sestak loses badly, that could be Bob Casey.

  • New York is just an embarrassment for the GOP

    The candidate for Comptroller and the candidate for Attorney-General have both shivved the Gubernatorial candidate, refusing to endorse him and (in the latter case) even to appear at public events with him. The Onondaga County executive endorsed Andrew Cuomo. The state party chairman (Richard Nixon’s corporate lawyer son-in-law) has been a pillar of Jell-O. I keep telling you: these people lose and lose and lose because of their irredeemable inadequacies.

  • Re Kirk vs. Giannoulias in IL: I voted early a couple of weeks ago. If either candidate had been ahead by a comfortable margin (meaning my vote would probably not make any difference), or if either party were pretty much assured of taking (or keeping) control of the Senate, I would have skipped this race and not voted for either candidate.

    Kirk is about as RINO as one can be — pro-abort, pro-ESCR, voted for cap and trade before he was against it, etc. However, I went ahead and voted for him, very reluctantly, ONLY because the race is so close AND because control of the Senate may hinge on the outcome. I am not going to sit back and allow a liberal Democrat to win under those circumstances.

  • On a side note: there are some prognosticators who believe that if Harry Reid loses his seat but the Dems hold on to the Senate, the next Majority Leader will be none other than Illinois’ other (ahem) esteemed Senator, Dick Durbin, who comes up for reelection in 2014. Now THAT is a race I am looking forward to. Hopefully the GOP will come up with a much better candidate than they have had the last three Senate election cycles. Lord knows they can’t do much worse.

  • Paul, I wouldn’t disagree that Johnson looks like the winner by a nose. Interestingly, more TV spots have been run in Wisconsin than any other state. Spending at $10.8 million in the Badger state, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks federal races.

Constitutional Ignorance

Tuesday, October 19, AD 2010

I see that my co-blogger MJ Andrew has already posted about the Christine O’Donnell-Chris Coons debate, and I thank him as that saves me the trouble of having to sort through a whole bunch of links.

I disagree with him, though somewhat reservedly.  Having listened to the entire clip it does seem to me that O’Donnell is questioning whether the concept of the separation of Church and State is in the First Amendment, not the Establishment Clause.  There was some crosstalk at this point in the debate, and it appears to me that she’s just repeating her question with regards to the issue of separation.  It’s debatable, though, and a candidate should do a better job clearly establishing what she’s talking about in such a setting.

That being the case,  I was more intrigued by  Coons’s own response to the question.  While O’Donnell possibly made a gaffe – an unfortunate one if indeed it was a gaffe – Coons’s response is the more troubling aspect of this exchange.

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11 Responses to Constitutional Ignorance

  • I tend to agree with those who think the Establishment Clause does not mandate a strict separation of church and state, and I think Coons gets that bit wrong.

  • Coons believes that the Supreme Court is a perpetual Constitutional Convention which may amend the Constitution as it pleases, the text of the document be hanged.

  • I agree with you, but as MJ points out not knowing at least the gist of the 14th amendment is pretty bad.

  • “I agree with you, but as MJ points out not knowing at least the gist of the 14th amendment is pretty bad.”

    Michael, outside of attorneys who do criminal defense and constitutional law cases, I think many attorneys would have a hard time saying much about the 14th amendment, not to say anything of the Byzantine case law interpreting the amendment. Of course you law school sudents being force fed all of this put us practicing attorneys to shame in this area! 🙂

  • I think many attorneys would have a hard time saying much about the 14th amendment, not to say anything of the Byzantine case law interpreting the amendment.

    It’s true that after what SCOTUS has done to the poor amendment has rendered its meaning unintelligible to all but the wisest of men (obviously those being on the Court), I think knowing that 14th guarantees due process against state infringement and that this is the avenue of incorporation would be nice to know. After all, it’s the through the 14th that SCOTUS has brought its, er, unique modern approach to constitutional interpretation.

  • Substantive due process has been the gateway to practically every dubious Court decision of the past century plus.

  • Israel and Great Britain get along passably without a formally composed Constitution. It sometimes seems ours is just an excuse for our appellate judges to be officious nuisances.

  • I learn something new about the 14th Amendment every time some judge with an expansive view of his or her self worth puts pen to paper.

  • I knew the Constitution pretty well during Con Law class and just prior to taking the bar. After that, not so much. Although I do occassionaly peruse it when a particular issue comes up. God help anyone who has to rely upon my faulty memory.

  • My keyboard quotes marks are not working.

    Meanwhile, Cornell law prof William Jacobson comments: A literal reading of O’Donnell’s comments reflects that she was correct, but of course, the press and the blogosphere don’t want a literal reading, they want a living, breathing reading which comports with their preconceived notions.”

    And, Instapundit: The Constitution stands for things that are good. The things that we want are good. Therefore, the Constitution stands for what we want. QED. How can those dumb wingnuts (like ODonnell) not understand this simple logic?

  • Good catch on Coons – most people have missed it in the frenzy to attack or defend O’Donnell. Whatever one may think of O’Donnell’s views (and I agree with them – though I think she didn’t effectively advance her correct argument), Coons is clearly of that liberal mindset which holds to “if we like it, it’s Constitutional”. On his own ground, Coons is going to be fine – as long as he’s talking to ignorant MSMers or liberal who like the current status of Constitutional law, he’s going to look like a genius…put him in a room with anyone who actually holds that laws are meant to be obeyed, and he doesn’t come off so well.

    We’ll see if O’Donnell can actually do anything with this – Delaware may not be ready, yet, to ditch its liberal Ruling Class…but O’Donnell has dented it, and that’s good enough to go on.

Political Miscellania 10\6\10

Wednesday, October 6, AD 2010

A roundup of recent political news.

1.  I am not a witch!  Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” opening salvo in her ad campaign.  Normally an ad from a candidate denying she is a witch would be the last thing heard from a campaign doomed to defeat and oblivion.  However, these are far from normal times.  O’Donnell does two things with this ad.  First, she shows the public that she is a real person and not the cartoon character created by the mainstream media and the denizens of the Left, and she begins to position herself as what she is:  the ultimate outsider.  Not a bad strategy in a political year that will be kind to outsiders and cruel to insiders.

2.  Gallup Poll-Gallup for some reason has been late this year applying a likely voter screen in their polls.   The closer you get to an election the more reliable likely voter polls get, and the less reliable registered voter polls are.  In a high turnout election, Gallup predicts a 13 point Republican advantage among likely voters and in a low voter turnout election Gallup predicts an 18 point Republican advantage among likely voters.  Go here to read the results of the poll.  For comparison’s sake, in the 1994 election when the Republicans took both the House and the Senate, in the Congressional elections the GOP had a six point advantage on election day.

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11 Responses to Political Miscellania 10\6\10

  • Couldn’t the alleged “Democrat comeback” simply be what is known among pollsters as a “dead cat bounce” — a blip upward in the polls that takes place because the disfavored party has hit bottom and has nowhere to go but up, albeit briefly? The phenomenon has occurred often enough that it has a name (borrowed from stock market parlance referring to a brief rally in the price of a stock sliding toward oblivion).

  • It could be Elaine. A party that is on the receiving end of a “taking to the woodshed by the voters” usually does have a mild improvement in the polls close in to the election as some of their disaffected core voters rally to them out of party loyalty and fear of what the opposing party will do in power.

  • A genuine dead cat bounce wouldn’t have to be “invented” by the MSM, but it could easily be misinterpreted by them.

  • Willful misinterpretation would be my guess Elaine, since this is a well-known aspect of politics among those who follow elections, but I certainly do not underestimate the amount of ignorance possessed by some members of the mainstream media.

  • Donald nailed it! The mainstream media is going to try and “paint a picture”. More then any poll, I can’t believe how the Obama’s appointee’s/czars are jumping ship. This is a sure sign that they believe he’s a 1 term president and they need to stay employed. I for one believe both the House and Senate will go RED!!!

  • Don,

    Let me take a wild guess that you’re dyslectic?

    I only say this because the title of your post has the “slash” pointing in the wrong direction.

    If not, then I’m dyslectic.

  • Not dyslectic Tito. I simply usually do date slashes in that manner.

  • The Washington Post front-page, above-the-fold headline for the poll story was pretty funny. A paraphrase:

    Big letters: “DEMOCRATS GAIN IN POLL”
    Little letters: “GOP still leads”

    As for the “I am not a witch” opening salvo, Hillary must be kicking herself. (I kid! I kid!)

  • Translation: “I am way too young to be a witch.”

  • the MSM is a part of the Democrat party. period.

  • The situation with the GOP in Delaware reminds me of this:

    O’Donnell’s part is obvious. The rest of them are the GOP establishment in DE. Burn her! 😉

E. J. Dionne & Maureen Dowd Are Playing With A Dangerous Fire

Tuesday, September 28, AD 2010

In a recent column Washington Post columnist, E J Dionne noted that the Tea Party movement is a great scam. Quite an indictment coming from the self described progressive Catholic who still thinks government can never be big enough and the Church should tell the faithful more about the teachings of the agnostic Saul Alinsky than that of 2,000 year old teachings of the Catholic Church. Dionne has made it his business to comment on all matter of politics and religion for quite some time. His partner in left wing chicanery is New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who never hesitates to go for the jugular.  Though she says he she comes from humble Washington DC roots, you would never know it by how she mocks those who really came from humble surrounding and never forgot it. She probably grew up with many Sarah Palin’s and Christine O’Donnell’s around her. Yet, I doubt she mocked many to their face as she gleefully does now to the backs of Palin and O’Donnell.

Dionne and Dowd seem to have it backwards, they don’t think citizens should voice their views about the fallacies of liberal Big Government, but they do believe everyone knows better than the divine about religion. This is quite common for liberals who often seem to think they are divine. Dionne and Dowd are part of a movement who thinks they should control government and religion, and those who disagree with them are often labeled as unintelligent; the worst sin as far as liberals are concerned. However, who is the unintelligent one? Big Government has never worked. It has only brought huge debt which has to be repaid by future generations. Individuals who go into debt face a series of tough measures. Yet Dionne and Dowd seem oblivious to this and advocate the same disastrous path for the government, the end result being tough measures for everyone.  In other words Big Government is a disaster that doesn’t work.

However, Big Government isn’t the only disaster Dionne and Dowd advocate. They want the Catholic Church to turn her back on its 2,000 year old teachings and embrace the Dictatorship of Relativism, so named by Pope Benedict XVI. Dionne and Dowd are happy to embrace dissident Catholics who espouse this sort of thinking. It seems Dionne and Dowd are more comfortable with the views of Marx, Alinsky and Freud than they are with Christ, St Paul, St Thomas Aquinas, St Joan of Arc and Pope Benedict XVI.

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2 Responses to E. J. Dionne & Maureen Dowd Are Playing With A Dangerous Fire

  • Apologies in advance: Top ten reasons to vote dem:

    10. I vote Democrat because I believe oil companies’ profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.

    9. I vote Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.

    8. I vote Democrat because Freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

    7. I vote Democrat because I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.

    6. I vote Democrat because I believe that people who can’t tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Prius.

    5. I vote Democrat because I’m not concerned about the slaughter of millions of babies through abortion so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.

    4. I vote Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits.

    3. I vote Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the democrats see fit.

    2. I vote Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

    1. I vote Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my @$$ that it is unlikely that I’ll ever have another point of view.

  • T Shaw did you come up with this? If you did something tells me that this might show up across the internet. Who knows old EJ and Maureen might heartily approve, not realizing your satire (well at 2-10.)

Mike Castle Considering Write In Campaign Against O'Donnell

Thursday, September 23, AD 2010

Hattip to Allahpundit of Hot Air.  Perhaps joining a list of defeated Rinos who simply want to hang on to power at all costs, Charlie Crist in Florida and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mike Castle is considering a write-in campaign in the Senate race in Delaware. 

“I don’t want to necessarily interfere with Republican chances,” said Castle, although he added, “I’ve had a lot of people approach me about it.”…
Asked directly whether he was considering a bid, Castle said: “I’ve given it some thought. I probably won’t do it…. I’m not exactly approaching this with bated breath.” Castle spokeswoman Kate Dickens said the congressman has had conversations about a write-in effort but that he likely won’t pull the trigger.
“We are getting a lot of mail and calls on it,” Dickens told POLITICO. But she said the likelihood of Castle mounting a campaign was still, “under 5 percent.”

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10 Responses to Mike Castle Considering Write In Campaign Against O'Donnell

  • Two thoughts

    First there is actually a line of thought thsi could help O Donnell.

    Second this is not a good race to show as a example of “RINOs”w wanting hold power at all caost since O Donnell herself did a write in effort after losing the GOP Primary for Congress in the past

  • JH, O’Donnell ran as a write in protest in 2006 in the Senate election. The primary winner Ting, was a liberal Republican who everyone knew had no chance. Ting got 17% in the general election and O’Donnell got 4% as a write in. In 2008, the best Democrat year since 1964, O’Donnell got 35% against Joe Biden. That same year Ting endorsed Obama and left the Republican party. O’Donnell by running as a write-in in 2006 ensured that the voters would actually be able to vote for a Republican.

    I think it is clear that Castle running as a run in would be helpful to O’Donnell, and I think the polls will show that if Castle gets back in.

  • Well I am generally against epople running as a write in after they lose a primary regardless if they be conservative moderate or liberal. If this is not stopped soon we are going to have huge problems .

  • I think a write-in campaign would hurt her. She’s going to get the tea party and conservative Republican support either way. Castle could get the moderate Republican and moderate independent vote, which O’Donnell will need to offset the Democratic support for Coons.

  • I disagree Pinky. Castle would take far more votes from Coons than he would from O’Donnell. His voting record is hard to distinguish from a liberal Democrat. Additionally, Castle and Coons are status quo politicians and will both draw from the same pool of voters who believe that the country is in the best of hands right now. O’Donnell will take almost every vote in Delaware cast by a voter who believes the country is most definitely not on the right course, and that the people at the top do not have the faintest clue how to rectify the situation.

  • OT, but here’s some terrific news:


    My admiration for Christie continues to grow. And that’s not the end of PP’s woes. Surprise, surprise, according to a PP whistleblower, it looks like there’s some very creative accounting going on there:


    For example, in one year Gonzalez says PPLA paid $225,695.65 for Ortho Tri-Cyclen birth control pills, yet billed the government $918,084 – for a profit of $692,388.35.

  • Liberals and the media really seem to hate nice looking consevative women for some reason…

  • It is great news Donna, and you anticipate my post today!

    Jasper, attractive conservative women running for office is pure heresy as far as liberals and the mainstream are concerned. The sight really does produce the most amusing antics from them!

  • The problem in this country we have alot of physically mature people who have never grown up. These politicians like Lisa Murkowski, Charlie Crist, Arlen Spector and Mike Castle are the perfect example.

    Part of maturity is showing integrity, and courage to accept the will of the people and support your party. Now we have people who want to “get even” with the member of their party who dared to take their apparent job for life from them.

    I have always been troubled by the number of Senators and Congressmen for life from both parties. Frankly it is time for term limits to the House and Senate, in both cases no member can serve for more than 12 years in the House and 12 in the Senate.

  • The fact that being a politician has turned into a career is a problem. It tends to influence one’s decisions in office towards that of self-interest rather than that of true representation.

13 Responses to O'Donnell Raises Two Million Dollars Online Since Primary Win

  • Who’d’a thunk there were 30,000 wiccans (with $5 in their pockets!) in the country!

    Maybe the geniuses feverishly running the country into the crapper are misunderestimating the slow-burning dudgeon of we the unwashed peasants.

  • I like her for every reason you hate her. She spoke the absolute truth about masturbation, and Christ’s teaching on lust.

  • What is most remarkable is the sense of general revolt to encrusted power structures and arrogant political elites now clearly assuming gigantic proportions.

    If you look at Countries like the UK and Germany, nothing of the sort is happening and what you see is the silent majority quietly tolerating a reshaping of society they do not approve of, but have no guts to revolt against.

    This they do because of the erroneous misconception that they be “somewhat wrong” and “backwards” and their progressivist, PC-talking headmasters the “enlightened” ones.

    I see a completely different spirit the other side of the Pond; I hope that its effects will soon be felt here, too.


  • From your lips to God’s ear mundabor!

  • I support her. I agree with Joe. I hope she cleans house.

    That’s interesting how you described the three counties in Delaware. I used to live about 10 miles from the Maryland/Delaware state line and remember being on Bi State Boulevard where the street was literally split in half between two states. I remember standing on one side of the street I being in Maryland and then standing on the other side of the street and being in Delaware.

  • Yes, I really do want my political analysis from some yahoo called “topnotchentertainment.” I am supposed to take this left wing looper seriously?

  • ya I just did a nice piece on….Miss O’Donnell

    If by “nice piece” you mean “copying and pasting from the Daily Show” then perhaps. But there was nothing original or insightful about the piece.

    You would have thought the left would have learned its lesson from Palin’s rise. Instead of just leaving her alone and letting her trip herself up due to her own failures (Palin-ignorance on foreign policy; O’Donnell-questionable history re taxes and employment), they’ve gone after her for essentially being Christian. Like Douthat pointed out, the left turned this into a culture war, and for that I hope they enjoying having to deal with a Senator O’Donnell for 6 years.

  • Denton – Exactly right. A calm, systematic effort could have buried her. The current hysteria against a sweet young lady, led by a creepy atheist, is her best hope for the Senate seat.

  • You make fun of the “topnotchentertainment”, but I guess your pope just admitted that child abuse by your priests is a problem not being resolved fast enough. So you may want ms O’Donnell to clean the house but take a look in the mirror. Certain old saying says that when you are pissed off at someone else, it is you who makes the reality what is. So may be the reality is your anger at “Washington elites” is an emotional response to some unresolved issues with an authority figure. No? Could it be your priest?

    Your O’Donnell dumb crack has support of about 30,000 Sussex and Kent County brainless ‘fud’ – Just for your information Delaware is close to a 1 mil in population. If 10% of them were democrats and independents who see her exactly for what she is and vote accordingly, she goes down 3:1. However, I do believe that number will be higher.

  • Little someting to think about Robocall.

    “Contempt is an emotion displayed by those without valid rebutal”

  • When I read the sort of commentary posted by “topnotchentertainment” I have to wonder whatever became of art of meaningful political debate?
    Lets see, it is okay to berate a Senate candidate for statements made as a 19 year old young woman regarding her dabbling in witchcraft in her high school years. The problem is that for so many years there are Senators and Congressman who have done far worst and are lionized. The list:
    -Senator Edward Kennedy (D) Massachusetts – This fine gentleman left the scene of an accident and ran away leaving a young woman to drown. Had he used his head and knocked on the door of a nearby house help may have come in time to save poor Mary Jo. This man has been called “The Lion of the Senate” . This incident should have called into question, the integrity, judgment and courage of the Senator.
    -Senator Robert Byrd (D) West Virginia – The press used to tell stories of the love for the Constitution this man had. He was actively involved with the Klu Klux Klan an illegal, racist and criminal organization. The post mortem defense that President William Jefferson Clinton used was that he had to be part of the Klan how else would he be elected. If he did as Bill Clinton said then he showed an incredible lack of integrity. If he joined because he really believed what the Klan stood for then he is simply a hatefilled bigot. Funny no one on the Tonight show, Late Night with David Letterman or the Daily Show has ever thought this worth comment.
    There are so many more examples of progressive Senators, Congressman, governors, mayors, who get a pass from the media. Why because they “have the correct opinions”.
    What is Ms O’Donnell’s crime, she holds the wrong opinion.

Of Black Magic and Bearded Marxists

Monday, September 20, AD 2010

I assume that only deaf and blind individuals in this country are unaware that GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell said on the execrable Bill Maher’s show Politically Incorrect in 1999 that as a young woman she dabbled in witchcraft.  What brought this up is that O’Donnell on the show was criticizing self-proclaimed witches and made this comment to demonstrate that she had personal experience of what she was attacking.  Her appearances on Maher’ s show were to serve as the token Christian conservative who Maher could attack.   As this essay on chastity which she wrote in 1998 indicates, O’Donnell was doing far more than making guest appearances at this time on Maher’s show, and I interpret her agreement to be on Maher’s show as an attempt to get her message across in an unfriendly venue.  She is making light of the whole stupid issue which I think is the right tack to take.

Less well known is that her opponent Chris Coons wrote an article when he was 21 for the Amherst student newspaper entitled The Making of a Bearded Marxist in which he described how his college experiences transformed him from a conservative into a leftist.  (Son of a gun, I guess there are people foolish enough to fall for the low level political indoctrination that many campuses engage in in lieu of an education.)  What do I make of this statement of Coons?  Other than that 21 year olds are apt to make fairly foolish statements, certainly I did, nothing.

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33 Responses to Of Black Magic and Bearded Marxists

  • Expecting our JournOListas to have fixed, transparent, and non-sectarian standards of conduct has turned into a utopian disposition.

  • Whatever!

    Ms. O’Donnell was not insisting that global warming is going to raise ocean levels by 20 feet; that heterosexual AIDS is a major health concern; that law-abiding Americans can’t be trusted with guns; that every nation and every culture is superior to our own; that illegal aliens and Islamic jihadists are entitled to all the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens; that providing 31 million additional people with health insurance will save us billions of dollars; that Supreme Court justices should essentially be social workers who get to wear their robes to work; that drilling for oil and digging for coal are evil endeavors; that windmills and sunbeams can supply all the energy a modern industrial nation needs; that Christian symbols should be eliminated from the national landscape; and that the redistribution of personal wealth is a moral imperative.

    She was not displaying the arrogant disdain for traditional American virtues, not to mention logic and common sense as her opponents have habitually done.

    As if anyone cared: What was the current occupier of the White House doing in high school – selling cocaine? He can’t release his Birth Certificate.

    Double standard?

  • Our chosen one in the White House did his dabbling in Christianity with the Rev. Wright for an extended time(and never remembered what was said). His personal inspiration and serious pondering came from those who prepared him for his real lifes work while with Ayers the bomb throwing Marxists and other real extremists.

  • The Coons piece looks entirely mainstream.

  • I agree with RR since “mainstream” often has a weak relationship with reality.

  • The Coons piece was done back in May RR by the internet journal Politico.

    Linked below is a google search of Coons and Bearded Marxist. With the exception of Fox, no mainstream media organ has touched it. I do not count Slate as it is internet only:


    Then we do a google search of O’Donnell and witchcraft and all the networks are represented.


    None of this comes as a surprise to conservatives. For us the media rooting for the other team is just a fact of life.

  • Don, I meant that I didn’t see anything in the Coons piece worth reporting. Did you see a shocking revelation that I missed?

  • Calling oneself a Bearded Marxist at 21 RR is as newsworthy as a candidate who is now a strong Christian mentioning 11 years ago on a talk show that she dabbled in witchcraft as a teenager. In either case I don’t think the items are very newsworthy or relevant to the campaign. However, one is trumpeted by the mainstream media and one is completely overlooked. I think the reaction of the mainstream media would be reversed if it were a liberal Democrat who engaged in Gaia worship in her teen years and a conservative Republican who in a college newspaper at 21 jokingly referred to himself as a “fascist reactionary” in commenting how his political views had become more conservative during his college years.

  • I thought liberals liked wiccans?

  • According to the article Coons’ political transformation came while on a trip to Kenya. So the shocking revelation is that he, too, is motivated by Kenyan anti-colonialism.

  • I’ll take O’Donnell’s simplicity over duplicity and evil wrapped up in a veneer of sophistication.

    Seriously, I think some people, even some Christians, would be deceived by Satan if he did no more than adopt the title “faculty chair” when presenting his arguments.

  • “I’ll take O’Donnell’s simplicity over duplicity and evil wrapped up in a veneer of sophistication.”

    She has not only gone on the air talking about lies and why they are not permitted, she has a history of lies for herself. Duplicity? Her life is full of them. When she went to ISI she made false claims about herself; when she left them, she made false claims about herself. She has a history of seeking after her own good over others, and using everyone for her own benefit. That is her history.

    And people would be interested, while talking about how people “hang out” with “bad people” in high school, it is not just in high school she hangs out with people who dabble in the occult (good or bad, it’s up to you and the voter; but it seems her sister continues to dabble in it). So acting like it is a thing of the past, when she continues to hang out with occultists is again another example of her ways. Now, I think it is good she stands by her sister, but in doing so, she should honestly reflect upon what that means for who she “hangs with.”

  • Btw, I find it amusing that people are saying O’Donnell shouldn’t be Senator from Delaware because she has made some “crazy” statements. Do they not remember Joe Biden?

  • Let’s apply the standard to Richard Blumenthal in Conn. Much worse by far.

  • The most hypocritical thing of all is Bill Maher calling his show “Politically Incorrect” – you couldn’t find a more politically correct show.

  • Yeah.
    My son used to say that Maher is to politically incorrect what MTV is to music.

  • HK: Try applying that “open and honest” standard to Barry Sotoero or Barrack Hussein Obam or whatever is that fake, phony fraud’s name . . .

  • Oh please Karlson. If it was some lefty calling for universal, tax-payer subsidized hugs and tickles who had once dabbled in witchcraft, you would be citing ecumenical decrees in their defense.

  • Joe

    Once again, your response shows no comprehension to what was said. I pointed out the issue is her lack of honesty. It had not to do with who she hung out with, or continues to do so, but how she explains it, and how this connects to her other misrepresentations, something one can find as a pattern in her life.

    If someone wants to be a witch, or hang out with them, fine. If one once was a witch, and no longer is one, fine. However, if one’s sister is still practicing practices she learned from wicca, and you hang out with her, it is clear, you hang out with such people. Why say you don’t? That is the question.

  • Destructive dem stooges and penurious propagandists in the media can’t devise answers for America’s problems: one-in-seven Americans living (hope and change!!) in poverty, unemployment at horrid levels, unprecedented federal and state deficits, foreclosures tragically up, and businesses driven to despair by unfunded mandates and ruinous regulations. So, they dig up high school silliness to misdirect voters’ sensibilities.

  • There’s a lot of old scuttlebutt surrounding Hillary Clinton and her association with New Agers Marianne Williamson, Jean Houston and Mary Catherine Bateson. It has been reported that part of Hillary’s therapy, to help her reach her full human potential, was “channeling,” including, under the guidance of these New Agers, directing Hillary to converse with the dead: Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi. I guess that one could say that Hillary Clinton dabbled in seances. At least Ms. O’Donnell has not/will not be running for the presidency.

  • After decades of “Christianity Light” everywhere in the West it is really not a great surprise to read that the one or the other, in younger years, has “experimented” with stupid things.

    Yes, this wouldn’t have happened 100 or 200 years ago; not because the teenagers of those times were less stupid, but because they were taughts more properly.

    What is more relevant and is not said, though, is that O’Donnell is, by all his faults, clearly Christian *now*, whilst you have a President of the United States clearly and wilfully omitting the Creator when reading from your Constitution. This, Obama did not as a teenager or as a child whilst attending a Muslim school, but just a few days ago.

    Some people never change.


  • “taught” and “her” fault, of course 🙁

  • Look to her sister, and look to Christine’s checkered history. Indeed, she doesn’t want to answer anything to do with that history. “Liberals” mention it, so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me! She is looking out for herself, no one else, as her history shows.

  • so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me! She is looking out for herself, no one else, as her history shows.

    No, her history does not show that. It shows a woman who has not succeeded at constructing and maintaining a fully adult life. That is a legitimate concern, and not merely in Delaware. (It has been a legitimate concern about Patrick Kennedy throughout his entire career in politics, just not a concern throughout all sectors of the population).

  • “so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me!”

    Before I kid anyone Karlson I attempt to discern if they have a sense of humor. If you have that attribute I have failed to observe it from your postings or comments.

    As stated in the post, I view Ms. O’Donnell as a flawed candidate. However, politics is the art of comparison, and compared to either Mike Castle or Chris Coons, avatars of politics as usual, she is far and away the superior candidate. She understands that we simply cannot continue to spend money we do not have and continue to sink into an economy destroying pit of government debt. That alone is enough for me to support her. That she is right on abortion and the other moral issues is icing on the cake. That you make such strenuous efforts against her is a tribute to how wedded you are to massive government and massive government spending. Those days are drawing to a close if for no better reason than we are simply going broke. O’Donnell understands this, and Coons and those who support him do not.

  • “It has been a legitimate concern about Patrick Kennedy throughout his entire career in politics…”

    That should read: “It has been a legitimate concern abouth the Kennedys throughout their careers in politics…”

  • But since we are on the topic, it is interesting to note that the Ted Kennedy, in spite of killing an aide, committing adultery, corrupting the morals of his nephews and being one of the strongest supporters of abortion and the homosexual agenda, still managed to receive an elaborate funeral from the Church.

    I suspect O’Donnell still has a lot of work to do to equal that man.

  • Seriously, I think some people, even some Christians, would be deceived by Satan if he did no more than adopt the title “faculty chair” when presenting his arguments.

    And how often he does no more than adopt the title faculty chair … expect me not to be impressed by academic titles.

    Achievements included in their usual background (as well as in some non-titled ones) involves knowing more facts than the public. There is nothing short of an obligation to personal sanctity that could give them an over all better judgement.

  • Art

    She has a history of making things up — like her law suit; she just does whatever suits her. Some, like Donald, say politics is the art of compromise (funny how we hear that now). I have no problem with compromise; what I have a problem is someone whose record is checkered with dishonesty and manipulation for the sake of her own gain ( such as when she said she had finished undergraduate studies and was in a graduate program). Of course, I find this behind much of the Tea Party — dishonest presentation of the facts so that people can get in power and use that power for their own will, with the people who are following them often not seeing the disconnect (such as the focus on the taxes for the rich as being somehow the government is seeking to tax the middle class!)

  • “Some, like Donald, say politics is the art of compromise”

    Actually I said politics is the art of comparison. Pericles, Washington, Lincoln, Churchill, etc. are not standing for election, and therefore we have to choose between those who are, write in a candidate or stay home.

  • Ok, you said comparison; fine – that was my mistake for doing a quick skim of the responses. Nonetheless, even then, comparison ends up choosing a candidate which rarely equals our own desired candidate, and end up establishing principles which we think are more important and others of secondary importance which can be compromised. Politics still takes it. And when we do comparisons, we must not confuse the rhetoric or the image, but also the ability of the people involved in relation to our principles of choice.

  • She has a history of making things up — like her law suit; she just does whatever suits her.

    I do not find the supposed contentions of her lawsuit against ISI Press (as summarized in news reports) plausible on their face, but it is very imprudent in that sort of circumstance to accuse someone of fabricating unless you’ve considerable granular knowledge of the dispute at hand.

    Her disinclination to publish her curriculum vitae is an indication that she has an unhappy history with her employers. Bad enough.

    That should read: “It has been a legitimate concern abouth the Kennedys throughout their careers in politics…”

    Some Kennedys, not others. Joseph Kennedy, four of his nine children, and several of his 28 grand-children have transgressed in manners gross and unusual against the moral law. The ways they did so have differed from person to person. Patrick Kennedy is a much more benign figure than his father or his cousin Michael. He has suffered from a generic incompetence at the art of living that is the closest to Miss O’Donnell’s manifested troubles.

T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII Weighs in on the Delaware Race

Friday, September 17, AD 2010

The indispensable Iowahawk brings us again the thoughts of T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII, Rino of the Rinos, and his musings on the Christine O’Donnell victory in the Delaware GOP Senate primary:

Thus I assumed when the Delaware Republican party approached me last week requesting high-level strategic advice it was in regards to the November general election. Mr. Biden’s elevation to the executive branch created an open Senate seat and, mercifully, a rare moment of kismet for moderate and intellectual conservatives; here, at last, the right kind of seat, for the right kind of state, and the right kind of candidate in Mr. Mike Castle. With his nomination a forgone conclusion and a voting record scarcely distinguishable from Mr. Biden’s, Mr. Castle would be undoubtedly competitive in November and could be supported by a better stripe of conservative without fear of Washington social embarrassment. Better yet, his nomination would represent a return to the rational conservatism which has been all but eclipsed by the dark moon of Tea Party lunacy. All that remained to formulate a strategy to position Mr. Castle further to the center for the general election, and to make arrangements for cocktails; two task for which I am eminently qualified and brimming with ideas. Instead, I was mortified to learn from party officials that they were in fact seeking help in parrying a primary challenge to Mr. Castle from a dark horse Republican who was in the midst of a last minute charge in the polls.

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5 Responses to T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII Weighs in on the Delaware Race

  • Not a bad article, but a real T. Coddington etc. wouldn’t be a “VII.” Roman numerals are only appropriate for monarchs, who are also the only people who get to count everyone whose ever had the name. For the rest of us, Jr., Sr. and ordinal numbers are only used to distinguish between living people with the same name, as in “George W. Bush 3rd,” if George’s father and grandfather are still alive and have the same name. It’s barely possible to be a “5th” in families that marry young and live a long time, but mostly it’s only “Sr, Jr, and 3rd.” /pedantic etiquette rant.

    This message has been delivered to you by Captain Karen Cox of the 5th Light Pedantry.

  • I salute you Captain! I hesitate to dispute a superior officer, but I would note that it is the custom, at least here in the untamed Midwest, to use Roman numerals. No numerals are used in my family, because although my sainted father, and my alive and kicking son, share the same first name with me, we all have different middle names.

  • Karen, what happens if you were a 3rd, and then the Sr. dies, and a fourth is born? Does the 3rd revert to Jr. and the putative 4th becomes a 3rd? Does everyone move up a notch as the more senior passes away?

  • Unfortunately, the “etiquette” doesn’t take into account idiotic credit bureaus destroying one’s credit rating when “James Thomas Anderson Jr.” can’t buy a house because, unbeknownst to him, he already has 2 other mortgages.

    Speaking as a “Jr.” to a “Jr.” to yet another “Jr.”, I make no apologies to the etiquette snobs (like my own mother) that my son’s name is and shall remain – unless and until such time as he sees fit to change it himself – “James Thomas Anderson V”.

    /rant off


  • As I said to my mother: “Have you read the names in the birth announcements section of the newspaper lately? Do you really think it’s going to raise anyone’s eyebrows that your grandson has a “V” appended to the end of his name?”


Electoral Revolt

Wednesday, September 15, AD 2010

In a year of political stunners, last night’s result in the GOP primary in Delaware still stood out.  Christine O’Donnell, Palin-endorsed tea party activist, upset Mike Castle, former two-term Governor of Delaware and long term GOP congressman, who, until last week, was expected to be an easy victor, both in the primary and in the general election.  Castle is the archetypal Republican Rino and O’Donnell a life long conservative activist, and the GOP Delaware voters decided that counted for more than electability.  I view O’Donnell as a highly flawed candidate due to instances of bizarre behavior in her life, but nevertheless if I lived in Delaware I would have voted for her.  James Antle of of the American Spectator explains why:

For how is it a victory to elect a liberal with an “R” next to her name rather than a “D?” What does it profit a movement to win an election but lose its soul? Conservatives are saying to the Republican Party: for years you have taken us for granted. Now you can either win with us or lose without us. And if a conservative candidate loses anyway, so be it.

Rank-and-file conservatives no longer trust the Republican establishment. They don’t trust big-spending incumbents. They don’t even trust conservative magazines, websites, and commentators who in their view run down conservative candidates.

Are there drawbacks to this approach? As one Mama Grizzly might say, “You betcha.” Ideology and values are vital, but qualifications matter too. So do local conditions and regional differences, where one size doesn’t fit all.

Finally, few RINOs are as brazen as Castle or Scozzafava. They now have learned to talk like conservatives and check the right boxes on conservative litmus tests even as they expand government once in power. The George Romneys have become Mitt Romneys, the George Bushes George Ws. Will conservatives be as demanding of them?

But for now, this much is clear: Grassroots conservatives picked Christine O’Donnell over Mike Castle, electoral consequences be damned. If it can happen in Delaware, it can happen anywhere.

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52 Responses to Electoral Revolt

  • I have had a feeling something else was going on this race that was not exactly send Washington D.C a message. I thought this person hit it right that it might not have been what people have been thinking. That is the social dynamic


    That being said I can’t see this as anything but a disaster. I am praying it is not. The stuff Karl Roves was talking about as well as other conservatives concerning well Character and ethical issues cannot be swept aside by charges of RINO and estabishment.

    As I have mentioned elsewhere perhaps someone can explain to me if we are going to have a conservative WHY HER. Is this the best they got?

    This very well could backfire. If she becomes in the media’s eye or public eyes the symbol of the Tea party and these eithical problems and other issues are true then we have a major problem on our hands.

    So as soon as someone can get me the talking points on how to address these “quirks” so I can look at them it would be appreciated.

    The interesting thing about that race if the above article is correct is perhaps Castle lost that race on the GUN issue. He did seem very stubborn on the Pro-Gun Control stance though it was clear the countires mood had shifted. IF he has moderated on that he might have picked up enough votes in those Southern Counties to win it last night.

  • Well, the lawsuit allegations are pretty run of the mill for a discrimination suit. Some of the statements (implying currently taking classes at Princeton vs. planning to) may have been some miscommunication between her and her attorney.

    I also don’t get how she could have sold her house to her boyfriend if the bank had already foreclosed, unless she got the money from him and paid of the mortgage before the sheriff sale, which is perfectly legal in most states. I don’t know about Delaware, but in Texas, foreclosure can be a nonjudicial proceeding, so you are not “sued”. You are usually given notice of default, notice of acceleration of the debt, then notice of foreclosure, and notice of foreclosure sale (first Tuesday of the month). Usually, the sale isn’t done by the sheriff, but by a disinterest 3rd party (usually lawyer or representative of the bank/mortgage co.).

  • That Weekly Standard story you linked was either a vicious hit piece with loads of dubious info- or quite disturbing as to the qualifications of O’Donnell for leading anything- There is a similar disconnect with Florida’s Rick Scott and his leadership of a corporate entity that ripped off government monies- This isn’t about ancient history- I have noted in running for office myself that you have to be really cautious to vett candidates because a lot of people are drawn to political leadership and political activism with serious personal issues that they are seemingly working through in very public ways- like high-wire risk-takers they are drawn to media glare like bugs who just want to get zapped- I would recommend that whoever is responsible for directing Tea party monies slow down a beat and consider the consequences of having some serious melt-down characters- reminds me of Ross Perot when he was positioned to win the presidency and he went off half-cocked with some crazy story of Bush harassing his daughters or some such thing, and he dropped out and came back and still ate up votes because people are that hungry for something non-establishment to turn up that is viable- the usual case is for shady or crazy multi-millionaires to come crashing into the party trying to buy their way into political leadership.

    For me, the Tea Party would get serious consideration only if it put the Pro-Life issue at the top of the heap- I recently dropped my own association with a major party because I could not make any headway in Florida as a pro-life Democrat and if I am going to go around and say that ‘a life is a life no matter how small’ then one would have to conclude that we have a genocide of the unwanted, unborn children in our country and any party or psuedo-party that makes the claim that they are pro-life and understand the seriousness of systemic killing of unborn kids- will have to be putting that kind of thing on the front-burner- even more so than tax and spend issues – If that isn’t happening then the public witness will go down as something like this: “Well yes I believe we have a genocide of killing unborn children going on- and I am pro-life, but what really ticks me off is Obama’s stimulus spending and repeal of my tax cuts- and don’t get me started on his socialist health care”. That approach is what I consider a lukewarm kind of ‘realism’ ‘pragmatism’ that smacks of Jesus’ warning to be hot or cold, the lukewarm He will spit out. I tried going the route of covert subversive as a pro-lifer inside the Democratic party fold- i’ve given over that role so I can now be as open as I want to be- but I have little sympathy for those who are ostensibly belonging to a party that makes pro-life claims but does precious little to prioritize Pro-Life issues when economics, taxes, and immigration seem to be so much more pressing and passionate causes for most Repubs and Tea Partiers I have known or read about.

  • I wouldn’t have voted for either one.

    O’Donnell seems to be a burrito short of a combo plate (“Castle operatives are ransacking my house!”), not to mention a permanent campaigner with no resume’. The “Did you hear the rumor Mike Castle is gay?” ad was despicable, too.

    That said, I wouldn’t have eaten the crap sandwich labelled “Mike Castle,” either.

    You could have picked two people at random out of a Wilmington phone book and done better.

  • This is not good – Coons, a dedicated leftist, will win, and the Senate will be more left-wing (Delaware is a Democratic state and he’s going to hold the seat, absent a scandal). Castle would have won, and he would have disappointed conservatives some of the time. Therefore, conservatives have lost, because he would have been an electable rightish figure in that state.

    Sometimes, the GOP establishment is right. Palin and DeMint and the Tea Party folks were wrong in this case – which will become evident probably before November, given her history of instability and emotionalism.

  • Therefore, conservatives have lost, because he would have been an electable rightish figure in that state.

    That argument doesn’t carry weight anymore. Conservatives sucked it up to try to push McCain and got the lousiest campaign possible and an Obama presidency. Who knows whether Castle would have won? I have no idea whether she was a good candidate, but she sold herself as truer to conservative principles and, just as the Dems did in 08 when they picked Obama over Clinton, the party base decided to take the risk in order to get the candidate closer to their views. It just doesn’t make sense anymore to vote based on who might have a better chance in the general election.

  • It just doesn’t make sense anymore to vote based on who might have a better chance in the general election.

    I am not sure I disagree with your conclusion, but I would caution against using McCain/Obama in 2008 as a basis for conclusions on statewide elections in 2010. It’s hard to disentangle the causality, of course, but I think any Republican would have lost the Presidential election in 2008; once the financial crisis hit, the Democratic candidate (whether Obama or Clinton) was going to win. In closely contested state-wide elections, sometimes moderates may legitimately have a better chance; that said, I will not be shedding any tears over Castle.

  • It seems some conservatives are fond of Buckley’s quip about being governed by the first 100 people out of the Boston phonebook (or something to that effect) instead of the graduating class of Harvard (or whatever it was) until it really happens.

    O’Donnell may be a little odd. But I am far past the point of expecting or demanding that politicians be perfect human beings, or anywhere near. I don’t doubt that people will be working overtime to make sure that the poor woman does have a meltdown, but if she can hold it together, good for her.

  • “It just doesn’t make sense anymore to vote based on who might have a better chance in the general election.”

    It does if conservatives believe that elections matter (I do) and value a conservative movement (which will contain, unfortunately, a lot of right-liberalism) capable of defeating candidates of the left (I do).

    I understand the reservations about Castle, but O’Donnell is a terrible candidate with a terrible history. Populist insurgents should find better candidates if they want to take on an establishment (Joe Miller, for example).

    Selling principles is not relevant in an electoral campaign if the candidate is unstable and unsuited for the electorate. Castle would have (poorly) advanced the conservative cause from his position (one of 100 is a big deal when the state is Democratic) and Coons will actively oppose it.

  • I haven’t sorted through the allegations to see which are true. I’ll say this, in general: there’s always a risk going with inexperience. This is why sports have farm teams, and political parties are active at the local level (because let’s be honest, most issues that the city comptroller has to deal with aren’t found in the D or R platform).

    The Republicans haven’t been building up a good farm team. A lot of them turned out to be sleeping with staffers. There’s the occasional Christie or Jindal, sure, but on another thread where potential 2012 presidential candidates were being discussed, I was really struck by the weakness of the Republican bench (mixed sports metaphors, I know).

  • I’m torn between the thought of taking the Senate with Castle vs. sticking with a conservative and potentially not taking the Senate. In the end I have a very hard time with someone like Castle who is essentially a liberal Democrat with an (R) after his name and am glad he went down.

    Given that there are plenty of politicians out there who can’t pass the decency test (look, Rangal just won his primary challange) I think the GOP should move forward and support her.

  • Yeah, what Michael Denton said.

    How any pro-life Catholic could justify a vote for Mike Castle is completely beyond me, unless, of course, the goal is merely to elect Republicans.

    Mike Castle is a Catholic who, despite claiming membership in the Catholic Church as well as the party that touts itself as pro-life, has a 100% NARAL rating, a 0 rating from National Right to Life, and is (at least until January, heh!) probably the biggest supporter and sponsor of embryonic stem cell research legislation in Congress.

    From a conservative (but not necessarily social conservative) perspective, he supports cap & tax, gun control, restrictions on political speech (see Disclose Act), etc., etc. As Don notes, Castle is the archetype of the RINO.

    To support Castle would be to say that there is no Republican who is too anti-life and/or too far to the left as to be undeserving of our vote. Our call is to vote our values, not vote for the most electable person with an “R” next to his name.

  • I agree with jonathanjones.

    DE will now elect a Dem Senator (RCP just switched DE from red to blue and they are right), and given CO’s baggage it is probably for the best.

    I just don’t understand the logic of some commentators. Yes, I’d rather have a true conservative than a moderate. But I’d also rather have a moderate than a liberal. It stands to reason that it makes sense to support the conservative over the moderate in the primary only if you think he or she has a legitimate shot to beat the liberal Dem. This is especially true in the US Senate where key votes usually are decided on party lines.

    The Tea Party has produced some good candidates, and they will show well; CO was not a good candidate and she will lose badly. Oh well.

  • I’m not sure that Castle was even a moderate. Sounds like he was about as liberal as they come.

  • Phillip,
    Even if that is true studies confirm that party matters greatly on key Senate votes. A liberal GOP Senator will vote more conservative than a liberal Dem Senator. Politics is a practical game. Purists lose. The constitutions framers knew that and anticipated compromises born of checks and balances. And no one understood it better than RWR.

  • Its a practical game I agree. Which is why I disagree with a lot of Catholic bloggers who insist on purity. But who is to know if Castle wouldn’t pull a Specter, or a Jeffords and change parties. Even more simply, who is to know if he would pull a Snowe or Collins. Studies say what a population will do, not what an individual will do.

    But Castle’s votes on abortion, stem cell research etc lead one to consider one’s vote beyond a practical level.

  • Fair enough, but a couple points:

    First, as odious as Specter and Jeffords are their desirablity in the Senate can only be judged in comparison to the alternatives, which is true also of Castle.

    Second, as much as I view abortion as by far the most important policy issue of our time, I do not think it is sensible (let alone morally required) to vote for a pro-lifer destined to lose over a pro-abort who could win if that pro-abort is likely to be less damaging than his ultimate opponent. A GOP pro-choice Senator is less likely to obstruct pro-life judicial nominees than a Dem pro-choice Senator.

    In the end, these are prudential decisions of course. And I certainly share one’s frustration with RINOs, especially pro-choice RINOs. But we can’t let those frustrations allow us to play our hand poorly. I suspect that many good people did just that in this case. I wish the Tea Party had been able to launch a better candidate.

  • I don’t know what the alternatives were to Spector and Jeffords as I’m still not sure what there were to Castle (or O’Donnell for that matter.) Perhaps there are some reading who know Delaware politics.

    But if there are no good alternatives then, as you say, we are stuck with prudential judgment. I also agree one is not obliged to vote for a pro-lfe candidate that has no chance of winning and take in the calculus of supporting a Republican majority that will be more pro-lfe than a Dem. majority. As I’ve said I’ve disagreed with Catholic bloggers who hold such can’t be done. I accept your point of view in this regard. I just don’t agree with it in this case.

    As far as not voting to block a pro-life judicial nominee, that’s moot at this point. There won’t be any. At least not until 2013. And perhaps by then we could have secured a Republican majority that is truly conservative.

  • Yes, I’d rather have a true conservative than a moderate. But I’d also rather have a moderate than a liberal.

    That, I think, is what’s up for debate. Conservatives have been told for years that moderates are better when quite frankly most of them are only marginally distinguishable from Democratic counterparts and worse on most issues than Blue dog Democrats. Yes, a moderate might be better than a liberal but if a moderate is only slightly better than the liberal it makes far less sense to abandon the opportunity to vote for a person who truly represents you view (i.e. the possible gain is slim in moderate whereas the potential in the conservative is great).

    It’s not puritanical or a lack of prudence; it’s a different assessment of the gains moderates have given us. From my perspective and many others, that’s not been much, especially as one who cares primarily about abortion and I’d rather have my views represented.

    And if Castle is such a great candidate, why the heck couldn’t he beat O’Donnell?

  • Conservatives have been told for years that moderates are better when quite frankly most of them are only marginally distinguishable from Democratic counterparts and worse on most issues than Blue dog Democrats.

    See Ehrlich, Robert L., Jr.

  • ” I wish the Tea Party had been able to launch a better candidate.”

    Exactly. And if she has ethical problems are we suppose to go oh well she is pro life?

    Problematic to say the least

  • “Castle would have (poorly) advanced the conservative cause from his position (one of 100 is a big deal when the state is Democratic) and Coons will actively oppose it.”

    Plus coons could have that seat forever. Castle was 71. Chances are he would not have ran again in 6 years

  • “It’s not puritanical or a lack of prudence; it’s a different assessment of the gains moderates have given us. From my perspective and many others, that’s not been much, especially as one who cares primarily about abortion and I’d rather have my views represented. ”

    You will never get gains in the first place if you don’t have majority controls of the committees.That is just the fact.

  • Agreed on all counts, Jh. Overall I have been pleased by the Tea Party alternative (i.e., anti-establishment) candidates. But I’m afraid this is not electable, which is probably for the best given her embarrassment potential.

  • Committees mean squat if they don’t have the votes on the floor.

  • Michael,
    But the fact is that party matters when it comes to votes on the floor. When a representative changes parties his voting record changes promptly and considerably, even if his views obviously have not.

  • I think that is characteristic of the last 15 years, when party caucuses have been more uniform than they were previously (and refers to the pressures on legislators, not executives).

  • Agreed on both counts, though party discipline has always been a material factor on important votes. And I agree without reservation that this phenomenon is largey irrelevant to executive branch offices.

  • The arguments put forward here in favor of Castle would also apply if he were running in the General Election against a moderate pro-life, pro-2nd amendment Democrat.

    I mean, if the majority is all that matters, why not support support the pro-abort, radically pro-ESCR, anti-gun, pro-cap-and-tax “Catholic” RINO over the pro-life moderate Democrat?

    Again, it all seems to come down to voting for the “R”. Well, I don’t buy it anymore. I’ve been sold that bill of goods for far too long and with far too few REAL results to play the part of the pro-GOP-at-any-cost lemming.

    I won’t be going over the cliff for Mike Frickin’ Castle, believe you me.

  • But who is to know if Castle wouldn’t pull a Specter, or a Jeffords and change parties.

    Spector was a former Democrat with a long history of buffoonish and histrionic behavior. Jeffords changed parties due to a dispute over dairy subsidies or some such. You could investigate Castle’s history to see if these sort of antecedents were present.

  • Not true, Jay. The argument being put forward is that a liberal Republican is better than a liberal Democrat, and that therefore it is sensible to vote for a liberal Republican who can defeat a liberal Democrat in the general election over a conservative Republican who cannot defeat the liberal Dem in the general election. No one is suggesting that it is better to vote for a liberal pro-choice Republican over a moderate pro-life Democrat should such a circumstance actually present itself. I regret if any of my comments suggested otherwise, but I think a fair reading of them in the context of the exchange is pretty clear.

  • I don’t think that is what you are saying, Mike.

    But many (most?) of the arguments in favor of Castle have focused on the GOP effort to regain majority status. If regaining majority status is the goal of electing Castle, then, yes, it does seem to be an argument in favor of electing him over any Democrat.

    But given Castle’s horrific record on virtually every issue that matters most to me, I don’t think I’d vote for him under any circumstances, even if it meant the seat went to a leftist (for whom I wouldn’t vote either).

  • And Jay, to be clear. The point I was making (and I think Art and jh were largely supporting) is that the argument in favor of supporting a conservative Republican over a liberal Republican in a primary election when one believes that the conservative has little or no chance of defeating the liberal Dem in the general election while the liberal has a good chance of defeating the liberal Dem is weak insomuch as it rests on the assumption that the liberal Dem and liberal Repub are functionally equivalent, which is empirically very unlikely to be the case. My apologies for the run-on sentence.

  • Let me amend my previous comment: I KNOW I’d never vote for Mike Castle under any circumstances. Period.

  • Jay, I have re-read my posts and am surprised that you think I’m saying anything different than what I posted in the comment to which you responded. Puzzling really.

  • AD,

    If Jeffords could go over dairy subsidies I don’t see why Castle couldn’t go over being defied about abortion, stem-cell research or any other thing.

    I do not think the psychological profiles of a Spector or Jeffords are necessary precursors for Castle causing problems.

  • The more interesting question for me is whether I’d support a pro-life Dem over a a pro-choice Republican. The likely answer is yes, but this too is a prudential decision since the empirical evidence suggests that legislators usually discard their personal beliefs in favor of party unity when their vote is critical. One can of course simply say that this is just partisanship masquerading as prudence, and it could be in some cases. But not for me.

  • Mike,

    I just told you that I didn’t think that was what you were saying, so I’m not sure what you find puzzling. In other words, I was agreeing with you that you were NOT arguing the GOP majority card, but that others were.

    As for whether the liberal Dem and the liberal Repub are functionally equivalent, I am of the opinion that the liberal Repub is actually worse because he gives bipartisan cover to such mischief as ESCR, cap & tax, and the Disclose Act.

    I mean, seriously, people should look up Castle’s role in sponsoring ESCR legislation and being one of the most vocal critics of Bush’s executive order and subsequent vetoes of ESCR legislation. If ESCR (not to mention abortion) is really what we and the Church claim that it is, I just could never in good conscience vote for such a person. Especially one claiming to be a Catholic.

    It’s just simply not enough to me that he will be a vote for Mitch McConnell (cough, cough) as majority leader. And, again, Mike, I don’t believe that is what you are arguing either.

  • Oh, I understand now, Jay, thanks. I took “I don’t think that is what you are saying” as disagreeing with my immediately prior comment in which I took issue with your interpretation of prior comments as making arguments that would apply in the context of a choice between a pro-life Dem and and a pro-choice Repub. I see now that I simply misunderstood you.

    I have no specific quarrel with you at all re Castle. Your observation about “bipartisan cover for mischief” is certainly a fair prudential consideration, even though I think I would ordinarily give it less weight than you.

    In the end it does seem to me that the case for opposing Castle may be stronger than the case for supporting CO.

  • Jay,

    You are completely right about Castle. The difficulty, however, is that:

    1). He (very likely) would have won.
    2). His “moderate” stance has fit Delaware for some time now.
    3). This is a lot better than the activist leftist soon to win this seat.

    Tea Party people:
    Advocate for better candidates. O’Donnell is a terrible one, and she’s going to lose by double digits.

  • Jonathan,

    I agree that the tea party folks need to field some better candidates. I’m not an O’Donnell defender in the least.

    But I also believe that Ed Morrissey (as quoted above by Don) raises a valid point that, in the context of the present national mood, the GOP establishment in Delaware couldn’t come up with anything better than a 70+ year old retread who’s been in public office for 45 years. In a year when conservatives are expected to make big gains, the Delaware GOP didn’t even TRY to advance the ball by choosing someone more center-right:

    <em"They stuck with a liberal, establishment candidate in a cycle where liberals and establishment figures are uniquely unpopular. Had the Republican leadership been in touch with Delaware Republican voters, they might have found a more suitable candidate for the popular mood, and would not have had to deal with Christine O’Donnell and her outsider bid. They have no one to blame but themselves."

  • the GOP establishment in Delaware couldn’t come up with anything better than a 70+ year old retread who’s been in public office for 45 years…. the Delaware GOP didn’t even TRY to advance the ball…

    Welcome to New York.

  • Yeah, if Castle really was the only thing standing between the GOP and the majority, then they deserve to sit in the minority for another 2 years. If it’s that important, but out the effort to find a candidate who isn’t going to get smoked by someone as “nutty” as Rove put it as O’donnell.

  • People forget that Castle, for all his pro-abort tendencies, at the very least supports the PBA ban, parental notification, and judges that would overturn ROE. That makes him better than Biden by a notch, and certainly better than Coons.

    O’Donnell’s website right now is simply a donation page; she is doing everything she can to prove all of her critics right. I really don’t trust her. Sorry.

  • She has raised over half a million since last night. Harry Reid’s “pet” is in for the fight of his life.


  • Pace Richard Brautigan, “Palin Drives on Deep into Egypt.” Her influence is a phenomenon. Palin attracts flawed candidates who dislike making a deal with the Devil. She plays chess while the establishment plays checkers.

    I grow weary of comments that a given candidate does not measure up to the moral and intellectual excellence expected of politicians. If everything said about O’Donnell and about Palin are correct, they would rank somewhere in the top quartile of American political figures. It’s a pretty sorry bunch, American politicians.

  • The complaint about Miss O’Donnell is that she shows evidence of being an incompetent human being. Gov. Palin has been for 22 years married to a man she’s been appended to since high school, has five children, and a dozen years under her belt as a public executive. Generically incompetent she is not. As for the Governor’s critics, they may have a reasonable point her or there, but the disjunction between their assessment of her and their assessment of the President suggests they equate intellectuality with intelligence and confound articulateness with intelligence.

  • Agree with AD. People who comment on blogs often fancy themselves as intellectuals and favor candidates who appear intellectual. But intellectualism is not the same as intelligence. Palin is hardly the ideal presidential candidate, but the argument that she is less fit than the person who now occupies that post just doesn’t wash.

  • You will never get gains in the first place if you don’t have majority controls of the committees.That is just the fact.

    And you won’t get more coservative candidates if you keep voting for more moderate ones. That is also a fact. So what to do?

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