I can certainly understand and appreciate why people on the center-right are happy that Christine O’Donnell won the Republican primary in Delaware. And yes, the Republican people have spoken, and yes, I respect their right to choose whomever they want to carry the GOP’s banner in the fall election. But that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.
That last point is critical. Respecting the choice of the voters does not mean that one has to agree with it. I can continue to hold to my belief that Christine O’Donnell is a deficient candidate (on multiple levels), who will likely not win the Delaware Senate seat, and whose nomination means that Democrats will now have more money to spend on truly competitive Senate races–like the ones in Illinois, California, and Ohio (though Democrats appear to be making every effort to lose Ohio). I know that there are a lot of people who disagree with me, and some of them have made their disagreements known to me in multiple fora. But for those of you who disagree with me, and who may object to my characterization of O’Donnell as “deficient,” well, I invite you to consider how you might have reacted if a Democratic Senate candidate in Delaware (or any other state) cheerfully admitted to having “dabbled into witchcraft,” or said that “she wouldn’t lie to the Nazis at the front door to save Anne Frank”, or said that “American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.”
That’s right. You would have laughed hysterically, expressed your joyful disbelief that the Democrats could nominate anyone this loopy, and proclaimed the Senate seat in question as good as won. So, just out of curiosity, now that we know that a Republican Senate candidate believes and says these things, why shouldn’t Republicans like me shudder at the electoral implications when it comes to Delaware? Are we somehow supposed to ignore these statements and sentiments simply because they were made by a Republican? As I maintain, we certainly would not ignore them if a Democrat made these statements; indeed, we Republicans would rejoice over the fact that the campaign commercials will write themselves.
So yes, the GOP voters in Delaware made their choice. And they have a right to make whatever choice they want. But it is increasingly looking as though they chose the ideologically pure over the electable, and that the chief beneficiary will be Chris Coons, and all of the Democrats in tight races around the country who will be able to receive help because the Senate race in Delaware is as good as won for the Democrats. As a Republican, I am really not expected to be happy about this state of affairs, am I? And am I to be criticized for stating my basic unhappiness over the fact that the Delaware GOP threw away a winnable race with both hands? I have no problem supporting people like Marco Rubio over Charlie Crist, Pat Toomey over the (formerly Republican) Arlen Specter, and Joe Miller over Lisa Murkowski. But Delaware ain’t Florida, Pennsylvania, or Alaska, and Christine O’Donnell ain’t Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, or Joe Miller. Would that she were.
As for my recent criticisms of the execrable Dan Riehl (he will likely have to look up the meaning of the word “execrable”), I am not going to lose much sleep over the fact that I find his commentary wanting, or pointing out that writing and thinking are not exactly his forte. If one checks out Riehl’s own blog, one sees that he has gotten himself involved in blog fights with any number of people simply because those people disagree with his fervent support of anything Christine O’Donnell has ever said or done–and that includes blog fights with conservatives. I figure that if Riehl can be so enthusiastic about dishing out non-substantive abuse, he should at least be resigned to accepting some well-placed criticism over his style, and over what passes for his substance.