Delaware Crosses the Washington

Establishment Washington got yet another whipping last night, as "the unelectable" Christine O'Donnell  -- supported by Sarah Palin and the Tea Parties -- rallied to convincingly beat liberal and well-connected Mike Castle in Delaware's Republican primary for Senate. Castle, we were told by the powers that be, was the only electable Republican -- and his loss is already being mourned by "Beltway conservatives" like Karl Rove and Dana Perino, not to mention the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which has announced that O'Donnell will have to finance her campaign on her own. [editor's note: in the light of day, the NRSC has announced it has given the maximum legal donation to the O'Donnell campaign, and Michael Steele has stated the party is behind her 100%]

Well, fine. The last time Republican voters agreed with the Beltway pundits (and the Democrats) and awarded a nomination to "the most electable Republican" who was "well-respected across the aisle," we got John McCain. How did that work out? Just great -- as long as you are a Democrat.

Thankfully, tiny Delaware's voters ignored their party apparatus, actually held a true Republican primary, and chose the person who most closely represents what the Republican base voter believes in. This is what party primaries used to be for. It is what they should still be held for. It is simply unforgivable for Republican apparatchiks to choose sides in a primary -- yet they do -- and they are so often disastrous picks. Can you say "Arlen Specter"? "Charlie Crist"?

So while there's no guarantee of success in November for O'Donnell, she joins a list of "unelectable Republicans" past and present like Ronald Reagan, Jesse Helms, Rand Paul, Scott Brown, Sharron Angle, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio, to name a few. Their stories are varied, but all were deemed "unelectable" by the party insiders at some point in their careers, and they were all considered too conservative. 

O'Donnell's story of last night was simply a continuation of their stories in this very unusual 2009-2010 election cycle.

All faced establishment candidates and long odds -- and yet all won by being unabashedly conservative. All read the tea leaves of the national mood much better than government insiders and political pros.

It is true that Angle, Paul, and Rubio have not won general elections yet -- but they have already disproven the "unelectable" myth by staging huge rallies in the polls that we were told could never happen by the experts and insiders. Brown and Christie (who campaigned for Castle) meanwhile have shown that strong small-government conservatives can win in blue-state bastions like Massachusetts and New Jersey after all, destroying yet another inside-the-Beltway myth.

Compared to what Brown and Christie have done, Delaware might be relatively easy for O'Donnell. She had to come from way back in the polls just days ago, but she came so far so quickly that her win last night was never in doubt. It's possible that she can do the same in the general election in a tiny state like Delaware, where face-to-face politics is the rule. And Joe Miller can replicate this in Alaska as well. 

Perhaps some elections cannot swing so fast among huge populations, but one of the many ways the Tea Party groups are showing superior sophistication to the political pros is understanding the dynamics of small voting populations. Small-population Delaware, Nevada, and Alaska have just as many senators as do New York and California, and these are prime places to take a stand for principled conservatism with unknown candidates.

Yet the siren call of name recognition, inside connections, and perceived electability endures among the formulaic party pros.

Never mind that Mike Castle simply joins other moderate and respectable "electable Republicans" on the ash heap of history like McCain, Charlie Crist, Bob Dole, Arlen Specter, latter-day Jack Kemp, and Lisa Murkowski. All were establishment favorites who have, for varying reasons and in varying ways, brought shame and defeat upon that very establishment's party. Some even became official enemies of the party, proving that conservative doubts about them were justified all along.

But the Beltway arrogance is not deterred.

The long knives of establishment Washington -- including the blades of Rove and Perino -- were already slashing into O'Donnell last night. They mumbled about her personal problems and her inexperience and her unclear financial background as reasons she cannot win the general election.

Well let me clue these comfortable Beltway mavens in on something: many of us country-class peons out here in "non-government" land have had problems like O'Donnell's because of the burden of supporting Washington, not to mention the rash of bureaucrats at every conceivable level of government. It is becoming damned near impossible to negotiate a life outside the Beltway without some problems. That's exactly what the Tea Party movement and all of these elections are about. We are sick of it.

In fact, the Delaware seat up for grabs is "the Joe Biden seat," a seat that for decades has included a private AMTRAK seat every morning and every night for Biden. Whatever O'Donnell's personal and financial problems are, they may have something to do with the fact that the taxpayers weren't subsidizing her every whim the way they have Biden's and Castle's for decades.

It is too early to know if Delaware's voters will look at O'Donnell's candidacy that way in the general election -- but we do already know this: Washington insiders' views of electability are deeply flawed, and Washington has never been so isolated from the rest of the country. If elected, O'Donnell nor Miller nor Angle nor Rubio will be a threat to "work with" the Obama agenda or, worse yet, jump parties.

The voters instinctively know this. That's why they are voting for these people. And when you think about it, that's what makes someone truly "electable," isn't it? 

And that's the takeaway from the amazing victory last night for Christine O'Donnell.  
Establishment Washington got yet another whipping last night, as "the unelectable" Christine O'Donnell  -- supported by Sarah Palin and the Tea Parties -- rallied to convincingly beat liberal and well-connected Mike Castle in Delaware's Republican primary for Senate. Castle, we were told by the powers that be, was the only electable Republican -- and his loss is already being mourned by "Beltway conservatives" like Karl Rove and Dana Perino, not to mention the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which has announced that O'Donnell will have to finance her campaign on her own. [editor's note: in the light of day, the NRSC has announced it has given the maximum legal donation to the O'Donnell campaign, and Michael Steele has stated the party is behind her 100%]

Well, fine. The last time Republican voters agreed with the Beltway pundits (and the Democrats) and awarded a nomination to "the most electable Republican" who was "well-respected across the aisle," we got John McCain. How did that work out? Just great -- as long as you are a Democrat.

Thankfully, tiny Delaware's voters ignored their party apparatus, actually held a true Republican primary, and chose the person who most closely represents what the Republican base voter believes in. This is what party primaries used to be for. It is what they should still be held for. It is simply unforgivable for Republican apparatchiks to choose sides in a primary -- yet they do -- and they are so often disastrous picks. Can you say "Arlen Specter"? "Charlie Crist"?

So while there's no guarantee of success in November for O'Donnell, she joins a list of "unelectable Republicans" past and present like Ronald Reagan, Jesse Helms, Rand Paul, Scott Brown, Sharron Angle, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio, to name a few. Their stories are varied, but all were deemed "unelectable" by the party insiders at some point in their careers, and they were all considered too conservative. 

O'Donnell's story of last night was simply a continuation of their stories in this very unusual 2009-2010 election cycle.

All faced establishment candidates and long odds -- and yet all won by being unabashedly conservative. All read the tea leaves of the national mood much better than government insiders and political pros.

It is true that Angle, Paul, and Rubio have not won general elections yet -- but they have already disproven the "unelectable" myth by staging huge rallies in the polls that we were told could never happen by the experts and insiders. Brown and Christie (who campaigned for Castle) meanwhile have shown that strong small-government conservatives can win in blue-state bastions like Massachusetts and New Jersey after all, destroying yet another inside-the-Beltway myth.

Compared to what Brown and Christie have done, Delaware might be relatively easy for O'Donnell. She had to come from way back in the polls just days ago, but she came so far so quickly that her win last night was never in doubt. It's possible that she can do the same in the general election in a tiny state like Delaware, where face-to-face politics is the rule. And Joe Miller can replicate this in Alaska as well. 

Perhaps some elections cannot swing so fast among huge populations, but one of the many ways the Tea Party groups are showing superior sophistication to the political pros is understanding the dynamics of small voting populations. Small-population Delaware, Nevada, and Alaska have just as many senators as do New York and California, and these are prime places to take a stand for principled conservatism with unknown candidates.

Yet the siren call of name recognition, inside connections, and perceived electability endures among the formulaic party pros.

Never mind that Mike Castle simply joins other moderate and respectable "electable Republicans" on the ash heap of history like McCain, Charlie Crist, Bob Dole, Arlen Specter, latter-day Jack Kemp, and Lisa Murkowski. All were establishment favorites who have, for varying reasons and in varying ways, brought shame and defeat upon that very establishment's party. Some even became official enemies of the party, proving that conservative doubts about them were justified all along.

But the Beltway arrogance is not deterred.

The long knives of establishment Washington -- including the blades of Rove and Perino -- were already slashing into O'Donnell last night. They mumbled about her personal problems and her inexperience and her unclear financial background as reasons she cannot win the general election.

Well let me clue these comfortable Beltway mavens in on something: many of us country-class peons out here in "non-government" land have had problems like O'Donnell's because of the burden of supporting Washington, not to mention the rash of bureaucrats at every conceivable level of government. It is becoming damned near impossible to negotiate a life outside the Beltway without some problems. That's exactly what the Tea Party movement and all of these elections are about. We are sick of it.

In fact, the Delaware seat up for grabs is "the Joe Biden seat," a seat that for decades has included a private AMTRAK seat every morning and every night for Biden. Whatever O'Donnell's personal and financial problems are, they may have something to do with the fact that the taxpayers weren't subsidizing her every whim the way they have Biden's and Castle's for decades.

It is too early to know if Delaware's voters will look at O'Donnell's candidacy that way in the general election -- but we do already know this: Washington insiders' views of electability are deeply flawed, and Washington has never been so isolated from the rest of the country. If elected, O'Donnell nor Miller nor Angle nor Rubio will be a threat to "work with" the Obama agenda or, worse yet, jump parties.

The voters instinctively know this. That's why they are voting for these people. And when you think about it, that's what makes someone truly "electable," isn't it? 

And that's the takeaway from the amazing victory last night for Christine O'Donnell.  

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