GOP Leadership Betrayed by the Base? (updated)

Thomas Lifson
In surveying the reaction of GOP party pros to Christine O'Donnell's upset victory over Mike Castle, I am picking up the scent of a feeling of betrayal on the part of the leadership.  Karl Rove's appearance last night on Sean Hannity's Fox News show has drawn much comment. Michelle Malkin:

I just finished watching Karl Rove trashing GOP Senate primary winner Christine O'Donnell. It was on Sean Hannity's FNC show. Might as well have been Olbermann on MSNBC. The establishment Beltway strategist couldn't even bother with an obligatory word of congratulations for O'Donnell. He criticized her "character" and "rectitude" and claimed she hadn't answered questions about her financial woes. She did so. Rove mocked her security concerns as "nutty."

Yet, her concerns have been more than justified.

Rove came across as an effete sore loser instead of the supposedly brilliant and grounded GOP strategist that he's supposed to be.

Make no mistake: the tea parties, and the conservative groundswell they represent, are a huge threat to the power of the GOP establishment, and they know it. People who have spent their lives reading polls, building relationships, and operating at the margin -- convincing the sought-after moderate independents to regard the GOP as tolerably conservative -- no need to be frightened by the pro-lifers and social conservatives --  see the uncontrolled enthusiasm for major change as a threat to everything they have worked for.

For more than a few GOP bigwigs, O'Donnell's victory represents throwing away a likely Senate pick up. They may be correct -- we shall see. But this is an extraordinary year, in which the old certitudes are continually being overturned.

But the disdain and bitterness they are displaying represents another waste - dampening down the sole source of enthusiasm available to the GOP. If the Republicans keep dumping on their base, something will change. Either the GOP will acquire a new leadership, or the party will be abandoned by the elements which could push it to historic victory.

Update -- Steve McCann writes:

 The Christine O'Donnell victory represents in a major way the beginning of the end of the part of the current governing class that found a home in the Republican Party.  Their interest was not necessarily the good of the country but rather their own careers, ego and personal wealth creation.

These frauds found it easier to run as a Republican or operate within the party structure as they realized the country was really right of center.  They assumed that the conservative electorate (which makes up for over 40% of the country) would always vote for any Republican as a default position rather than accept any Democrat. 

However, this approach inevitably ends up with a search for compromises with the balance of the Ruling Class so that membership within the group is not compromised. Washington D.C. is a company town and the business of that town is to revel in attention, personal contacts, and earn a substantial living as befits a member of the "elite."   The reason for the angst among the establishment Republicans is not so much that Christine O'Donnell won but that this lifestyle may well be coming to an end as the grass-roots have finally revolted and decided to take over the Party as the true conservative party in the United States.

This is the first shot truly heard throughout the corridors of Washington and it scares the hell out of the Ruling Class.
In surveying the reaction of GOP party pros to Christine O'Donnell's upset victory over Mike Castle, I am picking up the scent of a feeling of betrayal on the part of the leadership.  Karl Rove's appearance last night on Sean Hannity's Fox News show has drawn much comment. Michelle Malkin:

I just finished watching Karl Rove trashing GOP Senate primary winner Christine O'Donnell. It was on Sean Hannity's FNC show. Might as well have been Olbermann on MSNBC. The establishment Beltway strategist couldn't even bother with an obligatory word of congratulations for O'Donnell. He criticized her "character" and "rectitude" and claimed she hadn't answered questions about her financial woes. She did so. Rove mocked her security concerns as "nutty."

Yet, her concerns have been more than justified.

Rove came across as an effete sore loser instead of the supposedly brilliant and grounded GOP strategist that he's supposed to be.

Make no mistake: the tea parties, and the conservative groundswell they represent, are a huge threat to the power of the GOP establishment, and they know it. People who have spent their lives reading polls, building relationships, and operating at the margin -- convincing the sought-after moderate independents to regard the GOP as tolerably conservative -- no need to be frightened by the pro-lifers and social conservatives --  see the uncontrolled enthusiasm for major change as a threat to everything they have worked for.

For more than a few GOP bigwigs, O'Donnell's victory represents throwing away a likely Senate pick up. They may be correct -- we shall see. But this is an extraordinary year, in which the old certitudes are continually being overturned.

But the disdain and bitterness they are displaying represents another waste - dampening down the sole source of enthusiasm available to the GOP. If the Republicans keep dumping on their base, something will change. Either the GOP will acquire a new leadership, or the party will be abandoned by the elements which could push it to historic victory.

Update -- Steve McCann writes:

 The Christine O'Donnell victory represents in a major way the beginning of the end of the part of the current governing class that found a home in the Republican Party.  Their interest was not necessarily the good of the country but rather their own careers, ego and personal wealth creation.

These frauds found it easier to run as a Republican or operate within the party structure as they realized the country was really right of center.  They assumed that the conservative electorate (which makes up for over 40% of the country) would always vote for any Republican as a default position rather than accept any Democrat. 

However, this approach inevitably ends up with a search for compromises with the balance of the Ruling Class so that membership within the group is not compromised. Washington D.C. is a company town and the business of that town is to revel in attention, personal contacts, and earn a substantial living as befits a member of the "elite."   The reason for the angst among the establishment Republicans is not so much that Christine O'Donnell won but that this lifestyle may well be coming to an end as the grass-roots have finally revolted and decided to take over the Party as the true conservative party in the United States.

This is the first shot truly heard throughout the corridors of Washington and it scares the hell out of the Ruling Class.