The People Express

Michael Fraley
An amazing thing happened Tuesday night after Christine O'Donnell's victory in the Delaware Senate primary. Among politically engaged Republicans, there erupted what can only be described as a virtual street brawl. The conservative blogosphere resembled the Five Points district in a scene from "Gangs of New York". On Hannity on FNC, we saw Karl Rove on live television essentially take his toys and go home in a huff. And, we saw the National Republican Senatorial Committee decree from on High that they would NOT be supporting O'Donnell in the general election. [Editor's note: a decision which was reversed in the light of day.]

What we have seen in the Delaware race, and spilling out into the blogs and conservative media, is a microcosm of what is happening in the nation at large. It is an expression of the same emotions and frustrations that have driven the "tea party" movement, and as November 2 approaches, this expression is growing ever more intense. What is becoming more evident, in a sense, is the real scope and span - the "largeness", if you will - of what is truly fueling the American People at this point in history. Most, I believe, have entirely underestimated the scale and intensity of this movement. What stirs the People is bigger than R's and D's. It is more complex than a simple anti-incumbent mood. This is, at its core, an "us" vs. "them" struggle - and this came boiling out on Tuesday evening.

Quite simply, the People are screaming out:

"You don't get to decide anymore."

You, being the "establishment", the party apparatchik, the inside-the-beltway elites, do not get to call the shots any longer. I can only imagine the flood of email, phone and mail traffic bombarding the NRSC, informing them of the place in which to stick all future donation requests. The timing and manner in which they made their "sour grapes" announcement reinforced and validated the image of establishment party types clinging desperately to power, even as they are happily ignorant to what is really happening "out there."

What they fail to see is this: it isn't Christine O'Donnell and her supporters who endanger conservative prospects. Nor is it Sarah Palin, or Marco Rubio, or Sharon Angle, or the tea partiers in general. It is they who endanger the conservative ascendency, and in fact risk the prospects of more establishment Republicans in the future. To the extent that these party elitists are perceived to be standing in the way, it is they who are the problem. The People are determined to have the power, and will not sit still while some "ruling class" tries to call the shots. The feeling is, "Please, take your toys and go home. We don't need you, thank you very much!"

"We don't like snobs."

Nothing has been more distasteful these last few weeks, than the ease with which the Republican Party apparatus has launched salvo after salvo of personal attacks on Christine O'Donnell. The intent of these attacks was clear: not information for the voters; not a case for the other candidate; no, these were meant to demean and destroy! This was a scorched earth strategy that intruded into Delaware's normal primary process, and left no room for anything but victory for the NRSC's favorite son.

Rather than focus on the crucial issues and bring reasoned debate, as Republicans boast is what distinguishes them from Democrats, the establishment played the snob. People don't like snobs. And as should be exceedingly clear now, the people have had enough of political party snobbishness, and will not abide by it any longer.

"We want one of us."

Even in Delaware, where every talking head seems to think a true conservative is radioactive, the People are saying they don't want be represented by ruling class elitists. The People want citizens from amongst them in Washington. They want folks like them. This is a truly unique year in politics, with a unique mood. What is still being missed by a perennially obtuse punditry and party elite is this: the People don't care about party politics - they are in fear of where the country is headed; about the debt being hung around their children's necks; about the liberties that seem to evaporate daily; about the real question of whether this Republic will continue to exist for their posterity.

The People are concerned, and angry, about BIG issues...issues which make lawsuits, or school loans, or details about how many districts were won in prior elections, pale by comparison. Perhaps even a year ago, a candidate's history would have been a key element for victory; this year, in an odd way, the personal foibles, struggles, even inconsistencies make the candidate seem more human. It makes them seem perhaps less prone to the hubris and hypocrisy that is rampant in Washington. It makes them seem more like "one of us."

The "experts" have already written off Christine O'Donnell and have essentially already given the Delaware Senate seat to her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons. These "experts" also wrote off Scott Brown in Massachusetts. But, just as in the Delaware primary, and the Massachusetts special election, and the Alaska Senate primary, the "experts" don't get to choose the victor. The People will rally to Ms. O'Donnell. The money will flow to her campaign. She might win - she might lose. But the People will decide - and the elitists would be wise to get out of the way, or risk being run over by a train they failed to board. The train has left the station - the People are all aboard.
An amazing thing happened Tuesday night after Christine O'Donnell's victory in the Delaware Senate primary. Among politically engaged Republicans, there erupted what can only be described as a virtual street brawl. The conservative blogosphere resembled the Five Points district in a scene from "Gangs of New York". On Hannity on FNC, we saw Karl Rove on live television essentially take his toys and go home in a huff. And, we saw the National Republican Senatorial Committee decree from on High that they would NOT be supporting O'Donnell in the general election. [Editor's note: a decision which was reversed in the light of day.]

What we have seen in the Delaware race, and spilling out into the blogs and conservative media, is a microcosm of what is happening in the nation at large. It is an expression of the same emotions and frustrations that have driven the "tea party" movement, and as November 2 approaches, this expression is growing ever more intense. What is becoming more evident, in a sense, is the real scope and span - the "largeness", if you will - of what is truly fueling the American People at this point in history. Most, I believe, have entirely underestimated the scale and intensity of this movement. What stirs the People is bigger than R's and D's. It is more complex than a simple anti-incumbent mood. This is, at its core, an "us" vs. "them" struggle - and this came boiling out on Tuesday evening.

Quite simply, the People are screaming out:

"You don't get to decide anymore."

You, being the "establishment", the party apparatchik, the inside-the-beltway elites, do not get to call the shots any longer. I can only imagine the flood of email, phone and mail traffic bombarding the NRSC, informing them of the place in which to stick all future donation requests. The timing and manner in which they made their "sour grapes" announcement reinforced and validated the image of establishment party types clinging desperately to power, even as they are happily ignorant to what is really happening "out there."

What they fail to see is this: it isn't Christine O'Donnell and her supporters who endanger conservative prospects. Nor is it Sarah Palin, or Marco Rubio, or Sharon Angle, or the tea partiers in general. It is they who endanger the conservative ascendency, and in fact risk the prospects of more establishment Republicans in the future. To the extent that these party elitists are perceived to be standing in the way, it is they who are the problem. The People are determined to have the power, and will not sit still while some "ruling class" tries to call the shots. The feeling is, "Please, take your toys and go home. We don't need you, thank you very much!"

"We don't like snobs."

Nothing has been more distasteful these last few weeks, than the ease with which the Republican Party apparatus has launched salvo after salvo of personal attacks on Christine O'Donnell. The intent of these attacks was clear: not information for the voters; not a case for the other candidate; no, these were meant to demean and destroy! This was a scorched earth strategy that intruded into Delaware's normal primary process, and left no room for anything but victory for the NRSC's favorite son.

Rather than focus on the crucial issues and bring reasoned debate, as Republicans boast is what distinguishes them from Democrats, the establishment played the snob. People don't like snobs. And as should be exceedingly clear now, the people have had enough of political party snobbishness, and will not abide by it any longer.

"We want one of us."

Even in Delaware, where every talking head seems to think a true conservative is radioactive, the People are saying they don't want be represented by ruling class elitists. The People want citizens from amongst them in Washington. They want folks like them. This is a truly unique year in politics, with a unique mood. What is still being missed by a perennially obtuse punditry and party elite is this: the People don't care about party politics - they are in fear of where the country is headed; about the debt being hung around their children's necks; about the liberties that seem to evaporate daily; about the real question of whether this Republic will continue to exist for their posterity.

The People are concerned, and angry, about BIG issues...issues which make lawsuits, or school loans, or details about how many districts were won in prior elections, pale by comparison. Perhaps even a year ago, a candidate's history would have been a key element for victory; this year, in an odd way, the personal foibles, struggles, even inconsistencies make the candidate seem more human. It makes them seem perhaps less prone to the hubris and hypocrisy that is rampant in Washington. It makes them seem more like "one of us."

The "experts" have already written off Christine O'Donnell and have essentially already given the Delaware Senate seat to her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons. These "experts" also wrote off Scott Brown in Massachusetts. But, just as in the Delaware primary, and the Massachusetts special election, and the Alaska Senate primary, the "experts" don't get to choose the victor. The People will rally to Ms. O'Donnell. The money will flow to her campaign. She might win - she might lose. But the People will decide - and the elitists would be wise to get out of the way, or risk being run over by a train they failed to board. The train has left the station - the People are all aboard.