William (aka Bill the Godfather)

William (aka Bill the Godfather)

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Buckley rule

Tuesday in Delaware was a bad day not only for Republicans but also for conservatives. Tea Partyer Christine O'Donnell scored a stunning victory over establishment Republican Mike Castle. Stunning but pyrrhic. The very people who have most alerted the country to the perils of President Obama's social democratic agenda may have just made it impossible for Republicans to retake the Senate and definitively stop that agenda.

Bill Buckley -- no Mike Castle he -- had a rule: Support the most conservative candidate who is electable.

A timeless rule of sober politics, and particularly timely now. This is no ordinary time. And this is no ordinary Democratic administration. It is highly ideological and ambitious. It is determined to use whatever historical window it is granted to change the country structurally, irreversibly. It has already done so with Obamacare and has equally lofty ambitions for energy, education, immigration, taxation, industrial policy and the composition of the Supreme Court.

That's what makes the eleventh-hour endorsements of O'Donnell by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sarah Palin so reckless and irresponsible.

Of course Mike Castle is a liberal Republican. What do you expect from Delaware? A DeMint? Castle voted against Obamacare and the stimulus. Yes, he voted for cap-and-trade. That's batting .667. You'd rather have a Democrat who bats .000 and who might give the Democrats the 50th vote to control the Senate?

Castle wasn't only electable. He was unbeatable. Why do you think Beau Biden, long groomed to inherit his father's seat, flinched from running? Because Castle, who had already won statewide races a dozen times, scared him off. Democrats had already given up on the race.

O'Donnell, a lifelong activist who has twice lost statewide races, is very problematic. It is not that the Republican establishment denigrates her chances -- virtually every nonpartisan electoral analyst from Charlie Cook to Larry Sabato to Stuart Rothenberg has her losing in November.
Read he rest here.

7 comments:

sjgmore said...

I think the problem with the "elect the most conservative that can win" logic is that the Republican Party usually forces candidates down their supporters throats that are considerably less conservative than can win. The Republican establishment basically just picked someone, hinted strongly that they wouldn't support reasonable alternatives, and then the only person who was ballsy enough to take on the candidate hand-picked from on high was the nutso Christine O'Donnell.

When told by the party machinery that they had to pick between no choice and a bad choice, the Republican voters of Delaware picked the bad choice. I can't say I blame them.

sjgmore said...

I think the problem with the "elect the most conservative that can win" logic is that the Republican Party usually forces candidates down their supporters throats that are considerably less conservative than can win. The Republican establishment basically just picked someone, hinted strongly that they wouldn't support reasonable alternatives, and then the only person who was ballsy enough to take on the candidate hand-picked from on high was the nutso Christine O'Donnell.

When told by the party machinery that they had to pick between no choice and a bad choice, the Republican voters of Delaware picked the bad choice. I can't say I blame them.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

The Republican establishment has no interest in rolling back the Democratic agenda outside of directing government largesse toward their preferred parasites. Hence the prospect of someone being elected who might actually have a principled stand against overreaching government fills them with rage. Recall how the hapless and compromised McCain was presented as some sort of 'alternative' to Obama.

The Archer of the Forest said...

While I would tend to agree that Republicans in Delaware have succeeded in cutting off their nose to spite their face in regards to this senate seat, I would make note of the fact that all these "nonpartisan electoral analysts" and prediction gurus who are writing off any Republican candidate from taking the Delaware seat in November also wrote off Christine O'Donnell's chances in the primary itself.

The Archer of the Forest said...

Of course, there there's this:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/09/027251.php

John (Ad Orientem) said...

She's a flake. But it's water under the bridge. Best to concentrate on the battles that can be won.

thehandmaid said...

If Christine O'Donnell is a flake then I guess I get to be one too. I am pro-life and disagree that abortion should be made available in cases of rape & incest. I want Obama-care repealed and want nothing to do with any type of national health care. I don't think cloning is ethical and ESC isn't the panacea that it is touted to be.
The worst position she has taken is to become an Evangelical. Heck, I would vote for her and in my home state of Colorado I might even vote for Tom Tancredo but I refuse to vote for the D or the R.
This mid-term isn't about taking back the House or Senate - its about quashing the status quo and sending a message, not about gaining/retaining power.