I wondered yesterday whether Palin’s endorsement would pave the way for other prominent righties to weigh in. Here’s the answer, just across on Twitter:

I’m proud to endorse Christine O’Donnell for US Senate in Delaware. She will stand strong for the principles of freedom.

Did he hold off because he wasn’t convinced until today that O’Donnell can win, or was he under pressure from grassroots conservatives to jump in because Palin had taken a stand? Either way, DeMint has made his feelings about races like this crystal clear in the past. If O’Donnell wins the general election, great; one more “true conservative” in the Senate. If O’Donnell loses the general election, no big deal; a principled, conservative, RINO-free minority will guarantee total victory for “true conservatism” … eventually.

I’ve been criticized by some of my Republican colleagues for saying I’d rather have 30 Republicans in the Senate who believe in the principles of freedom than 60 who don’t believe in anything.

Let me make myself even clearer: I’d rather have 30 Marco Rubios in the Senate than 60 Arlen Specters.

But, if that were the case I wouldn’t have to settle for 30, because strong conservatives who believe in a constitutional limited government like Marco Rubio will pave the way to a new Republican majority that will keep our promises to the American people!

The best way to re-earn the trust of the American people and to reclaim a Republican majority is to find and support more candidates who believe in the Principles of Freedom.

A hypothetical for you to kick around in the comments: How long would it take, and how much horrendous Democratic legislation would have to pass, before our roughly 50/50 nation was ready to elect 60 Marco Rubios to the Senate? (Per the latest Florida polls, we’re not yet assured of having even one Marco Rubio in the Senate.) And a second hypothetical: Assuming that 60 Rubios were — eventually — elected, would all 60 be prepared to act on “true conservative” principles under all circumstances? Remember, when polled, even a heavy majority of tea partiers say that the benefits of Social Security and Medicare are worth the costs.

I’ll leave you with the audio flashback below from the Andrew Wilkow show on the eve of Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts. (The post I wrote about it at the time is a fun read in hindsight.) If 30 Rubios are better than 60 moderates since they’re more likely to ensure eventual total victory for true conservatism, why on earth did any of us support Scotty B over Coakley? Better to elect her and accelerate the Democrats’ wrecking of America so that “true conservatives” can start rebuilding sooner, no?

Update: Commenters are calling foul on comparing a general election like Brown v. Coakley to a primary like Castle v. O’Donnell. Fair point — except that the logic of the passage from DeMint’s speech that I quoted destroys that distinction. His argument is that electing RINOs is counterproductive because it ruins the GOP’s brand as defenders of the Principles of Freedom. The best way for Republicans to “re-earn the trust of the American people” is to take principled, unified stands in the Senate against statist Democratic policies — and Scott Brown destroys that unity, as we saw with his vote on financial reform. If the path to total conservative victory runs through a pure Republican caucus, then we should prefer electing Democrats to RINOs. Which, as I explained above, is why this is a win/win endorsement for DeMint. Even if O’Donnell beats Castle but loses the general election to Coons, as most people expect, it’s still a win for “true conservatism” because it keeps the Republican membership in the Senate pure and principled. No Mike Castle there to dilute it.