Decision day in Delaware

posted at 8:45 am on September 14, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Delaware Republicans go to the polls today to make one of the toughest calls all year long in the primaries, and I don’t envy them a bit.  Over the last few weeks, I’ve written about the horse race aspects of the Senate primary between Mike Castle and Christine O’Donnell, and both Allahpundit and I have kept up with the commentary.  The talking is just about over now, and it’s time to choose.

I’m not comfortable doing “endorsements,” but after a long primary season of analyzing this and other races, I’ve been thinking about this race and how I would vote if I lived in Delaware.  What makes more sense in a race that might have implications for Senate control — ideology or pragmatism?  And after thinking about this particular race with all of the strengths and shortcomings of the candidates and the national implications of the race, I’d have to choose Christine O’Donnell and the message over strategy.

This isn’t to say that I think O’Donnell is a strong candidate.  She has had problems in the primary, and she is almost certain to lose in the general election, barring some sort of miraculous GOTV effort by the same GOP establishment that has been openly hostile to her.  But Castle is almost the reductio ad absurdum of RINOism.  He didn’t vote for ObamaCare, but Castle backed cap-and-trade in the House, a vote largely overshadowed by the ObamaCare debate.  Regardless of his recent claims to oppose the current Senate version of the bill, Castle still supported a massive government redistribution intrusion into the energy markets that would raise energy prices on all Americans, create inflationary pressure throughout the distribution chain, and hand the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars to pick winners and losers in “green jobs” rather than let the market make those determinations.  It’s an even bigger intrusion into the markets than ObamaCare, as energy directly impacts every business transaction in the US, and it’s a baldfaced mechanism for top-down economics as the new normal.

On top of that, Castle co-sponsored the DISCLOSE Act, one of only two Republicans to do so (the bill has 112 Democratic co-sponsors), North Carolina’s Walter Jones being the other.  It’s best known as the Democrats’ temper tantrum after the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision that recognized that publications critical of politicians should be especially protected from the efforts of politicians to silence them.  It puts incumbency protection ahead of free speech.  For those two actions, it’s more important to see Castle defeated than it is to put a Republican in the seat.

As I’ve written before, the strategic implications are significant and shouldn’t be dismissed — but neither should they be overstated.  This seat matters strategically in one narrow set of circumstances, and one only: if the GOP picks up a net of exactly nine other seats.  If the GOP nets eight or fewer Senate seats besides Delaware, then this election wouldn’t give them control of the Senate anyway.  If the GOP picks up ten or more seats without Delaware, then this seat again doesn’t matter much either in terms of controlling the agenda.  Netting enough seats to win the Senate is a long shot in any case, probably in the range of a 5-1 against, with or without Delaware.

This doesn’t mean that people can come to other honest and well-meaning conclusions about the candidates, the strategic implications, and the priority of sending a message.  DocZero, for instance, went through a similar process and came to the decision to support Castle as reluctantly as I did my decision to support O’Donnell.  One of the most discouraging aspects of this debate has been how quickly both sides have resorted to name-calling and demands for purges instead of an open and detailed review of the records of both candidates.  As Doc puts it, had we known that admission to the “ruling class” was this easy, we’d all be taking a barony or two merely for suggesting that there were rational reasons to throw in with the man who had won several general elections in the state.  All politicians are accountable for their public record, those who have served for long periods of time as well as those who want to replace them.  Regardless of which candidate wins today, hopefully the GOP and the Right can put aside the bitterness and fight for as many seats as we can get in November.


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Comment pages: 1 7 8 9

I guess you’re all out there scouring the internet for an explaination.

It’s very simple. He saw the writing on the wall and he wanted the impeachment to happen. There’s no other logical explaination.

hawkdriver on September 14, 2010 at 8:05 PM

The polls are now closed in Delaware. I’d like to propose that we each apologize for misdeeds and bad behavior engaged in over this matter, put the matter behind us, and move on.

The people have spoken, whatever the outcome is… it is. Nothing useful will be gained from gloating, recriminations, or the rending of garments.

Let’s clean up the mess and get on with our lives. All this backbiting is bad for the children.

Time to be grown-ups.

VekTor on September 14, 2010 at 8:06 PM

high 6 Hawk…

jerrytbg on September 14, 2010 at 8:06 PM

All the Castle supporters deserted the other thread. I was just wondering how the shrewd parlimentary tactic of Rep Mike Castle voting “YES” to HR 1258 thereby sending Dennis Kucinich articles of impeachment of then Commander in Chief George W. Bush during a time of armed conflict to the Judiciary, helped said CinC?

Did the other 166 Republicans who voted “No” miss the shrewd parlimentary tactic memo? Maybe they didn’t like all 35 articles but Mike did.

hawkdriver on September 14, 2010 at 7:07 PM

RIGHT THERE, RIGHT NOW! If you can STILL support Castle after this, and the Soros crap–you seriously need to have that headp-up-your-a$$ problem looked at…

lovingmyUSA on September 14, 2010 at 8:08 PM

Guess you scared em off Hawk, run and hide in their caves like little talabanies!

conservnut on September 14, 2010 at 8:11 PM

hawkdriver on September 14, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Dang….

lovingmyUSA on September 14, 2010 at 8:11 PM

I thought maybe Jenfidel might have an opinion as to why all of her wrath needed to be turned on the “eccentric” Conservative rather than the liberal Republican that voted to send the articles of impeachment as written by Dennis Kucinich on sitting president and commander in chief during time of war to the Judiciary. I need to know, would it not have died in committee unless the very shrewd Conservative stalwart Mike Castle voted “YES” on it?

If he voted “NO”, I guess that would have caused the immediate impeachment of my commander in chief?

Maybe he thought it had more Democratic support and we were in real danger of it passing if he vote “NO”. Wait, no, didn’t Nancy Pelosi say in 2007 during the effort to impeach Vice-President Cheney by the Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich that, “impeachment was off the table.”? I’m confused!

I guess ole Mike was just trying to show us how we can definitely expect his support every step of the way in our Conservative efforts. Like when he voted No for ObamaCare. Oh wait…

hawkdriver on September 14, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Yo! Ho! Throw the bums out!

darwin-t on September 14, 2010 at 8:24 PM

for Jenfidel…

jerrytbg on September 14, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Dang….

lovingmyUSA on September 14, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Dang is right. All of these people singing the phrases of Mike Castle bought the party line that he did this heinous act against his own president for some lofty reason. It’s BS and they didn’t check and now they have nothing to say.

Jenfidel in particular is a coward and quite what a lot have asserted about her. And Jenfidel, I know that sounds harsh, but my God you have changed in your debate from long ago. Your comments are just poison to read. Sorry.

hawkdriver on September 14, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Just heard a caller on Levin’s show… NY race…
hadda work for 15 mins to be allowed to vote, after she declared she was a Repub.
Keep yer eyes open, folks !

pambi on September 14, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Hawk, jump over on the open thread! Lot’s of Castle folks need nukeing over there with the impeachment thing.

conservnut on September 14, 2010 at 8:32 PM

btw Rino,
If you didn’t catch it…
That was my way of telling you you’re parsing words…

It’s not parsing words to point out that it is blatantly dishonest to assert a more direct link than actually exists between two individuals. It is particularly dishonest if you are using that link to smear people who disagree with you as traitors.

And YOU don’t know where those ties really lie…
Or how deep they go…smell… fish…
Even you know the drill…

jerrytbg on September 14, 2010 at 8:01 PM

So? I also don’t know how deep your ties are to Soros either. For all I know, you’re one of his agents, sent to throw us off the trail of O’Donnell, his secret mole in the conservative movement. See how easy this is?

As much as I dislike Soros, and as powerful as he is and as dangerous as his ideas are to liberty, he’s not the freakin Illuminati. Yet Gary repeatedly, and apparently without irony (though like I said before, I’m starting to wonder if he’s pulling our chain), claims that he is the Devil’s spawn, with a secret plot to destroy America. He links to a post of Michelle’s on the ties between Soros and Castle, but it turns out Michelle also did an expose of Gary himself.

You might benefit from reading the end of this post as well.

RINO in Name Only on September 14, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Hawk, jump over on the open thread! Lot’s of Castle folks need nukeing over there with the impeachment thing.

conservnut on September 14, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Guess what. Everyone already knows about that, and has known for some time. It’s been debunked. No one is going to be impressed by your nuclear arsenal.

See you over there.

RINO in Name Only on September 14, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Guess what. Everyone already knows about that, and has known for some time. It’s been debunked. No one is going to be impressed by your nuclear arsenal.

See you over there.

RINO in Name Only on September 14, 2010 at 8:39 PM

They sure seem to be because O’Donnell is kicking butt.

sharrukin on September 14, 2010 at 8:48 PM

They sure seem to be because O’Donnell is kicking butt.

sharrukin on September 14, 2010 at 8:48 PM

I meant here. It’s no secret that O’Donnell is the favorite.

RINO in Name Only on September 14, 2010 at 8:52 PM

I meant here. It’s no secret that O’Donnell is the favorite.

RINO in Name Only on September 14, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Sure seemed to be a secret a few days ago.

sharrukin on September 14, 2010 at 8:55 PM

All the Castle supporters deserted the other thread. I was just wondering how the shrewd parlimentary tactic of Rep Mike Castle voting “YES” to HR 1258 thereby sending Dennis Kucinich articles of impeachment of then Commander in Chief George W. Bush during a time of armed conflict to the Judiciary, helped said CinC?

Did the other 166 Republicans who voted “No” miss the shrewd parlimentary tactic memo? Maybe they didn’t like all 35 articles but Mike did.

hawkdriver on September 14, 2010 at 7:07 PM

Thanks for this and the actual articles of impeachment that Kucinich was pushing and that Castle helped him push.

Castle = Outrageous. Quisling. Republican.

tigerlily on September 14, 2010 at 9:20 PM

The lesson: never underestimate the wrath of a pissed-off electorate.
This year the polling is 4-7 days behind the groundswell. No numbers are static. You can probably even call the CT race a dead heat.

rwenger43 on September 14, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Comment pages: 1 7 8 9