The Sore Loser Party

posted at 10:00 am on September 16, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The Washington Times invited me to write a column today to discuss Mike Castle’s refusal to endorse Christine O’Donnell after yesterday’s primary, but the problems we saw in the hours after the results became clear go far beyond Mike Castle.  The Republican Party establishment and the center-right commentariat have no problem lecturing conservatives when it comes to unifying behind establishment candidates that win primaries — and conservatives have had no problem uniting for the sake of a Republican nominee in a general election.  However, when given a chance at reciprocity this year, and not just in Delaware, the establishment figures have a poor record of getting behind the candidate chosen by the Republican voters in the states.  The GOP is in danger of becoming the Sore Loser Party and destroying its credibility with grass-roots activists in the process:

Clearly, though, that public show of support for primaries hides a scorn for the actual idea of voters selecting a candidate for themselves, a scorn exposed by the Tea Party in this cycle. One reason for the growth of Tea Party activism is precisely the kind of disconnected, elitist and condescending attitude toward voters in the Republican Party that results in the selection of candidates like Mike Castle in Delaware. In a midterm cycle where both liberals and establishment figures have as much attraction as big-government proposals like cap-and-trade, the national Republican establishment prompted the liberal Mr. Castle to abandon his safe House seat and run for the open Senate seat left vacant by Joe Biden‘s election as vice president. Not only did they hand-select Mr. Castle, whose support of cap-and-trade and the DISCLOSE Act made him particularly suspect, the party then attacked a Republican who dared to challenge him for the seat.

The national GOP ran this playbook earlier in the cycle, too. In Florida, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) immediately endorsed Charlie Crist for the Senate nomination, even though the speaker of the Florida HouseMarco Rubio, had already announced his intention to run for the spot. Mr. Crist tried tying himself to President Obama in 2009, traveling with him throughout the state to promote the stimulus package that utterly failed to prevent the loss of millions of jobs. The establishment tried to pressure Mr. Rubio to quit, and then watched as he not only clobbered Mr. Crist on the campaign trail, but also as their favored establishment candidate bailed out of the party and criticized theGOP.

Voters across the country have sent a clear message of real change, and the party establishment’s embrace of Mr. Castle and Mr. Cristshowed that the leadership simply refused to listen. Even that problem should have been solved by the primaries. After all, as the Republican Party has demanded so often of its conservative membership when their favored candidates lose, the need to rally behind the nominee should trump all other concerns. Surely they would adhere to their own process when the voters choose other candidates, right?

Wrong. Mr. Castle refused to endorse the winner and, initially, the NRSCleaked that it wouldn’t support winner Christine O’Donnell, either. That decision was wisely reversed by the NRSC chairman, Sen. John Cornyn, the next morning. Mr. Crist, who had pledged to remain in theRepublican Party in March, defected a month later after watching his poll numbers plummet, before voters even had the chance to make a decision. Lisa Murkowski lost a primary challenge for her Senate seat in Alaska and may announce this week that she will run a write-in campaign instead, despite the fact that Republican voters rejected her earlier. Robert F. Bennett contemplated the same idea in Utah before finally acquiescing to the reality that he had lost the confidence of his constituents after three terms in the Senate.

The GOP has made the “rules” of primaries clear.  The primaries are the manner in which voters hold candidates accountable for their records.  After the voters make their choice, though, the debate is supposed to be over.  The GOP has demanded loyalty from various constituencies at the end of the process, in which incumbents or anointed candidates such as Castle almost invariably win.

Suddenly, though, those rules don’t apply to the GOP establishment — or at least the establishment seemed ready to reject them yesterday.  That’s precisely the same kind of elitist attitude that Americans get from Washington DC, and why the Tea Party exists in the first place.  A day later, at least a few Republicans seemed to grasp that, including Senator John Cornyn and Michael Steele.  If the rest don’t learn the lesson that DocZero gives in today’s post about bottom-up change instead of top-down diktats, the GOP establishment may be positioning itself for irrelevance in the long run.

Update: My friend AJ Strata offers a thoughtful rebuttal in the comments that I’d like to answer, because it seems I need to clarify my point somewhat:

I agree with you to some degree, the coming shake up for the Political Industrial Complex has the complex’s inhabitants in a foul mood.

But I think there was something else going on in DE. Yes, O’Donnell won fair and square and is the nominee. But anyone who extends problems/concerns with candidate O’Donnell to the broader Tea Party movement is being ridiculous. I, for one, have enjoyed each one of the Tea Party’s successes and stand behind all their candidates without hesitation – except this one.

O’Donnell no more reflects the Tea Party than anyone else. She was one of two poor candidate choices in DE. Neither Castle nor O’Donnell are good options.

So you can have heart burn about O’Donnell the individual without having any issues with the Tea Party or grass roots conservatives.

True — but that’s an argument for the primary.  In fact, I acknowledged on Tuesday morning that both sides had a good argument, and that I thought reasonable people could choose either side.  But the primary is over.  Delaware Republicans chose their nominee.  The party’s role should be to elect the nominee, and the emphasis on unifying behind the nominee should be applied whether the establishment favorite wins or loses.  What good does it do now to continue debating O’Donnell vs Castle?  Is the GOP enabling a Fiorina vs DeVore argument in California?   Of course not, nor should they, and they should be getting to work in Delaware, too.


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What many RINOs don’t understand is that Conservatives are in this fight for the long haul.

RINOs have proven again and again that they desire power above all else. When principled fights have broken out, they can be depended on to only think of themselves instead of their constituents or country.

When going into a fight, it doesn’t make sense to leave backstabbers to guard your rear. In that case, it is better to clear them out before facing your well known enemies.

This is why establishment RINOs cannot be left in power.

dominigan on September 16, 2010 at 4:05 PM

I’m with A.J., Bee and MadCon on this. Castle was an awful candidate and so is Donnelly. As for the idea that the G.O.P. has to fully support her, is the DNC supporting Alvin Greene?

Our only hope is to stop talking about C.D. and start talking about the bearded Marxist who does not believe in the Shining City on a Hill:

A course on cultural anthropology, noted Coons, had “undermined the accepted value of progress and the cultural superiority of the West,” while a class on the Vietnam War led him to “suspect…that the ideal of America as a ‘beacon of freedom and justice, providing hope for the world’ was not exactly based in reality.”

Buy Danish on September 16, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Where are KingGold and JohnGalt23? I want to give them a big hug.

UltimateBob on September 16, 2010 at 2:35 PM

They’ve been purged :-)

Good Lt on September 16, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Seriously? As in, they got the ban hammer?

When? Why?

UltimateBob on September 16, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Ha! This sums it up very nicely: He Discovered Marxixm in Kenya.

Buy Danish on September 16, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Oh, goodie! Lets make all the ridiculous purge comments true, why don’t we?

applebutter on September 16, 2010 at 3:36 PM

ClassicCon’s just calling it like it is.

DarkCurrent on September 16, 2010 at 4:46 PM

In defense of O’Donnell, a very good comment from Michelle Malkin today (w/ typos corrected):

On September 16th, 2010 at 12:02 pm, sambo said:

I guess she would have been better off writing books about forcing abortions and sterilizations on people…while hanging out with terrorist. Then her history wouldn’t matter.

When it’s O’Donnell v. John Holdren (Obama’s frightening Science adviser), C.O. wins hands down. At the very least, C.O. does not talk about using force to win her moral argument. Also, the fact remains that Clinton’s Jocelyn Elders made masturbation a national issue, so while C.O.’s position is not the ‘mainstream’ view, if the Dems use it to laugh at her they’re on shaky ground.

Buy Danish on September 16, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Seriously, you are batsh it insane.

ClassicCon on September 16, 2010 at 2:43 PM
THIS

DarkCurrent on September 16, 2010 at 2:51 PM
ClassicCon’s just calling it like it is.

DarkCurrent on September 16, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Agree. Jen has lost all credibility.

ladyingray on September 16, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Excellent commentary here. That is precisely how I see what’s going on. The GOP is, to date, the party of sore losers, indeed.

I’m even more offended by this ridiculous notion of a write-in candidacy in AK.

That alone should make Lisa M. unacceptable to voters. I noted in NH, the teaparty candidate lost graciously.

It’s not lost on me.

AnninCA on September 16, 2010 at 6:01 PM

It’s not lost on me.

AnninCA on September 16, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Nothing ever is.

AsianGirlInTights on September 16, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Ha! This sums it up very nicely: He Discovered Marxism in Kenya.

Buy Danish on September 16, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Easy soundbite for COD, -We don’t need another Marxist in Washington!

slickwillie2001 on September 16, 2010 at 6:24 PM

ClassicCon’s just calling it like it is.

DarkCurrent on September 16, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Like it is? No. Maybe like he sees it. If so, he should learn to see better.

Jenfidel wrote hundreds of posts trashing O’Donnell. In the heat of the arguments, I asked her what she would do if O’Donnell won, support her, support Coons, or run home and hide.

She said she wouldn’t vote. I, for one, am happy to see her back. It gives me hope that just because someone acts unreasonably, doesn’t mean they’ll always be beyond reason.

applebutter on September 16, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Like it is? No. Maybe like he sees it. If so, he should learn to see better.

Jenfidel wrote hundreds of posts trashing O’Donnell. In the heat of the arguments, I asked her what she would do if O’Donnell won, support her, support Coons, or run home and hide.

She said she wouldn’t vote.

applebutter on September 16, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Exactly. Now 2 days later she’s of a completely different, convenient opinion. Re-read ClassicCon’s comment. He’s absolutely correct.

DarkCurrent on September 16, 2010 at 6:37 PM

Exactly. Now 2 days later she’s of a completely different, convenient opinion. Re-read ClassicCon’s comment. He’s absolutely correct.

DarkCurrent on September 16, 2010 at 6:37 PM

Jen has no credibility.

Well, she has as much as say, John Kerry…

ladyingray on September 16, 2010 at 6:42 PM

Perhaps someone is a tad confused here. Jenfidel is not a politician. She’s a voter. Apparently she felt strongly that O’Donnell wasn’t qualified. She may still feel that way.

But, since O’Donnell won, she’s the only game in town, Jenfidel has decided the right thing to do is to back her.

And she’s right.

I understand that makes her much less valuable than other voters who support the candidate you apparently would like to win.

If you’d like, I can explain the part about how it’s good to have people vote the way you want them too, especially if they weren’t previously inclined to vote that way.

applebutter on September 16, 2010 at 7:07 PM

If you’d like, I can explain the part about how it’s good to have people vote the way you want them too, especially if they weren’t previously inclined to vote that way.

applebutter on September 16, 2010 at 7:07 PM

Jenfidel being a resident of Texas is not voting in this election.

She has expended a lot of energy on at least this blog trashing the conservative candidate though.

DarkCurrent on September 16, 2010 at 7:18 PM

I commented on this the other day, and I believe it’s worth mentioning again. It’s basically what Ed is saying (or what’s typically said after every primary), so it’s not new.

As primaries across the country are coming to an end, there is not one of us that will have some disappointments. There is no election season where all of our favorite candidates are nominated.

The idea that a person is so furious that their candidate lost and chooses not to vote, or write in another candidate is selfishness and narcissistic.

Think about it. “I’m not going to vote because my candidate didn’t win.” “I’m not happy, so I’ll write in my candidate’s name.”

There is nothing honorable there, despite the “idea” it gives, that as an individual, you are simply trying to mask the obvious…that you are going to help the opposition win, but in some sort of noble manner, rather than directly voting for them.

Two months before elections is NOT the time to be putting down our nominees. Karl Rove should have known this, with his vast experience in elections over the past twenty years.

Now is the time we come together. We “suck it up.” Some of our favorites didn’t win, some of our favorites did win. This is not the time for selfishness or bitterness. Those are attributes of “individuals.” This election is greater than any one of us, individually.

“United we stand…divided we fall.”

BruthaMan on September 16, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Jenfidel being a resident of Texas is not voting in this election.

She has expended a lot of energy on at least this blog trashing the conservative candidate though.

DarkCurrent on September 16, 2010 at 7:18 PM

I’m also a resident of Texas. Didn’t keep me from sending O’Donnell money.

Again, I can explain this to you if you really don’t understand.

applebutter on September 16, 2010 at 7:33 PM

I welcome Jenfidel back!
She has seen something she did not before!

We bemoan the Ayatollahs inside the Establishment we should not become them.

Forgiveness heals the forgiver not necesarily the forgiven!

I welcome Jenfidel and any other whether they be Repub, Indy, or Dem, who would chose to support Tea Party candidates provided they are the most conservative viable candidate!

We all make mistakes and let our emotions get the better of our thoughts at times!

Jenfidel you have been a solid supporter of Sarah and we need ya WELCOME BACK!

dhunter on September 16, 2010 at 7:36 PM

dhunter on September 16, 2010 at 7:36 PM

Well said.

applebutter on September 16, 2010 at 7:41 PM

I’m also a resident of Texas. Didn’t keep me from sending O’Donnell money.

Again, I can explain this to you if you really don’t understand.

applebutter on September 16, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Good for you.

I understand your point quite clearly.
I also understand Jen is an opportunistic, sycophantic weasel. Glad she’s on the right side now though.

DarkCurrent on September 16, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Krauthammer is hammering the stupid Tea Partiers for not votin for the sure thing.
Stuck on stupid Kraut, Castle votes with the Dems, F on guns, for cap and tax.

Retire sourKraut!

dhunter on September 16, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Let’s all back up a step. No nitpicking, big-picture time here.

The current lot in DC act like French Aristocracy circa 1790. Details of their misdeeds don’t matter. They are all corrupt elitists. Fire ALL the incumbents and let’s start over.

THIS is what the “Tea Party” is about. IMHO.

Who is John Galt on September 16, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Who is John Galt on September 16, 2010 at 9:15 PM

With a VERY few exceptions I could go for that!

dhunter on September 16, 2010 at 9:32 PM

And although the outsiders aren’t guaranteed victory, democracy has already won. Both Republicans and Democrats need to beware: The outsiders have broken into the institution of politics and cannot be ignored. After all, what’s so crazy about restoring power to the people and a mandate to throw all of the big government bums out? In our current state of affairs, it sounds like the right kind of folly.

andrea@andreatantaros.com

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/09/16/2010-09-16_stop_mocking_the_tea_party_if_anyone_is_nuts_its_the_elites_and_incumbents.html#ixzz0zkMRqVUF

dhunter on September 16, 2010 at 9:40 PM

Christine just hit $1.25m a few minutes ago.

technopeasant on September 16, 2010 at 9:57 PM

As for the idea that the G.O.P. has to fully support her, is the DNC supporting Alvin Greene?

Buy Danish

Are we taking our cues from the DNC now? If so, I guess we better forget all about that smaller government, less taxes nonsense.

Demint leads Green 63% to 19%. That race is over. Christine trails 42% to Coons 53%. That race is definitely not over.

xblade on September 16, 2010 at 10:36 PM

Jen has no credibility.

Well, she has as much as say, John Kerry…

ladyingray on September 16, 2010 at 6:42 PM

I’ve tried to explain how my mind was changed as honestly as I could.
If HA discussion forum isn’t a place to change hearts and minds by persuasion and reasoned argument, what is it for?
To be an echo chamber?
Christine still has her character flaws–but who’s to say she wasn’t portrayed in the worst possible light by Castle’s people.
Regardless of Christine’s personal problems, we the people (of Delaware) picked her as the GOP candidate and because I, too, want to stop the 0bama agenda and take our country back to Constitutional government, that’s good enough for me.
If Christine says that that is what she will stand for in Washington and the people of DE believe she will, that’s good enough for me.
If she has critical ethics flaws, that will come out if and when it needs to.
Fair enough?
I am no John Kerry and I deeply resent anyone saying so!
I don’t recall Kerry ever admitting his Communist sympathies have been wrong.

Jenfidel on September 16, 2010 at 11:21 PM

I wonder WHY Ed used a badly lit picture of O’Donnell and the caption ‘Sore Loser Party’?

Freddy on September 16, 2010 at 11:30 PM

This race is shaping up as I expected. At the debate they had last night, she did well. So did Coons, and they really are both outlining their visions for voters. Plus, she was good at defusing the Rove stereotype of her. And, as I suspected, Coons really agreed with her that digging up comments from 20 years ago or so is not smart. He has that marxist comment that would be equally embarassing as her comments.

And she even clarified her anti-abortion thinking. It should be appealing to many in the middle.

Good job…..he’s paying attention to Palin and just being herself. That’s the ticket. I have to begrudgingly agree with Dick Morris that the pundits are way off on voters….it’s all about trust.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:55 AM

she’s paying attention, that is.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Both Ed and AJ are the “centrist” GOP establishment. Always have been and they will not change even when the conservatives take back the party.

luckybogey on September 17, 2010 at 1:11 PM

“Now we’re using this to start cloning humans. … They are — they are doing that here in the United States. American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.’ [O'Reilly Factor, 10/16/07]

Dave Rywall on September 17, 2010 at 1:26 PM

I still don’t get this absurd argument. WHY should the party get behind a woman who has had no job for years, pays her mom with campaign funds, pays half her rent with campaign funds, openly admits that she’s so committed to “truth” telling that she’d inform on hidden Jews to the Nazis in WWII, has defaulted on her student loans, has lied about attending graduate school, and even tried to make the argument that her opponent was a raging homosexual?

So, I guess the party just gets behind any ol’ nut that the voters deem worthy of nomination?! I’m sure this is totally going to help bring Jewish voters into the GOP. Well, Jewish voters or anyone else with brain cells in their heads. When you get behind nuts like O’Donnell, you lose the rational folks completely. Maybe the party should do what’s best for the party and not let loonies taint it?

TheBlueSite on September 17, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Dave Rywall on September 17, 2010 at 1:26 PM

WTF?

DarkCurrent on September 17, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Dave Rywall on September 17, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Wow

DarkCurrent on September 17, 2010 at 3:25 PM

TheBlueSite on September 17, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Sigh, if I type slow, will you understand? BECAUSE SHE WON! You Castle types are not only sore losers, but hypocrits!

lovingmyUSA on September 17, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Dave Rywall on September 17, 2010 at 1:26 PM

What is your point? I didn’t see anyone denying it…

lovingmyUSA on September 17, 2010 at 4:06 PM

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