The case for voting for the RINO in the Delaware primary; Update: O’Donnell won’t rule out third-party run

In which Ace swipes the blogospheric crown of “Supreme RINO Candy-Ass” right off my head.

Seriously, it’s a great post. Read it all or you’ll miss the critique of “true conservative” Christine O’Donnell on the merits — she’s no Joe Miller, to put it mildly — but I’ve excerpted the strategic gist below. Whether you agree or disagree will depend on whether you believe (a) the “true conservative” message can and will win literally anywhere in America, regardless of the quality of the candidate who delivers it, or (b) it’s more important to defeat RINOs than to defeat Democrats, even though we’ve seen what happens legislatively when The One has a blue Congress to do his bidding. A not-so-fun fact to bear in mind as you read: Even the right’s favorite pollster shows a 20-point swing if O’Donnell upsets Mike Castle in the primary. From GOP by 12 to Dems by 10, facing a blue-state electorate that’s packed with liberals. What could go wrong?

The vote for her would not be strategic, or aimed at a plausible victory scenario. It would be pure RINO-punishing (and cutting off one’s own nose to spite one’s face). If RINO-punishing is the only thing that matters — and I stress: Castle is a RINO, and I sure the hell can’t claim he doesn’t deserve to be punished — then vote for her…

Mike Castle will vote against us on 30% of stuff. You will not like him. I will not like him.

But I will like him better than the Democrat Coons, voting against us on 88% of stuff. And yeah, in a blue state, with a strong Democratic majority, he can afford to be one of the solid liberal votes for Obama’s socialist agenda. Because he is not going to have to worry about losing his seat for voting too liberal.

The pathway to success is to change Blue to Red, and Purple to Red, and Red to Even Redder. We are doing that. We are trading in RINO Murkowski for a Senator more in sync with a true red state…

We cannot get a super-red person elected to a blue state. Period. The anti-Obama factor gives everyone about an 8% bump. Add that to Christine O’Donnell’s 35% (from last time) and she gets to 43%.

Grassroots conservatives are, I think, seeing this as some sort of reprise of the Miller/Murkowski race, where first the establishment RINO is vanquished and then the inexorable tea-party wave carries the “true conservative” nominee to glorious triumph in the general. But Alaska’s a red state, of course, and even so, Miller’s eventual victory still isn’t quite fully assured. One of the most praiseworthy things about tea partiers, actually, is how shrewd they’ve been thus far in picking their spots for when to turn out en masse for or against a candidate. They went bonkers for Scott Brown in the special election even though most of them knew he’d govern as a centrist; they bumped off Bob Bennett in Utah, realizing that the seat was entirely safe no matter whom they nominated; they went after a tea-party impostor in Nevada back when centrist-y Sue Lowden looked like she’d be the nominee in order to prevent a third-party candidate from helping Reid to victory; and of course, their hero, Sarah Palin, backed Carly Fiorina over “true conservative” Chuck DeVore in California because she knew who’d have the better chance of winning the seat in a Democratic state. For TPers to back O’Donnell over Castle when the latter’s victory means an easy pick-up would, actually, be surprisingly out of character. In fact, a more useful analog to the Delaware race isn’t Miller/Murkowski but McCain/Hayworth, where another RINO faced a weak “true conservative” candidate whose primary victory would have put the seat in play instead of keeping it safe for Republicans. The difference between Hayworth and O’Donnell, though? J.D. would have at least had a chance of winning thanks to the conservative electorate in Arizona. O’Donnell doesn’t have that advantage in Delaware. In fact, as Ace explains, she doesn’t have any advantage at all. What exactly would be accomplished by nominating her?

Update: New from John McCormack at the Standard, O’Donnell says she won’t rule out a third-party run if she loses the primary and describes how her team checks the bushes around her home to make sure that her political enemies — presumably Castle’s people, although she doesn’t specify — aren’t hiding there:

They’re following me. They follow me home at night. I make sure that I come back to the townhouse and then we have our team come out and check all the bushes and check all the cars to make sure that—they follow me.

That’s what’s disgusting, as you can see from the YouTube videos. They knock on the door at all hours of the night. They’re hiding in the bushes when I’m at candidate forums. In 2008 they broke into my home. They vandalized my home. They wrote nasty notes on my front door, on my front porch. They jeopardized my safety. They did the same thing to our campaign office. They broke into our campaign office. They vandalized our campaign office. They stole files. My campaign signs that had my picture—they put a spear in my mouth poked out my eyes, and cut out the part of my heart, and wrote nasty names all over those campaign signs.

I would be a fool to be pressured into disclosing where I live, when I know that the stakes are even higher this time. What makes me think they wont do the same distasteful things they did in 2008 when the stakes are even higher, when we’re even more viable. I mean come on, John, you’re a class act. You don’t want to—you know that this is a security issue. You know what they’re capable of.

She also tells McCormack that she’s using campaign funds to pay rent on her residence.

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