If you think the Tea Party was meant to take trouble to Democrats, liberals, and President Obama, they’re proving to be an equal-opportunity vonce to the Republicans as well, as the senate primaries in Utah and Alaska have shown. Now they’ve set their sights on Delaware where tomorrow Rep. Mike Castle will face Christine O’Donnell for the bid.
As the good people at TPM have catalogued, Ms. O’Donnell has some, um, rather interesting views on some issues including personal abstinence and what you should or should not be doing with yourself when you’re by yourself. She’s also openly questioned whether or not her opponent is gay — I guess to her there is something wrong with that — and used some rather school-yard-like taunts to make her point. She’s also had some financial difficulties that she’s been reluctant to disclose, and she’s also had some trouble with telling the truth about her past election runs against Joe Biden to the point that even a right-wing radio talk show host called her out on them.
Of course this track record has earned her the endorsement of Sarah Palin.
What makes this interesting is that the national GOP is fighting back against the O’Donnell campaign and defending Mr. Castle against this insurgent attack based on the very real possibility that if he loses in the primary, the seat will go to the Democrat Chris Coon. Mr. Castle’s election had been considered a slam dunk; he’s a relatively moderate Republican and very popular in the state. Those are apparently two disqualifiers in the Land of the Teabaggers.
We’ve seen this insurgency here in Florida, although in the comparison of Marco Rubio to Christine O’Donnell, she wins the bull-goose-loony heat by a mile; Mr. Rubio is Nelson Rockefeller compared to her, and I have yet to hear him discuss the consequences of masturbation on your mortal soul as a campaign issue. (Whew.) But the Tea Party’s support of Mr. Rubio knocked a sure winner for the Republicans out of the Senate race, and now the chances of the GOP taking the seat here are problematic.
It also makes you wonder what the GOP is going to do about Sarah Palin. Right now she’s the most popular figure in the party, and yet she’s going around making life difficult for the people who, in the end, are going to be the ones she needs if she has any hope of winning the nomination. While the Tea Party may think it’s more important for them to proclaim their ideology rather than actually win an election, the actual result is that it’s going to elect some Democrats where they didn’t think they had a snowball’s chance.
Maybe the DNC should be glad that Ms. O’Donnell is being a real jerk.