“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Conventional GOP vs. Tea Party Candidates

Much is being made of in the media of the various Tea Party primary victories in the wake of Tuesday's election.

Perhaps, most notably, Delaware Tea Party Republican Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell's triumph over moderate GOP veteran Mike Castle.

Yahoo's homepage, never one to be neutral, screamed out this headline,

"Tea party victory endangers GOP’s goal of retaking the Senate"

At the end of the website's heavily partisan 'news' story about O'Donnell's primary win, this appeared regarding the national GOP's reticence to spend money on her general campaign,

"Not that she cares.
"They have a losing track record," O'Donnell told CNN Tuesday night. "If they're too lazy to put in the effort that we need to win, then so be it." "

Meanwhile, yesterday morning, alleged grafter and (too) long-serving Pennsylvania Democratic Representative Paul Kandorski gave Castle the ultimate kiss of death, calling him "an EXCELLENT Congressman."

That alone should be testimony to Castle's vulnerability. A Democratic Congressman suspected of some multi-million dollar corruption at the expense of the federal treasury endorsing him as a great guy.

But let's get back to O'Donnell's comment.

I, along with, I am sure, many other conservatively-inclined independents, have given much thought to the conundrum of preferring potentially unelectable conservative GOP candidates, often backed or inspired by Tea Partiers, to liberal-to-moderate political veterans who may be much more certain of beating their Democratic opponent in November.

Recently, I read a Wall Street Journal editorial which paraphrased the late Barry Goldwater as counseling conservatives to 'vote for the most conservative candidate.....who,' but I can't now recall, nor find the quote to verify, how it finished,

"is running," or "who is electable?"

I think it was the latter. And this is the issue at hand.

The conundrum of the GOP primary voter is different from that of the same voter as an independent in a general election, as I wrote here.

O'Donnell is implicitly standing for principles. She has, in effect, said,

'Vote for me. I'll do what I say. Mike Castle will waffle and is likely to side with liberals.'

And the media chides the GOP for letting principled conservatives, who have nowhere else to go, 'shrink the party's tent.' As if electing unreliable Republican Senators is better than electing liberal Democrats.

After considerable reflection, I come down on the side of voting in primaries for the most conservative Republican running. In New Jersey's last gubernatorial primary, that was not Chris Christie. I voted against Christie in the primary, but for him in the general election.

If I lived in Delaware, I'd have voted for O'Donnell. If she loses the general election, then Delaware wasn't ready to be represented in the Senate by a conservative, and the GOP didn't do a good job finding and backing a reliable conservative for the Delaware Senate seat.

How many Jim Jeffords, Arlen Specters, Lincoln Chafees, Susan Collins' and Olympia Snowes do Republican voters need to elect to learn not to trust the fence-sitting Eastern US "moderates?"

The media hopes to keep the GOP as a pale copy of the liberal Democratic party by coaxing it to nominate, back and elect liberal Republicans.

But what independents want is a break from both parties creating a socialistic, European-style State with a capital S.

Preferring unelectable conservatives to electable, but untrustworthy liberal Republicans, shows a stand for the principles so many Americans feel have been lost by politicians of both parties. Particularly Republicans.

After all, Democrats have never, in my lifetime, espoused smaller government and greater personal liberty and freedom. Republicans have, if only periodically.

Christine O'Donnell embodies the hopes of independents and conservative Republicans, regardless of her ability to win the general election.

I, for one, am not so sure a GOP Senate majority composed of the likes of Mike Castle will please me- or most independents. It probably will only frustrate me marginally less than a Democratically-controlled one.

Ideally, I want a GOP caucus of more than 50 Senators who will toss Mitch McConnell and his team out, put Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint into power, and really go about shrinking the federal government.

I don't think Mike Castle would do that. Perhaps Delaware conservatives should continue working to find an electable conservative, rather than be disappointed by Castle's probably defection on the tough votes in the Senate.

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