Sign-up to receive our free newsletter.
The Republican Party used to be proud of its “big tent” philosophy, but the establishment elite are now stating it is the conservative grassroots, the Tea Party, and Christine O’Donnell’s fault that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) continued its horrible record in 2012 with more of the same failure under since-replaced Chairman Jon Cornyn’s leadership.
Watching moderate talking heads continue their scapegoating by alienating American activists that helped Republicans take back Congress in 2010 is not only naïve, but it’s also a certain recipe for continued decline. Mark Levin called out Rove and his comrade’s meddling with “Get the hell off the stage already, will you pal?” and again last week. Rove’s credibility is certainly in question now, especially In light of past and recent statements by him.
The lessons learned by Chairman Pete Sessions and the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) embarrassment from bucking the Tea Party trend beginning with the NY-23 race in 2009 were hard fought. The NRCC saw the light by embracing the conservative grassroots movement and not only resoundingly won back the House in 2010, but also maintained their margins in 2012 despite the Barack Obama get out the vote machine at the top of the ticket.
On the other hand, the NRSC surprisingly never thought they were going to win the Senate in 2010, as Cornyn told a Congressional Quarterly reporter months before the O’Donnell mid-September primary victory for the seat vacated by Joe Biden (who ran for reelection in 2008 as well as being on the Obama ticket) that he did not think Republicans would win enough seats to give them a majority.
Because of the NRSC ineptitude to learn from the NRCC, they continued that same old, same old flat-world mindset and rolled out another roster of so-called “electable” establishment candidates for 2012 in red or battleground states: Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, Rick Berg in North Dakota, Denny Rehberg in Montana, George Allen in Virginia, Connie Mack in Florida, Pete Hoekstra in Michigan, Heather Wilson in New Mexico (a candidate so flawed that even Rove stated under oath Wilson lied about her involvement in a U.S. Attorney firing), and former governor Linda Lingle in Hawaii. All of these establishment favorites lost – many badly for open seats.
As a result of the grassroots Tea Party movement, we now have rising stars like Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania – all of whom had to initially clear establishment/moderate/NRSC choices. They joined 2010 conservatives like Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rob Portman of Ohio, as there was inarguably a lot more triumphs in that cycle because of the Tea Party.
House earmark vigilante and social conservative Jeff Flake of Arizona won his open seat race in 2012. Flake’s fellow conservative Congressman and Tea Party advocate Tim Scott of South Carolina, who is the only African American serving in the U.S. Senate and just the seventh in the history of our Republic, has been appointed to Jim DeMint’s seat as he now heads up The Heritage Foundation. Tea Party candidates Ted Cruz of Texas and Deb Fischer of Nebraska now join those ranks as underdogs who beat the establishment odds and won in 2012… does anyone else see a pattern of success here and an epic failure by the Republican establishment?
O’Donnell observed the hypocrisy of the establishment on FOX News ‘The O’Reilly Factor:
“I had the audacity to challenge the system, and I busted up the backroom deal. There are still a lot of bruised egos and a ‘you’re taking the power out of our hands mentality.’ I think at least for the Republican leadership in Delaware [and nationally at the NRSC to date], they would rather control the way they lose than lose control.”
“You know the most frustrating part of all of that was if you asked people, ‘Did you watch the speeches? Did you watch the debate?’ and more often than not they said no.”
Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard complimented O’Donnell’s campaign efforts by seeing for himself instead of letting others think for him:
“O’Donnell, it turns out, is an excellent campaigner, knowledgeable on issues and confident in making the case for conservative policies. She and Coons, 47 and balding, debated before the stuffy Wilmington Rotary Club the morning after the nationally televised CNN debate. In both sessions, she was the more assertive.
O’Donnell is the campaign here. She is colorful and outspoken and willing to attack her own party for giving her only minimal support after she upset Representative Mike Castle in the Republican primary in mid-September—all traits the press loves in a candidate. Castle, has none of them. Nor does Coons, who’s about as exciting as dry toast. Absent O’Donnell, the media wouldn’t be here.”
With all due respect to Mr. Castle and his accomplishments as a career politician, how is a mid-seventies Republican In Name Only (RINO) who lost to Ms. O’Donnell by over six points in his last campaign, and who would have also lost to Coons according to CNN exit polling, the answer? Especially in light of this Michelle Malkin post right after the primary “What Did Mike Castle talk about with Obama and Biden last night?”
As RedState Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson reported in early August of 2010:
If Mike Castle becomes the next United States Senator from Delaware he is going to get sworn in, serve a bit, then become a Democrat, resign, and let Beau Biden get an appointment.
It’s a done deal. The deal has been made already. I’m hearing this not just from Christine O’Donnell people, but party regulars in Delaware, some of whom support Castle. It is insane.
Maybe that is why Mike Castle is running from Christine O’Donnell. He is afraid to have to answer questions about this. The man will not debate her to save his life.
In fact, Christine O’Donnell is actually ahead of the Democrat in the polls in Delaware. Read that sentence again people because too many of you think we must support Castle to win the seat.
Christine O’Donnell (R)
Chris Coons (D)
Some Other Candidate
July 12, 2010
Club for Growth Vice President Andrew Roth brilliantly summarized Castle’s status as a lead RINO, calling it “bullfeathers” to think otherwise of Castle, not only as a social liberal but also a fiscal moderate who voted for Cap & Trade in the House and was being counted on as another vote for the Democrats in the 2010 lame duck session.
Castle co-authored the grassroots gag order called The Disclose Act, had a pro-abortion record that even expanded to co-authoring the Castle-DeGette bill promoting human cloning, and had numerous other votes cited by Roth to truly earn his RINO crown. It’s a record that makes retired Olympia Snowe’s look Reaganesque by comparison.
It is an absurd notion that the U.S. Senate is some exclusive club, only fit for the “next in line” elite with their obnoxious sense of entitlement, when recent members include Al “Stuart Smiley” Franken of Minnesota, Larry “Wide-Stance” Craig of Idaho, and the Keating Five (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAzDEbVFcg8).
This was also debunked by a de facto leader of the Millennial vote Jon Stewart when discussing the O’Donnell candidacy:
“I was on MTV 20 years ago. God forbid anybody find those tapes and hold that against me. I mean, it is — it’s astonishing to me where we put our focus and what we delve into.”
Jeffrey Lord of The American Spectator summed it up this way:
“It must be said here that the reason Ms. O’Donnell is a “two-time loser” is that she had the guts to take on up-hill Senate races in the first place. Where was Mike Castle when it was time to challenge Democrat incumbent Senator Tom Carper in 2006? Where was Castle when it was time to challenge Biden in 2008 — when Biden was playing the Ruling Class game and had a ballot spot for both re-election to the Senate and on Obama’s ticket as vice president? Answer? Not running. Why? Because the man who so much wants to be a United States Senator from Delaware didn’t want to mar his reputation with a loss — thus enabling some Ruling Class writer to describe Castle as a “two-time statewide loser.” Such things are important in Ruling Class circles, and the fact that O’Donnell paid no heed and took on Delaware’s political goliaths Carper and Biden anyway is a sign of Country Class guts.”
The Delaware Republican Party delegates removed long-time Republican National Committeewoman Priscilla Rakestraw last year after realizing her and Castle’s failed leadership has led to a 120,000 Republican enrollment disadvantage (mostly in New Castle County, as Delaware only has two other counties – Kent & Sussex) since being par almost a decade ago when the more conservative Gov. Pete du Pont and Sen. Bill Roth influences left leadership posts in the party.
State enrollment is now approximately 300,000 (48%) Democrats, 180,000 (28%) Republicans, and 150,000 (24%) independents according to the latest Delaware Board of Elections survey, which makes O’Donnell’s results all the more impressive despite the lack of party support.
Establishment accusations are additionally unfounded in facts, as in July of 2010, Rasmussen had O’Donnell beating Coons, coupled with earlier polling strength including a late 2009 Rasmussen poll proving that O’Donnell had a 2-1 advantage with critical Delaware independents against the iconic Biden brand before the extraordinary libel and slander by the GOP establishment with other political science found at www.ChristinePAC.com/Christine-Counters.
The vicious attacks were so unprecedented even Neil King, Jr. of The Wall Street Journal wrote, “The National Republican Senatorial Committee is also piling on, briefing reporters on negative aspects of O’Donnell’s record.”
O’Donnell’s campaign also had to defend against a frivolous federal election complaint, filed before the primary by Michael Toner, the counsel of then NRSC Chairman Cornyn on behalf of since ousted Delaware Republican Chairman Tom Ross. It was later dismissed.
As FOX News’ Sean Hannity clarified after Castle blamed his loss to O’Donnell on talk radio, “He sounds like a liberal, blaming other people!”
Furthermore, in addition to coming to Delaware to campaign against O’Donnell, Obama called Castle after his primary loss and may have negotiated a deal not to run in a 3-way which clearly benefited Republican victors Rubio and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in 2010. This obviously came at a critical time, as the September 14 primary victory and November 2 general election left essentially only a month to staff up and fight back against the Democratic machine without the benefit of a write-in.
O’Donnell’s team, despite a much publicized rebuke from the NRSC and Rove after her victory over Castle, tried desperately to get the relationship that evolved with the other conservative contenders who beat establishment candidates akin to Leader Mitch McConnell hammering Paul one day and putting his arm around him the next as the future junior Senator of Kentucky he became.
Her campaign even engaged Cornyn ad man Fred Davis (he of the China-girl Super Bowl spot that hurt Hoekstra’s chances early), who also created the “I’m not a witch, I’m nothing you’ve heard, I’m you…” ad for O’Donnell and put in dark after-effects and the like while not having any other commercial ready before a major media buy deadline – coincidence?
To add insult to injury, a former Biden staffer and Delaware native named Melanie Sloan, who runs a left-leaning group absurdly called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (http://www.stopcrew.com/) that receives funding from liberal cause supporters like George Soros and Ted Gill, knowingly and illegally filed a false federal complaint with an admittedly perjured affidavit right after O’Donnell’s primary victory. Sloan also unethically failed to disclose that her father Leonard Togman, a known Democratic donor, was the adversely affected Delaware voter in the complaint.
That is sadly what the establishment of both parties does when they feel threatened – they engage in the politics of personal destruction with continued character assassinations. O’Donnell lawyer Cleta Mitchell explained on FOX News, “We are asking the IRS to revoke CREW’s tax exempt status because they’re not supposed to be involved in campaigns and they attack Republicans. They attacked Christine O’Donnell falsely. She’s been fully exonerated, and it’s time that CREW be held responsible and be held to be a political organization, which is what they really are.”
To echo Erickson’s sentiments in 2010 regarding O’Donnell, shame on Club for Growth President Chris Chocola for lumping O’Donnell in with the Todd Akin candidacy, while also apparently doing a major cover-his-behind with Club for Growth donors for some of his losses, although his anti-establishment message was spot on.
“While the tigers have been taking out Christine O’Donnell, these candidates have surrounded the tigers and are preparing to slay the beasts.
Shame on all those who do that. When the book is written on Election 2010, the media will mock the O’Donnell candidacy, but whether she wins or loses she will be a hero in my book.
Christine O’Donnell, willingly or not, has stood firm in the face of the media and establishment onslaught and distracted them all. And only now, with twenty-two days left, are the media and establishment turning in terror, to realize how close the midgets are to slaying the tigers.
Do not insult or belittle Christine O’Donnell here at RedState. Because of her, even if she cannot win, she has distracted the tigers long enough so that others can win. She is owed our thanks.”
When the conservative movement unites, they usually win with the exception in the Senate being the Nevada race in 2010 and the Indiana race in 2012. To be fair to former Club endorsed candidate Sharron Angle, she was going up against the incumbent Senate Democratic leader in Harry Reid who not only helped control the purse-strings for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, but also had a month of early voting to get out the labor vote and the like.
Richard Mourdock is the Club candidate that Chocola should be lamenting to his donors instead of ignorantly bashing O’Donnell, as Mourdock fell into the same trap as Akin had earlier in the cycle which cannot be excused. It is also somewhat sardonic that Chocola lost his last Congressional race to the candidate who beat Mourdock by not that different a margin than what O’Donnell lost by.
FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly crystallized a capsule summary of what happened in an interview with O’Donnell:
“But they didn’t go after Carly Fiorina the way they went after you. It was all personal. You’re this, you’re that, you know, and I’m going to myself, it was almost like Sarah Palin. It was almost the same thing. Why are they going after her? Why do they want to denigrate her personally? Why?” and added,“They don’t care. They just want to demean you.” O’Reilly concluded,“The old boys don’t want to give up their power.” with “I’m sorry you had to go through a lot of that garbage you went through.”
Maybe that is why O’Donnell is proud to be a part of Clinton Administration Ambassador Swanee Hunt and Mitt Romney former Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey’s bipartisan effort to end the double standard female candidates’ face globally (http://www.missrepresentation.org/politics/women-at-the-republican-national-convention/ & http://www.nameitchangeit.org/blog/entry/hardballs-chris-matthews-on-christine-odonnell-pretty-damn-sexist). With any luck, more people will have the courage to step up and join the political process to make our communities better.
In closing, Rush Limbaugh praised “Christine O’Donnell has moved the conservative ball forward.” and righteous dude Erickson echoed, “She is owed our thanks.”