by John Hawkins | September 8, 2010 11:25 am
…race in Delaware.
Now, I wasn’t planning to write a third post about this issue, but this gets into one of my pet peeves: Ultimately, You don’t change the country for the better by losing elections.
Being conservative is not enough. To put conservative principles into action, we have to get people elected to office. That’s why the conservative movement needs the Republican Party: As a tool to implement our ideas.
Now, it makes a lot of sense to get the best tools possible. So, if we can replace a moderate Republican who will agree with us half the time with a conservative Republican who will agree with us 90% of the time, that’s worth doing.
On the other hand, I believe it’s better to have a hammer with a cracked handle than to have no hammer at all. So, if I’m forced to choose between a moderate Republican and a liberal Democrat, who’s going to disagree with me on everything, I’m going to take a moderate Republican.
Now, that brings us to the Mike Castle Vs. Christine O’Donnell. Castle is a squish. O’Donnell is a conservative. However, Castle is likely to win that seat while O’Donnell is almost sure to lose it. Don’t believe me?
Then believe Erick Erickson, who’s supporting O’Donnell despite admitting that she can’t win the general election,
I would rather (have) 50 seats without Mike Castle than 51 seats with Mike Castle. The push to support Mike Castle by “conservative” groups, pundits, and others says more about the selling out of the conservative movement to the GOP than anything else. It happened in the Bush years and many conservatives were so thoroughly co-opted by the GOP Establishment they might as well be cut off from the conservative movement permanently.
…Every campaign has three limited elements: time, talent, and treasure.
In the conservative campaign to move the Senate right, I do not see how we wisely spend the resources on Christine O’Donnell’s bid when we could help Ovide LaMontagne in New Hampshire, some of the conservatives still running in the New York primaries, or Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, Rand Paul, etc. and get those people through the general election.
Yes, I do believe that a candidate who is down ten points can win. Heck, Rubio was down thirty points when I went all in with him. But there was time.
There are just over sixty days left in Delaware.
Likewise, were Christine O’Donnell to win the primary, and again, I hope she does, I do not believe she is surrounded with people fully capable of firing on all the necessary cylinders in the general election. This is not, by and large, her fault. The GOP establishment and paid political class abandoned her for pro-abort leftist she’s running against.
But with limited time and limited talent and already limited treasure, I cannot in my mind justify encouraging conservatives to cast their lot in Delaware.
It may be crass to say, but in the battle between midgets and tigers, the midgets can win, but only if a few of them get eaten. In the battle between conservatives and the establishment, conservatives can win, but only if a few of them get eaten.
Thats what Delaware looks like to me. I want O’Donnell to win, but I lack the faith in her campaign’s ability to pull it off that I had in Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ken Buck, Maro Rubio, Pat Toomey, and others.
Now, it is very possible I’m wrong about all this. I’d love to be wrong. I’d love to see O’Donnell in the Senate. But the probability that I am wrong is ridiculously small.
Your mileage may vary.
Translation: Christine O’Donnell is such a dead dog loser in the general election that conservatives shouldn’t even waste time on her after the primary. Now, let’s help her beat the squishy Republican who’s a guaranteed winner!
Keep in mind, folks, that in liberal states like Delaware, opportunities for Republicans to win seats don’t come along very often. Usually, barring an open seat in a strong Republican year, Democrats who win hold those seats until they die or retire. In other words, if the Democrat running, Chris Coons, wins the seat, he will probably be there for the next 30 years barring some sort of illness or scandal.
So, I fail to see how it makes sense for conservatives to block a guy who will vote with us 25% to 50% of the time in order to put a liberal Democrat in office who will oppose us on everything for the next 30 years. You may say, “Ah, it’s one seat. What difference does it make if we throw it away?” Well, just to name one issue, if Mike Castle had been sitting in that seat last year, Obamacare wouldn’t have passed — and that’s not an attempt to paint Castle as a conservative. He will vote against us. He will do it on key issues. He will make you pull your hair out. But, you know what? Chris Coons will vote against us on every one of those same issues and all the rest of them besides.
That’s why I don’t even get the logic behind the push for O’Donnell. I mean, I could understand it if she had a chance to win in the general, but many of her supporters, Erick included, are freely admitting she’s toast.
Is this supposed to send some message to the establishment or something? If so, what is it supposed to be? Is it don’t ever run moderates anywhere? Certainly, that’s not something Erick agrees with. This morning on Twitter, we had this exchange:
johnhawkinsrwn No disrespect, but sayin Christine O’Donnell will lose the general, but you still want her to win the primary seems wacky
ewerickson @johnhawkinsrwn Not when you think Castle is the worst possible outcome.
johnhawkinsrwn: @ewerickson Yeah, but does that mean better Dems than Snowe, Collins, & Brown? Should we root for Brown over Whitman?
ewerickson @johnhawkinsrwn No. Castle is worse than all the rest.
Setting aside the fact that I would disagree that Castle is worse than Snowe or Collins, I’m scratching my head here trying to figure this out.
1) Apparently this isn’t about putting a conservative in office because even O’Donnell’s supporters agree she’ll lose.
2) It’s not about saying that we don’t want moderate candidates because Snowe, Collins, and Meg Whitman would be preferable to liberal Democrats.
3) It’s not even about furthering conservatism because I fail to see how putting a liberal Democrat in office for 30 years helps conservatism in any way, shape, or form.
Look, there are people I respect a great deal, including Erick Erickson, who support Christine O’Donnell. I understand that. I also don’t think Christine O’Donnell is a bad person or unworthy of being in the Senate — in fact, I think I’d much rather see her there than Mike Castle. However, if the voters in Delaware don’t agree and they’re telling us that we can either take Mike Castle or Chris Coons — and even O’Donnell supporters like Erick seem to agree that’s what they’re telling us — then, I don’t think we should take our ball and go home because we don’t like it. I’m not endorsing Mike Castle, I’m not raising money for Mike Castle, and I really don’t even like Mike Castle all that much. But, if I have a choice between Mike Castle and a liberal Democrat who will fight against conservatism on every issue, I think Mike Castle is the best choice.
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