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Conservatives gang up on Tea Party favorite as Ruling Class issue rises.
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The question for conservatives must always be: victory to what end?
Codevilla illustrates in vivid fashion that for the Ruling Class the agenda is always about one thing: power. Power for itself.
Christine O’Donnell, self-evidently, could care less about this, as is true of her compatriot candidates Angle, Lee, and Miller. This was true of Ronald Reagan himself. Hence the Ruling Class reaction to him throughout his entire political career — and even, in the seventh year of his presidency, from his own Ruling Class vice president. Reagan was an “extremist,” decidedly not of the Ruling Class. What’s particularly ironic in Reagan’s case is that it would have been so utterly easy for him to just give-in. A well-established movie and television star, extremely popular, classy to the max, Reagan had but to shrug and he would have been part of the in-crowd. He never did it.
It is interesting here that part of O’Donnell’s support comes from talk radio. Talk radio itself — not to mention its individual stars — is disdained by many in the Ruling Class (though not, it must be said, at the WSJ or NRO.). When Rush or Sean or Mark push a button and say “let’s go to Sally in Peoria” — chances are high they will have on the other end of the line a card-carrying member of the Country Class. It is no secret that any of those three talk radio hosts and others, pick your favorite, are decidedly not seen as applicants for the Ruling Class.
Will Christine O’Donnell beat Mike Castle next week? The polls are closing and she may well do just that. Would her election be tough? Sure. Could she lose? Sure.
But when is a lost election really a lost election? If the conservative agenda is to move the country away from the nightmare of the Obama-era’s left-wing fanaticism, isn’t any kind of a showing by a conservative in Delaware a victory for the larger cause? In the same sense that without Goldwater there would have been no Reagan, without Buckley no Rudy Giuliani? And who, beyond the Ruling Class, says O’Donnell has to lose in the first place? What if…gasp!…she wins?
As a Pennsylvanian, it is well remembered here that liberal Republicans insisted in 1976 that Reagan was an extremist and the GOP had to go with President Castle — er — Ford. So the argument carried the day. And Ford not only lost the election itself he couldn’t even carry Pennsylvania. By 1980, voters got the drift. Not only was Reagan nominated over Bush, he carried 44 states in 1980 and 49 states in 1984 — including Pennsylvania both times. Bush, by the way, ran on Reagan’s coattails in 1988 and carried the state. In 1992, fully on his own after four years in the White House himself, he lost both the election and — yes — Pennsylvania.
Just last year, hearing the news that liberal Republican Arlen Specter had defected to the Democrats because the Christine O’Donnell of Pennsylvania — Pat Toomey — was clobbering him in GOP primary polls, South Carolina’s Senator Lindsey Graham took to the cameras to lecture conservatives that they had wronged Specter and Toomey couldn’t win. Why? Because in Pennsylvania we supposedly only elect GOP liberals. Toomey, as this is written, is leading liberal Democrat Joe Sestak by ten points.
The argument — used to justify nominating all manner of moderate Republicans at the presidential and state level from Specter on back to Reagan — is bogus. Conservatives can and have won elections in the Northeast. But more to the point: what if they lose? Is this election about having a Ruling Class candidate and member of the fraternity who’s a “good guy” (or girl) who immediately sets about continuing to build what Goldwater once described as “The Dime Store New Deal”? Or is it about moving the philosophical ball down the field as Goldwater and Buckley did, the latter who could easily have been described as an “itinerant conservative commentator and activist” to use the description applied to O’Donnell. Indeed, if conservatives had a nickel for every time Buckley was dismissed by the Ruling Class as a “conservative gadfly,” we would all be surviving Obamanomics in style.
The distinction here is important.
For the Ruling Class, as Codevilla baldly points out, the true objective is always about nothing more or less than power for the “in crowd.” Power simply for the sake of power.
And whatever else Christine O’Donnell has done in her life, being part of that “in crowd” has never been high on her list. If she’s elected, she may well be one wrecking ball of a senator — totally willing to not be part of the Ruling Class club. The prospect of a “Senator O’Donnell” utterly terrifies the Delaware Ruling Class. Not to mention some Ruling Class members who’ve never set foot in the state.
That, when you really get down to it, is what this election is really all about.
There are a lot more of these Ruling Class versus Country Class elections to come.
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