The Spectacle Blog

Christine O’Donnell Defended

By on 9.3.10 | 1:47PM

Over at Riehlword and on Mark Levin's Facebook page are marvelous pieces defining much more than Delaware's suddenly heated fight between Christine O'Donnell and Mike Castle.

 O'Donnell is taking flak for this or that, this alleged misstatement or that bad radio interview. Including from this piece over at NRO by the estimable Jim Geraghty. And, just posted, is this from my wonderful TAS friend and colleague Quin Hillyer.

Taking flak from good conservatives or, as Mark Levin puts it, conservatives who are more Republican than conservative. Not, as Seinfeld might say, that there's anything wrong with that! And quite specifically let me make sure we understand Quin Hillyer is not included in my estimation of who is not really conservative. Anyone who knows Quin knows in an earlier life he told Edmund Burke to get on the stick with that French Revolution book, not to mention he still grouses about Wendell Willkie. Mr. Hillyer is many things….short on conservatism is not one of those things.

If I may say respectfully, this kind of thing is both terminally old when it comes to attacks on conservatives and, frustratingly, enduringly typical from -- yes -- some on the right.

Somewhere it always seems there's a need to refresh on the savage attacks on Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan or, to be current and with no need to refresh, today's Sarah Palin. Heck, why limit this to running for office? Attacks by conservatives on more prominent conservatives occur these days with the same certainty as the attraction of gin to tonic. Google names like...oh...say...Limbaugh, Rush and you'll get the idea.

These attacks are so utterly, utterly predictable although I'm sure that a Palin or O'Donnell still finds the sensation amazing as the arrow enters between their shoulder blades.

So let's take a second to see just how deeply normal if crazy this business has been over the decades.

The conservative is accused by his or her fellows of being: unstable (Goldwater), an extremist (Goldwater, Reagan, William F. Buckley, Jr., Palin), an un-informed lightweight (Reagan, Palin), personally irresponsible with finances (Reagan and O'Donnell), saying something utterly stupid in this interview or that public appearance (all of the above) -- and don't forget the ever dependable cry of racist/race-baiter or race something-or -- other (all of the above plus pick-your-favorite talk radio host).

Until the Delaware primary, it is now Christine O'Donnell's turn to feel that startling arrow-in-the-back sensation that comes with this.

Conservatism is not a candidate. It's a movement. Based on a set of rock-solid principles. The fight always is to move the ball forward. The quarterback of the moment is…Fox News Alert….always flawed in some fashion. We could and can pick endlessly at the quarterback who is on the field. The real question is …now and always….are we moving the ball? Elections will be won. They will be lost. The objective is to move the ball.

Christine O'Donnell has the ball. Mike Castle plays for the other side wearing the Republican jersey. Which is why he wants the ball. This confuses many -- as it is designed to do.

But Riehlworld and Levin have both gotten it right. Not, alas, Brothers Geraghty and Hillyer, the latter of whom will doubtless soak my head in the nearest gin-and-tonic come holiday season when we share our traditional TAS glass.

These moments bring to mind that scene from the 1987 film Moonstruck where Cher smacks the smitten Nicholas Cage across the face and bellows: "Snap out of it!"

Well said.

I've never actually confused Levin with Cher before, but under the circumstances….

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