"Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" exclaimed Al Michaels in the 1980 Winter Olympics. Michaels was jubilant because the underdog American hockey team had just defeated the heavily favored squad from the Soviet Union.
Conservative supporters of Christine O'Donnell feel much the same way tonight. After all, O'Donnell was subjected to the most vicious and nasty ad hominem attacks by the conservative Beltway elite and GOP old guard, who found her candidacy terrifying. And so they went into overdrive to demean, discredit and defeat her.
Indeed, they launched a full-scale frontal assault on her character and did everything they could to convince voters that she was some strange alien creature who could not be trusted with the reins of political power. But the voters rejected the politics of fear and personal destruction. They said no to the conservative Beltway elite and GOP old guard. And, in so doing, they signaled serious generational change on the Right and within the Republican Party.
It's about time. For too long, conservative and Republican voters have been sheep for the party establishment. Thus they nominated loser candidates like Bob Dole and John McCain -- stodgy old men of the mushy middle. We had to do this, we were told, because these were "pragmatic" candidates who could "win."
Only they didn't. They lost, and by a considerable margin. Delaware's GOP voters finally had enough of this; and tonight, they revolted. And their shot was heard 'round the political world.
The voters know what the conservative Beltway elite and GOP old guard refuse to acknowledge: that O'Donnell is a stellar person who's experienced life's ups and downs and emerged all the better because of it; that she is bright and articulate and shares their values; and that she will vote to check one-party rule in Washington.
Can O'Donnell win the general election? Absolutely. Many of the same people who say she's unelectable said the same thing about Barack Obama in 2008. But Americans are a lot more forward thinking than our political "betters" realize.
But what about the conservative Beltway elite and GOP old guard? For years they've been lecturing the rank and file about the need for party unity and uniting behind primary winners. Well, now they have the chance to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
So, will they actively support Delaware's duly elected GOP Senate candidate, Christine O'Donnell? Will they now unite the party behind her? Will the big-money donors and contributors open up their checkbooks on her behalf?
We're about to find out. Unfortunately, the early signs don't look promising. Fox News, for instance, is reporting that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) says it will not give O'Donnell a dime. And Karl Rove went on Fox to trash O'Donnell just after she had won the party primary.
But party loyalty is a two-way street. You can't expect voters to be loyal to you and your preferred candidates if you aren't willing to reciprocate.
Yet, for too long, the conservative Beltway elite and GOP old guard have had a sense of entitlement. They've demanded loyalty while refusing to return the favor. Delaware voters finally had enough; and tonight they said so. And, with a lot of hard work, fair seas and good luck, they'll put Christine O'Donnell in the United States Senate come November.
Do you believe in miracles? Absolutely.