Politically Incorrect With Christine O'Donnell - Macleans.ca

Politically Incorrect With Christine O’Donnell

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Now that Christine O’Donnell, who appeared on various shows in the ’90s as the designated young “Christian Activist” (arguing against masturbation, pornography and so on) has won the Republican Senate primary in Delaware, the question is: which other person from this Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher panel would you like to see run for Senate? My choice is Jasmine Guy.

That’s the TV part of it; now a politics aside: what passes for a GOP establishment is appalled at this result — Bill Kristol, who was largely responsible for Sarah Palin’s rise to fame, dismissed O’Donnell as “No Sarah Palin” (Palin, who endorsed O’Donnell, disagrees). She might win yet, but she is obviously much less likely to win a liberal state like Delaware than the man she beat, Mike Castle. Comparisons to Sharron Angle in Nevada don’t work, as Nevada is a more conservative state.

The GOP base currently believes that it’s more important to vote for ideologically “pure” candidates than moderate but electable candidates like Castle, and though it looks weird in this particular instance, it’s a strategy that’s paid off so far this year by pushing the whole party where the activists want it. Where I think they go wrong is in assuming that the moderate Republicans won’t be on their side: moderates like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins vote with their party whenever they’re really needed (like on health care), and Castle would have been the same — meaning that GOP activists haven’t quite figured out that they’ve won.