(I know Lisa Murkowski is the new (ex-)GOP headline right now, and I refer you to Lexington_Concord's excellent front page piece yesterday on RedState. He used all the right adjectives; cowardly, craven, narcissistic, selfish and I added a few, to describe what is now officially a trend, indeed, a defining characteristic of GOP moderates. Quoting myself there in the comments:
Until, unless they can redefine themselves in the public image as anything that is just a little bit bigger than back-biting, back-stabbing whiners, on the character side, their policy side will never again be the subject of polite conversation.
Even with this news, it is still on the success or failure of Christine O'Donnell that the moderates have staked their entire political futures. We won't have to purge them. They are purging themselves and it will only require one victory to do it. Delaware.)
For the strangest reasons, which deserve some analysis here, a lot of people in the quasi-conservative-to-center parts of the GOP seem to have decided to go "all-in" to insure O'Donnell does not win the Delaware senate seat in the general election.
If she loses, she is their Judas goat, vindicating everything they've been saying about tea parties, social conservatives and other "radicals" who represent 70% of American thinking these days.
But if she wins, they are revealed as phonies and false prophets, and we know what happens to false prophets.
This article started out on Tuesday night, before the Delaware election results were in, as a piece about the unnatural connection between the media and the polling industry, but the strange victory of O'Donnell...not that she won, mind you, but the reaction to it...widens my understanding of what is really up for grabs here. This may indeed signal the beginning of the Armageddon conservatives have been praying for in the Republican Party. Whudda thunk it would be Christine O'Donnell, with all her baggage, who might end up standing at the door passing out carry-on baggage for departing GOP centrists? Bybye. Bybye.
For some reason that Sharron Angle, Mike Lee, Ken BucK, Rand Paul couldn't evoke, Christine O'Donnell is the straw that may well break the GOP elite's back, the one senate seat too far, exposing the real Center-Left Beltway Ruling Class coalition, destroying it forever. Starting next year, they will simply start putting D's next to their names, and guess what? This is not good news, even welcome news for the Democrat Party.
See Mike Murphy, who the day after O'Donnell's win, I) says he can do the math...obviously not, no one can, and that's the point (see below) 2) and can read Harry Reid's sense of victory...nope, worse thing in the world to happen to Dems, an existential crisis, in fact goes on there, and 3) offers to pass over the remaining campaign to Jim DeMint and Sarah Palin (and Erick Erickson/RedState.com, h/t WSJ and Ben Domenech)...thanks, but they've done that already, Mr Murphy. It's called a snatch-and-grab. You're just one of the last to find that out. Seems Mike Murphy has gone all-in, by writing a check with his mouth his *** can't cash.
See Scott Brown, R-MA, and current holder of the Other People's seat there, who stated after the primary that social conservatives were running moderates out of the Republican Party. 1) There were no real social conservative issues before the voters in the O'Donnell-Castle race, only O'Donnell's personal baggage issues versus Mike Castle liberal economic agenda, Cap & Trade,etc. Nothing moderate about Cap & Trade, Scott. Actually, nothing really liberal about it either, just wall to wall anti-constitutional socialism. Seems the Republicans of Delaware knew full well the choice they were making.
But there will be both social and economic conservatives issues before the whole of Delaware in November, Scott, so can we surmise you're recommending the Democrat take on those issues? Sounds like you've gone all-in, too. In the words of Cliff Huxtable to son Theo, in Episode One of The Bill Cosby Show (1984), RedState brought you into this world and we can damned sure take you out.
And see Mike Castle, who still can't say "Good game" and shake hands with the gal that whomped him, but can find time for an post-election cry with Baraq Obama and Joe Biden...proving once again what Arlen Specter, Bob Bennett and Charlie Crist proved to the people of their respective states...THEY WERE RIGHT BY SHOWING THESE CRAVEN NO-CLASS BAGS OF WIND THE DOOR. But unlike the rest of the GOP, Mike, you've gone all out, not all in. You're finished, no matter what the November outcome.
And see Karl Rove. Yes, that Karl Rove, the third most hated man in America 2000-2008, by the Left. I like Rove, and want to continue liking him so suggest he sit the rest of this election cycle out. Without pay, if necessary. It's not that he backed a loser, or even that he's violated all my post-primary rules about speaking ill of a candidate once the have people decided. Turns out he may have had a financial dog in that O'Donnell-Castle fight in the first place...possibly on someone's payroll to puff for Castle behind the scenes, while holding himself out as an objective and impartial consultant on Fox and other venues, telling us she just can't win because primarily of some ethical issues. So who's the most ethically challenged here, Karl? You need to sit the rest of this one out and talk to us about reinstatement in January. (I'm still waiting on Newt's apologia, so can see how that works.)
Even see Charles Krauthammer, who also called this one wrong, and like Rove, strangely continues to press his point in today's Washington Post (The Buckley Rule, which he gets wrong by the way) as there must also be something else there Charles is protecting by stressing, no insisting, on O'Donnell's inability to win, as a matter of what...statistical certitude?
Why I offer Rove a way back, and Charles an olive branch should O'Donnell win, and not the class-conscious GOP Ruling Class elites such as Castle, is that neither have based their predictions based on class snobbery. And neither have shown themselves to be Murkowski-like dynasty-phobes, whiners, or God forbid, backstabbers. At least not yet. An old Arab proverb goes, "You must be very wise to know what is in the hearts of other men." Charles the Wise, more than Karl, has violated that very common sensical notion, for it is almost axiomatic in his public utterances. In my memory he never ventures into murky ethical waters, especially when his only means of locomotion are oars made of statistics. But he has here.
They Shoot False Prophets, Don't They?
The big point here...both Karl and Charles have apparently based their analyses and conclusions on a political math (polling) that has become corrupt and miscegenous, due for the most part to the 24-hour news cycle and the need to use polls to generate news rather than reveal public sentiment about anything. It's not so much that these polls are less honest, although I expect they are, but that they are more flighty. Goldie Hahn-esque, Look, a butterfly!, hither one day, thither another.
Polls used to be staid and sober, reflecting a statistical discipline as tempered and contemplative as the Senate was once rumored to be. Now, they have more of the flavor of the House of Representatives, no, Knesset, during one of those beer-bottle throwing sessions of the 50s, when haymaker law was in session.
RedState has about as fine an analyst of polls as you will find in Neil Stevens, and who is entitled to a bow from that WSJ shout-our mentioned by Ben Domenech, above. I'm no statistician but can tell a horse from a mule, and I'm a fair ethicist. Like Father Brown (Chesterton's most famous fictional character, for those of you who want to read more) when things don't add up, as polls have been doing for years, from Larry Sabato, who missed the Periello theft in '08 in his own back yard, to all the big names, Gallup, Rasmussen...I look for what's missing in the crime scene.
If I had a polling company right now, I'd call it PissedOff.com, and what I'd look for is what it is that makes voters, registered, likely, etc, angry. Seriously, how can you have any poll since 2006 when half the Republican electorate was angry, without any way to measure voter anger? Of course, the Left has been locked on Angry for well over ten years, only pollsters consider that to be a state of nature with them, so, as businessmen rather than true statistical scientists, have never inquired deeper.
Don't get me wrong, they do a good job after the election...usually to explain why such and such a candidate lost (usually a Dem) and why the pollsters failed to see it going in. Remember "angry white males" in 2004? My question: Why can't they see it going in? You mean after all these years Gallup, Rasmussen, Zogby, Mason-Dixon still don't have a way to measure "pissed off"? How about it's reverse, enthusiasm?
"It's just one of those things we can't measure, Chet. Back to David."
Q: If they can't measure IT, when IT will likely swing the election, what possible sense can anyone make of any poll they put before the public that excludes IT? Why bother with polls...Charles?
Maybe I can't measure IT, but I can sure get a sense of IT. Has anyone noticed that Hayek is still No 1-2 at Amazon.com? How about sales of American history books? The Constitution? I can do 10 pages with my eyes closed as to how to measure pissed off, afraid, incensed, and violated, from the 600,000 who showed up in Washington on 8/28, to the number of boarding passes taken away this year alone from the Scarlett O'Hara wing of the Republican Party.
The Margin of Error
GOP moderates no longer get the benefit of the doubt. When they declare themselves to be GOP moderates today they also declare themselves to be wolves in sheeps' clothing, dynastyists who will always turn bitter and cowardly when denied their ambitions. Their only politics is vanity. Me-Me-Me.
Secondly', in the past, when elections are close, the rule of thumb has always been that the Dem will get the break of the cards, usually due to the help of the fine dead folks of East St Louis' poorest cemeteries, and helpful local registrars and secretaries of state around the country.
This year, the close elections will all flip to the GOP, for the reasons stated above. Or, in one phrase, because pollsters still cannot measure "pissed off".
So my call, right now: O'Donnell plus or minus 3 points on Oct 31. She's already moved from -25 to -11 based a one-hour rant by Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday, raising over a million inside 24 hours. (If he did that for ColdWarrior and LaborUnionReport this would be the last time any discussion about moderate v conservative primary would even come up in print.)
The best news I've had in a long time is that the GOP moderates have gone all in...and joined the Democrats, just in order to see Christine O'Donnell lose.