By and large, I heartily despise GOP "moderates." Most especially "moderate" Republicans that allow themselves to be used as a foil against other Republicans so the media can cast the party as being full of "extremists" with them being the only ones who are "reasonable" in the caucus. My posting history for the past five years on RS is proof of that.
So what about the primary election going on tomorrow in Delaware? Simply, this; I'm imagining some morning in late November or early December 2010, where the night before, the US Senate, with newly sworn-in Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) - together with outgoing Senators Lincoln, Specter, Bennet, Reid, Dorgan, etc voting in favor - just passed Card Check, sending it to the President's desk for his signature.
Be honest with yourselves; would the defeat of Mike Castle taste quite so sweet then?
Which is why I - personally - am supporting Mike Castle in the DE US Senate Primary tomorrow, and I urge everyone to hold their noses and do the same. The Democrats are indeed planning a vengeful lame duck session. The winner of the DE Senate race would be seated immediately and make no mistake - we need an R in that seat.
Furthermore, the candidate matters - this is no Rubio vs Crist, Buck vs Norton, Angle vs Lowden, Miller vs Murkowski or even Hughes vs Kirk, Quite apart from their conservatism, Rubio, Buck, Angle, Miller and Hughes were intrinsically personally viable candidates - O'Donnell is, frankly, not.
Keep these three things in mind.
- The winner of the Senate race in Delaware will be seated immediately, like the winner of the race in Illinois, Florida and West Virginia. Castle is a confirmed filibuster vote to kill an active lame-duck session for Reid, Pelosi and their acolytes to pass stuff like Card Check, Crap & Tax, raise taxes, etc. that will take until after January 2013, a new President, and filibuster proof majorities to undo.
- To pull off the sort of upset we're hoping to see, I repeat; the quality of the candidate matters. There's a reason why Erick - who would back the underdog against all odds (and sometimes, I've thought, reason) - has washed his hands off O'Donnell. People do not see "Conservatism" vs "Liberalism" on the ballot, they see people's names and vote accordingly - the DE electorate likes the name and the people of DE like the name "Mike Castle". Christine O'Donnell is far from the quality of candidate we need - she's no Rubio, Brown, or even Kirk.
What we need to do is win. Not only win, but win in such a way as to give them a long moment of pause so they'll be too terrified to try and pass any more of their agenda for generations. Taking the vacated Senate seats of their President, Vice-President and Senate Majority Leader is something they cannot ignore - and I doubt it would be much comfort to them that "moderates" took their seats given the Rs behind their names.
- The race to replace Mike Castle in the House has the Democrat leading either of the two likely Republicans by approximately 16 points. This is the exact same electorate that will be faced with a choice between Coons and O'Donnell in the Senate race - the same electorate that is already showing that they prefer Coons to O'Donnell by 11 points and prefer Castle to Coons by a similar 11 points.
Let's be realistic here; states do not abruptly swing from deep Blue to deep Red or vice versa in one go. The best way to ensure that DE would vote for a four-square conservative is to build up our party infrastructure and build a bench of excellent potential candidates with stuff like the Precinct Project. The GOP rank-and-file needs to start working to get combative conservatives into the party leadership and into public office in Delaware. This starts with getting rid of Michael Steele at the RNC and getting someone like Ken Blackwell in there.
These are the stakes;
- With Castle we get someone who votes with us at least 50% of the time and gives our people the power to halt stuff in its tracks. Most important, we get someone who would vote to block a lame duck session. Better to have a rusty strut that sometimes fails for the mean time than a shiny new one that wouldn't fit so it doesn't get there in the first place.
- With Coons we get someone who votes with us less than 5% of the time. We get a vote to keep Obamacare. We get a guy who would be seated the day after November 2 who would be a vote for a lame duck session that would pass Card Check, raise taxes, pass Crap & Tax, and destroy what is left of the American dream.
Make no mistake - this really isn't the time and place to "send a message" to the GOP establishment. The person giving the victory speech in DE on November 2 has to have that scarlet 'R' behind his name.