Can Christine O'Donnell save the Republican Party?
Ross Douthat has some interesting thoughts on the opportunity Christine O'Donnell presents for Republicans:
In the long run, though, O’Donnell’s victory — and the defeat that will almost certainly follow in November — might provide a salutary reality check for the party heading into 2012. Yes, it’s possible that the G.O.P. will fall one seat short of retaking the Senate because Delaware primary voters didn’t care about electability (or experience, or competence, or bizarre lawsuits …). But chances are that the fate of the First State’s Senate seat over the next six years will prove much, much less important, both for the Republican Party and for the country as a whole, than the tone and temper of the G.O.P. primary season, and the kind of candidate it produces. And if O’Donnell’s likely general-election fate becomes a cautionary tale about the limits of caring only about ideological purism, then the lessons of Delaware in 2010 might serve the party in good stead come Iowa and New Hampshire in 2012.
But of course, it’s equally possible that O’Donnell’s defeat will be blamed on her abandonment by the party leadership, rather than her own failings as a standard-bearer (I’m sure that will be Mark Levin’s line!), in which case rather than taking the edge off the base’s anti-establishment mood it could just end up getting spun into an ever-more-powerful narrative of populist grievance.
I'd also recommend Dave Weigel's "Requiem for Mike Castle," which explains why Castle was probably going to win Delaware, and why O'Donnell probably won't.
Photo credit: Tim Shaffer/Reuters.
September 15, 2010; 2:44 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Midterms , 2012 Presidential
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