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What Republicans might fear most about O'Donnell's victory

Washington Wednesday was rotund with speculations about the significance of Christine O'Donnell's win Tuesday night in the Delaware GOP Senate primary, particularly on the effects her victory will have on the Capitol's political math. Do Republicans have any chance of taking the Senate now that they don't have the moderate and popular Mike Castle on Delaware's Nov. ballot? (Not likely.) Is this the end of the moderate Republican? (They have been endangered for several election cycles now, anyway.) Will Jim DeMint control the next Senate? (Yikes.)

But the insight about O'Donnell's victory that might terrify Republicans the most hasn't hit yet. Sure, they probably lost a seat in the next Senate. But retaking the chamber was going to be hard, anyway, and they are sure to get some reinforcements next year, regardless. Republicans still, however, need to worry about the sitting Senate, which has the rest of the fall and a lame-duck session to legislate -- and a fair number of moderate Democratic and Republican retirees who might be willing to vote for big things on their way out.

Rumors about what sorts of crazy policies the Democrats might try to pass in a lame-duck session have horrified conservatives for months. To the point that Republicans actually demanded formally that the House of Representatives do nothing at all in the lame duck. A measure so drastic that it made you wonder just what the Republicans were really worried the Democrats would get up to. Maybe they'd let the U.N. melt down our Abrams tanks and recast them into statues of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad torturing those hikers? Perhaps they'd tread on that snake the Tea Party seems so fond of?

The Republicans failed to cripple the lame duck, but they could still count on the early arrival of Castle and Mark Kirk, the GOP nominee running for President Obama's old seat in Illinois, both of whom have been seeking vacated seats that will be filled immediately after the Nov. election. With Castle gone, that's one vote against lame-duck action that the GOP can't expect.

Not that the lame-duck session is likely to turn into the spendy-liberal-big-government-fest that Republicans fear. Congress has a lot of routine stuff to get through, plus bills that should be pretty bipartisan -- appropriations for federal agencies, a food-safety bill, maybe something modest on energy. Anything's possible, of course, but doing much beyond that will be difficult, if only because of how loudly the right will scream and the remarkable cooperation among unhappy legislators lame-duck legislating would require. Still, expect the hand-wringing and alarmist rhetoric about a lame duck to increase over the next few months, anyway.

By Stephen Stromberg  | September 15, 2010; 3:19 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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The GOP used to be the party of common sense. Today it has become the party of trailer trash with no sense at all. I voted for Reagan and Poppy Bush, but I won't vote for these right wing lunatics.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | September 15, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Republicans most fear that Christine O'Donnell will be a GOP poster child for the kind of incompetent governing that marked the 2nd term of the Bush/Cheney administration.
If she is a freak, no harm done. If she is a harbinger, Independents and Moderates will end up in the Democratic column come November.

Posted by: karenfink | September 15, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse


do NOT believe the KNOWING LIES that are being told about Ms O'Donnell, the TEA PARTY or anyone else (who is NOT a LEFTIST/DIMocRAT) by the writers of LEFTIST PROPAGANDA here or anywhere else.

instead, may i suggest that you do your own research & THEN make up your own mind, based on FACTS rather than LIES!

there ghave been so many KNOWING, MEAN-spirited lies told about the TP that i don't think that there is enough space on my hard-drive to even LIST them all.

the TRUTH is that the members of the TP are NO MORE radical or Conservative than MOST Americans. = the LEFTIST, lunatic, fringe on the most extreme part of the DIMocRAT Party WISHES that we were & since we aren't they simply LIE about us.

they LIE about members of the Tea Party because they HATE our religious faith, our churches, our support for the military/the war in Iraq/Afghanistan, our PRO-LIFE stance and our firm support of THE BILL OF RIGHTS. also, with reason, they FEAR that we may beat them in 2010, 2012 & far beyond.

fyi, recently, at a TP Rally "a member of the fourth estate" asked me if i didn't think that the First Amendment to the Constitution shouldn't be modified to "reflect the sensitivities of the modern world"
i said, "NO."
then she said, "You mean to tell me that you think that people ought to be free to make nasty, critical remarks about President Obama & the government?"
i said, "YES."
(she raised her eyebrows in apparent disbelief, folded her notebook, said NOT another word to me & skulked away.)

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | September 15, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

O'Donnell will win in November with huge Republican and Independent support. Why? Because Democrats don't listen to the electorate. Nancy Pelosi was allowed to jam Post Office health-care down America's throat and even Republicans realize O'Donnell has more "fire in the belly" than Castle to repeal such an inane, unwanted and costly program.

November can't come soon enough.

Posted by: 2012frank | September 15, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

The Democrat "spin machine" will be cranking up double time to try to scare the voters into voting for their big government, tax and spend candidate, who, by the way in this "election season" will be telling you how much they want to cut spending and the size of the Federal Government. Problem is, they probably voted for Obamacare against the will of the majority of the American People. And if they didn't vote for it, the reason is that they knew that they would have to face their constituents when they got home.

"We the People" have spoken, and will speak again, LOUD AND CLEAR ON ELECTION DAY.




Posted by: barrysal | September 15, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: simpleton1 | September 16, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

With all the overinflated media hype about the tea baggers, you have to wonder who they're trying to convince about the great influence of the teabaggers. Of course the whole "grassroots movement" is the product of slimeball lobbyists like Dick Armey so if they know one thing, it's how to get publicity. But even with the media saturartion, polls show that only 23% of Americans have a positive opinion of their "movement". These are a small percentage of Americans, yet they get more media attention than the death of princess diana. With each election of a crackpot like buck, angle, paul and odonnell just democratic enthusiasm will increase, so thanks tea baggers!

Posted by: notfooledbydistractions1 | September 16, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Is there any way we can pry the 'caps' key of the keyboards of these idiots. By the way, as soon as you start speaking for "we the people" we all recognize that you are "you the moron."

Posted by: craigjjs | September 16, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse


in case you are new to PostPartisan, the vast majority of people who type in all caps are DIMocRATS, leftist crazies/bigots/haters & lunatic extremists.

fwiw, i count everyone who is a citizen of the USA, as part of "we the people". don't you agree. - i suspect that what you do not like is reading opinions that differ from yours.

now my personal opinion. = if you don't like people "speaking their minds" here & disagreeing with your prejudices, perhaps you should go over to one of the leftist/DIMocRAT websites, where differing opinions are UNwelcome. ====> the biggest collection of bigots/misfits/fools/UNthinking idiots/weirdos/fascists/etc. are on those DIMocRAT websites.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | September 16, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Look. The test of any viable political movement or party is: Can it govern? Well, what can one make of a movement who's most cherished belief is not governing at all? This more than anything else is the real GOP nightmare. That they have been hijacked bya minority political movement that is libertarian in nature. One look at the just released NYT/CBS News poll this morning highlights the dillema. On virtually every aspect of GOP and Tea Party ideology from taxes to war, from jobs to social issues, the voters actually prefer the democrats.

It is one thing for a party or a movement to make headway in an off year, midterm election influenced by an electorate soured by the economic collapse. But, like the drunken partygoer dancing with the lampshade on his head the night before, when he wakes up in the morning and realizes what he has done, it is too late. That is what the country faces right now. If and when this motley assortment of low character, fanatically anti-government oddballs actually get into office where they can bolix things up for the next two years, what are voters going to do in 2012?

Are the voters really that stupid? Will they actually put into office these extremist idiots who want to essentially tear down all of the programs they say in polls they support? I sincerely hope H. L. Mencken was wrong about the intellectual status of American voters.

Posted by: jaxas70 | September 16, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I get somewhat amused as well when I hear any political hack purport to speak for "we the people". This seems to be standard talking point for the tea party. They fantasize that they speak for the whole of the American people.

Well, I direct your attention to this mornings New York Times/CBS News opinion poll just released this morning showing that only 19% of the public say they support the Tea Party. But the most important aspect of the poll as one probes its innards is where people actually stand on the issues. It certainly does not reflect an American voter who would support what the Tea Party wants to do.

Posted by: jaxas70 | September 16, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

If a statesman with the power to weld together coalition could have arisen and succeeded in governing then the Democratic party might be on the acendency and it would not be facing the coming defeats. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and their followers and their philosophy were an unmitigated disaster for the Party.

Posted by: almorganiv | September 16, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

We the people barrysal? All 50,000 of you who voted for Christine O'Donnell? Just like Alaska, this was a closed republican primary. Only a negligible percentage of eligible voters actually participated.

The Tea Party has latched on to a winning strategy in the primaries. They know it is an off year election with low turnouts. They also know that the election is being influenced by an anger--primarily on the right owing to their loss of power in 2008, but also a more generalized anger in the overall electorate because of economic anxieties--that will distort turnout.

Here is the problem though: Can they use this strategy indefinitely? Will the same conditions obtain in the general? And even if it does and the Tea Party wins a number of seats, how are they going to deal with an angry electorate that is sure as hell not going to be satisfied with the typical Tea Party recital of general principles. They are going to expect them to govern. They don't like to govern.

Does anyone seriously believe the Tea Party offers an enduring governing philosophy that basically implies a return to an obsolete, 18th century agrarian form of government? That will be interesting to watch.

Posted by: jaxas70 | September 16, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I suspect that in the unlikely event we have a Senator-elect Christine O'Donnell on the morning of November 3rd, we will see a great deal more Republican graybeards experiencing acute bouts of indigestion and heartburn than either President Obama or his MSM sycophants.

Folks in Washington,
Remember to buy your Pepto-bismol early. Get it while it is still on the DC shelves. Semper Paratus.

And so it goes...

Posted by: pgould1 | September 16, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Unite for a common goal---stop Obama's programs.
During World War II, Churchhill disliked Russia but stated "The enemy of my enemy is my friend'.

Posted by: KansasDoctor | September 16, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse


i don't disagree with most of your post except ONE word = "unlikely".

inasmuch as Chris Coons has SELF-identified as a "committed Marxist", i suspect that Ms O'Donnell will win in a landslide. - for one thing she will have MANY Tea party & GOP volunteers out "knocking on doors" for her all over DE.

also, DE is a small, "middle of the road" state & we have "rather deep pockets" to buy "airtime" on radio/tv/newspapers to get her elected.
(calling DE a "committed BLUE state" is "wishful thinking" on the part of clue-LESS DIMocRAT partisans.- DE instead is "purple".)

if i were you, i would get used to the idea of saying "Madame Senator", instead of "Ms. O'Donnell".

fyi, even though i'm retired from the US Army on a small pension, i'll be sending her 500.oo when i get my next check & going to DE soon to volunteer for her (i have an old school chum that i can "bunk" with), as many others will. = keeping a US Senate seat out of the hands of a SELF-identified "Marxist" is important to me.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | September 16, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Is Texasnative representative of the education system in Texas? If so, the country is in big trouble. BTW, I'm a Democrat and a liberal. Thank God, I didn't go to school where Texasnative did. I learned to read and write and speak English.

Posted by: mad1026 | September 16, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"inasmuch as Chris Coons has SELF-identified as a "committed Marxist","

Got a link to this interesting claim, Gomer?

Posted by: Observer691 | September 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Ever notice that if you take nazi Party speeches from the 1930s, substitute the word "liberal" for "Jew," you have a typical Tea Party speech? It's no wonder their symbol is a snake.

Posted by: lemondog | September 16, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse


just out of idle curiousity, in what academic discipline did you receive your earned doctorate?
(you know the one that you do NOT have?)

fyi, neither of my graduate degree committees had any problem with my writing.

instead of SILLY, meaning-LESS "ad hominum attacks", try learning something, so that you can contribute something of (at least a minimum of ) WORTH to this forum.

laughing AT you.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | September 16, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

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