Was saddened by the news earlier this evening that Michael Castle, the longtime Republican congressman/governor/do-all from Delaware, lost the GOP Senate primary to a Tea Party loon named Christine O’Donnell.
Sad? Me? Why would a liberal Democrat be sad over a Republican losing?
Answer: Because Castle is a decent, just and honest politician, and in 2010 decent, just and honest politicians can’t possibly survive in either party. It’s a heartbreaking phenomenon, and I see no end in sight. Dating back to my days at the University of Delaware, I was always impressed how Castle and Tom Carper, the First State’s longtime senator, seemed to get along so well with one another. And even if it was all an act, as some suggested, they certainly worked well together.
Nowadays, that’s seen solely as a weakness, and will be used to crush your soul in a primary election. If you dare cooperate with the opposing party, you’re a sellout and a fraud. If you meet with the president (Obama with a Republican, Bush with a Democrat), the resulting photographs will be used against you time after time after time. Why did Castle lose? Because he was (egad!) a moderate who didn’t sell out his ideals (a la John McCain) to fit the Tea Party bill.
Here’s the greatest irony of all. In a general election, Castle cruises to victory. In a general election, O’Donnell gets her ass kicked. Why? Because she is, frankly, an unpredictable, high-flying, God-spirited nut.
This, from Wikipedia: “‘O’Donnell experienced financial difficulties before, during, and after her 2008 campaign. She was unable to pay the mortgage for her Wilmington house and the mortgage company gained a judgment against her for $90,000; the house was due to be sold at a sheriff’s auction in August 2008 when she sold it the month prior to her campaign’s legal counsel. In 2009, she moved to a townhouse elsewhere in Delaware, where she pays half the rent with campaign contributions because it doubles as her campaign headquarters for her 2010 senate run. Her 2008 campaign ended with $23,000 in debt, and between 2007 and 2009 the Federal Election Commission cited her eight times for failing to supply contributions reports on time. As of 2010, she owes payments to staffers, consultants, and volunteers from the 2008 campaign. In 2010, the Internal Revenue Service placed a lien on her for over $11,000 in taxes owed for 2005. O’Donnell noted that the IRS agent handling the matter claimed the agency’s action has been inappropriate. She listed herself as self-employed and said she was doing “odd jobs” to make ends meet.”
Forget the whole not paying taxes thing. Forget the whole money problem. How about that, in 1996, she expressed her strong-willed opposition to … masturbation. “The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery,” she said. “You can’t masturbate without lust!”
Hell, here’s the video:
Mike Castle—we miss ya already.
PS: How do Republicans always find one black person to stick in the back of a speech shot?