How Mike Castle Brought Down The Delaware GOP
There is a nice bit of revisionist and self-congratulatory history at FrumForum, in a piece titled How Christine O’Donnell Brought Down The Delaware GOP.
I’ll save you the trouble and high blood pressure of reading the article, here’s the story line:
Christine O’Donnell singlehandedly caused Republicans down the line, all the way to dog catcher, to lose to Democrats in Delaware state elections.
The proof? None, other than that Republicans lost.
So why is O’Donnell to blame?
Why not Mike Castle, the loser in the primary who took his ball home, played the part of spoiled brat, and took the rest of the Delaware GOP machine with him?
Why isn’t it just as justifiable to blame Castle and the Delaware Republican Party for not backing the primary winner, sniping at her, and demoralizing Republican voters? While unity may not have resulted in an O’Donnell win, perhaps it would have avoided down the line disaster.
The FrumForum article is more establishment nonsense from people who are unwilling to admit that their guy in Delaware destroyed the state party because of his ego and hurt feelings.
The Murkowski-Castle Senate Would Have Been A Disaster
Memo to the Right: “The Lombardi Rule” Is In Effect
Japan Won WWII and The Tea Party Lost The Mid-Terms
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Mike Castle is a RINO and believes in the Good Ole Boy philosophy and he is the one who brought down the Delaware GOP. He is the one who was a childish sore loser.
I blame Mike Castle who Krauthammer RINOs told us was the best guy for the job. Note who ran straight to the Liberal NO LABELS bunch as soon as he lost? Looks like we made the right decision there. Ask yourself, if O'Donnell was in the Senate now, would we be worried about her vote? I don't think so.
Because Castle was one of the very very few Republicans who won a statewide race in DE year after year after year?
It doesn't matter how pure your party is if it only exists in theory and not on paper.
I voted for Chuck Devore in CA, but I sure as hell campaigned for (and voted for) Meg Whitman & Carli despite their being more RINO-ey then I liked.
Christine O'Donnell was a godawful candidate who will never win in DE. She became the national GOP joke & its sad that she is nearly as bad a candidate as Alvin Greene (Notice I say nearly).
I supported Marco Rubio, Joe Miller, Dino Rossi, Sean Bielat, etc etc but Christine O'Donnell was unsupportable.
The very groups that won her the primary (Tea Party Express) pulled their support of her prior to election day… That's how bad a candidate she was.
Conservatives have 0 influence over Coons, we would have had considerable influence over the votes of Mike Castle.
(Side note: Beau Biden has to be *pissed* he didn't runt his cycle. A Castle/Beau Biden race would've been a big risk for Beau… an O'Donnell/Biden race would've seen an even larger margin for Democratic victory then Coons/O'Donnell)
John Lane – there's a difference between not supporting a candidate and going out of your way to help in the destruction of said candidate.
Was O'Donnell a bad candidate? Yes. Would the losses have been minimized if the 'establishment' didn't throw a fit and do everything possible to crush her in the process? Most likely.
That's what Castle et al did, and that's why he should share the blame in what went down in Delaware.
If everything John Lane says about Castle is true it still begs the question. If Castle had displayed a modicum of statesmanship or political grace the rest of the state's GOP slate would have been fine. He didn't. They weren't. At best he was just a big baby. No excuses, please.
I admit it — I would much rather Castle have gotten the primary nod. I was very vocal about that on this site. And my opinion remains unchanged — O'Donnell was (ahem) not ideal. Nevertheless, when the primary is done, it is the job of the losing candidate or candidates to close ranks behind the winner and live with the results.* I thought Castle would do that, and am genuinely ashamed that he didn't. Whatever her other flaws, and there are many, there's no doubt in my mind O'Donnell would have unwaveringly supported Castle had their fortunes been reversed.
Jim and Fortyniner are spot-on. O'Donnell may have brought about a painful situation for Castle, but such is the nature of politics. That doesn't make her responsible for his subsequent behavior, much less the ill consequences thereof. Heck, he didn't even have to endorse her to stem the tide…he just had to congratulate her, and mouth something about getting out and supporting Republicans in November. That he didn't even do that is a black mark on his legacy.
* (Unless the winner is a criminal of some sort, or unless there is reason to believe the results are contested. Neither of which applies here.)
Having said that, THIS is monumentally stupid and needs to be addressed:
"Ask yourself, if O'Donnell was in the Senate now, would we be worried about her vote? I don't think so."
No, I suspect we wouldn't have to worry. Of course, she was never going to be IN the Senate. And now, I guess we don't have to worry about Chris Coons's vote either — we definitely know what he's gonna do. So you have what you want, Van Halen…a Delaware Senator who wears his label with pride.
Mike Castle voted against Obamacare and the porkulus bill. He voted to impeach Clinton. He voted for TARP, which was an initiative of the Bush administration. Some RINO!!
John Lane: If you consider yourself a Party member first, then your position is correct. I have not ID'd myself as GOP since the 1994 Gingrich lead "revolution" proved in about three months that perks and power meant more to them than principle. Since then, nominate a RINO if you want, but don't expect my vote. Or, my campaign contributions. Frankly, I would rather vote for the next person in the crosswalk.
No Mason, this is not monumentally stupid. What IS monumentally stupid is crawling on our hands and knees up to these despicable – I'll say it again – KRAUTHAMMER RINO candidates and begging them to vote with us once in a while.
RINOs vote with Liberals MOST of the time. And for that reason having a majority with a bunch of RINOs in it is utterly worthless because it's a slow death for Conservatism over a fast one. Where did all the good RINOs get us over the last few years? They got us HERE – with a solid two years of Democrats running everything and everything running straight into the ground.
Big Bird would have been a better candidate than Mike Castle. Because Big Bird tells the GOP Old Boy Network that we're tired of the 'reaching across the aisle', 'forging alliances', 'working with the good gentlemen from the other side' mentality that has brought us to this Socialist nightmare we're in today.
Here's another good example – I submit to you Lisa Murkowski. We were told what a good candidate she was going to be for us again and how we should support her. Look where it got us. She lost, so like a good RINO she told us all to go to hell because it was HER seat by right. Then she did a write in, won, and now we see her voting with Obama again and again. Why, I'm not sure she's sided with us ONCE in the last two months on five major votes. But she's better than a Liberal Senator – how?
Now, look at the other great RINO candidates who helped Obama take victory lap over victory lap these last few weeks. In short, the GOP utterly folded. No backbone. No leadership. No principle.
Do we vote Snowe and Collins back in too because they have the R next to their name even though we can't count on their votes most of the time? The Democrats see Senators like these and it emboldens them. Because they know they can get RINOs to vote with them with very little prodding.
If you're going to call yourself a Conservative, you need to stand on principle: God, guns, American oil, no illegal immigration, strong defense, less government, less taxes, less abortion. If a candidate has no interest in any of these things, then they can generally forget my vote.
Politically, I got this way because I come from a state that has some of the worst Republican candidates in the whole country. My home state's Republicans are as Liberal as they come and the state is in shambles. (Here, I call Professor Jacobson to the stand as a witness and I submit to you all… New York State). We could have beat Kirsten Gillibrand. Our New York Republican leadership didn't even try. I can't even remember the name of who it was they ran against here. Then they put up Rick Lazio – a disaster of a candidate in the primary for governor. We've been through him and his horrible campaign before. We chose Big Bird in the form of Golisano. Maybe the NY Republican Party will get their heads out of their rear ends next time around, but I doubt it because they're all RINOs here. Worthless. And it shows.
Nationwide, many voters this year agreed with me. The GOP is tired and suffers from terrible leadership. We're done putting up with the abuse and the crap votes from RINOs. If you still disagree with this idea, then I would challenge you to look at how we got to where we are now – a combination of RINOs and Liberals.
I stand firm in my Conservative beliefs. And from me there will be no compromise.
Jean, Mike Castle voted for Crap & Tax, the DISCLOSE Act, Cash for Clunkers, the auto bailout, etc., etc., etc.
And you're right, of course, Castle is no RINO. He's an admitted NINO (NoLabels in Name Only). The fella doesn't even want to label himself as a Republican.
I'm going to put forth additional arguments against RINO candidates here and explain why I supported the candidates I did:
Do you think the Left put up with this compromise crap? No! They didn't. Move On took the party over and put in solid Liberal candidates who got things done. There was no compromise. None. Look at the impressive list of wins for the Left in the last four years. Wow. I wish MY SIDE could say as much. Only since November has my side shown that they might at last be on board – and it was the PEOPLE who did it, not the stupid leadership.
I will not lay like a dog on the floor begging for scraps at the GOP table. It's time the GOP learned that they are in this for ME. Not the other way around. I want results, not compromise.
Where I disagree with the GOP establishment is that a once in a while vote is not something we want. We want consistency. The current GOP is like a cheating spouse. How many of you stay in a marriage for decades with a cheating spouse? But we're told we should stay in a party with cheating representatives and leadership.
Now, apply the 'once in a while' vote mentality to the following:
your auto mechanic
Does once in a while success count there? No! Because it would be a disaster. You need certainty. But many of you are perfectly willing to let a 'once in a while representative' slip through because somehow if he/she votes with us once in a while, we'll win in the long run. That's patently false. My proof? Look where we are today. And it's so bad we're almost out of time to get anything fixed.
You're going to get some bad choices in the TEA Party candidates once in a while. But I have to laugh when we're slammed for putting up a Golisano or O'Donnell by the very RINO GOP who have given us an impressive list of 40 YEARS of worthless candidates.
Van Halen, you do not turn blue states red overnight. You turn them purple first. I'll take the most conservative candidate who can win. THIS TIME. Then I'll see about pushing things a little further right next time.
"RINOs vote with Liberals MOST of the time."
Wrong. Let's take Castle as an example — he had a lifetime ACU score of 52. Now, that's the mark of a moderate, and I'd never argue otherwise. But it's a lot better than what Coons will be, and it certainly doesn't mean he votes with liberals MOST of the time. Half the time, yes. As jeannebodine pointed out, Castle left us on some important votes. But as Jean pointed out, he stuck by us on some important votes, too.
"Big Bird would have been a better candidate than Mike Castle."
Now that's ridiculous. Get some proportion, man.
"But [Murkowski is] better than a Liberal Senator – how?"
Well, if we're talking in terms of voting record, once in five votes is better than a liberal would give us. However, your point is well-taken in Murkowski's case. Alaska is a solid-red state, and we should do better than her. That's why I donated money to Joe Miller. Delaware, by contrast, is a solid blue state, and I maintain that a Senator Castle would have been the best possible outcome there. Comparing Alaska to Delaware is like comparing ripe apples to rancid blueberries.
"Now, look at the other great RINO candidates who helped Obama take victory lap over victory lap these last few weeks."
So what? You'd rather throw out the (admittedly very inconsistent) Maine ladies, and replace them with party-line Democrats who will never help us on any issue? Would you rather have Martha Coakley than Scott Brown? Personally, I was happy to have all three of those votes in the healthcare fight. Maybe you like ObamaCare a lot more than I do. Would you rather have Alexi Gianol…Giannil…Mobster-Buddy than Mark Kirk? That is, would you rather have a man obviously involved in shady activities sitting in the Senate instead of an inconsistent Republican?
Yeah, I don't like half the votes they take. But I wouldn't like ALL the votes of the alternative. So I'll concentrate on shifting the body's composition as far right as I can, on a seat-by-seat basis. When I can get a Mike Lee instead of a Bob Bennett, I'll take him and be happy. When I can get a Marco Rubio instead of a Charlie Crist, I'll be ecstatic. And yes, when I can get a Christine O'Donnell instead of a Mike Castle, I'll take her without a moment's pause, no matter what the knocks on her. BUT WE COULDN'T GET THAT. And Castle > Coons. I'm sure you'll call that compromise. I'm sure now, in your mind, I'm a squish, despite the fact that I bet we agree on 95% of issues. So be it.
You want to change the NY GOP, good luck. I hope you can. If you know of some way I can help from here in the middle of the country, I'll be happy to do it if I can. I hope the DE GOP can regroup too. The fact that Castle was the most electable candidate we could produce was not a good thing. But we go to war with the army we have, and we take the victories we can get. And I see no way, no way at all, in which throwing away a certain half-win for a certain loss is a victory.
"And from me there will be no compromise. Not now. Not ever."
"But I have to laugh when we're slammed for putting up a Golisano or O'Donnell by the very RINO GOP who have given us an impressive list of 40 YEARS of worthless candidates."
Now this is your best argument. I understand your mistrust of the establishment. They haven't had a great track record at giving us solid conservatives in red states, and that's me being nice. I am very happy the TEA Party did a lot to change that, and I was pleased to help where I could, to the small degree I could, in that effort.
But that doesn't mean they're always wrong, and Delaware is the shining example of that. When it comes to the red states, don't take the establishment candidate if you can find a better. Whoever's picked will win anyway. But when it comes to blue states, they're better at knowing what will play than you.
Your analogies fundamentally don't work — because the name of the game, at the end of the day, is crafting policy. That's how we get the most conservative agenda possible, and it's done by hundreds of people with their own agendas. Requiring the same perfection from it as you would a machine is ludicrous. The choice in Delaware was between a moderate and a liberal to be the next policy-crafter. I picked the moderate by backing the moderate; you picked the liberal by backing an unelectable conservative.
"Do you think the Left put up with this compromise crap? No! They didn't. Move On took the party over and put in solid Liberal candidates who got things done. There was no compromise. None. "
You apparently reside in some alternate dimension where Evan Bayh, Max Baucus, and the entire blue dog caucus never existed.
I'm at a bit of a loss. He went away. Isn't that what candidates are supposed to do after they lose?
He left. Gone, done, bye bye.
Ooooooh sooo he didn't bend over and kiss the earth on which O'Donnell walked after? Bummer.
The rest of the GOP Establishment isn't Mike Castle, so why should he take the vast majority of conservative ire (in regards to this race)?
He polled once to see if he was a viable write in candidate. Didn't call to congratulate & then went *away*.
Not as nice as some candidates out there, but he didn't pull a Crist/Murkowski/Lieberman/Insert-Failed-Primary-Candidate-Here & run as an independent like a whiney baby (And yet we conservatives treat him as bad, probably worse than we treat Crist/Murkowski & *especially* Lieberman)
He ruffled his feathers a couple times & then disappeared.
Christine O'Donnell tanked her own candidacy by being Christine O'Donnell, don't lie to yourself & say otherwise. Did the GOP establishment or Mike Castle help her? No. Were they the chief problem behind Christine's failed campaign? No.
The Mike Castle hate drives me nuts, especially when there are much worse examples *in this very election*, let alone in American electoral history.
@Tlaloc – alternate universe? Blue Dogs? You're kidding, right? The 'Blue Dogs' folded on everything. Some of them of course held their votes until the last moment when it was certain the Democrats were going to get their legislation passed and then after consulting with Pelosi they voted against the Socialist agenda of the moment – so they could look good for their constituents.
But look at the list of legislation Obama has pushed through in two years. If there were Blue Dogs or any kind of resistance on the Left, then in many cases it would not have happened. We would not be here now but for the fact that the hard Left began cracking the whip on the Democrat Party and Republicans continue to fold. Look at the last few weeks again. And then look at TARP, and then look at Obamacare.
Since Obama has taken power, we have Socialized medicine, student loan industry, much of the banking industry, the beginning of the food industry, a majority of the American auto industry, dozens of unelected and unaccountable Czars doing what – we don't know – but the Liberal Congress didn't even raise a protest that this power was being taken from them. As of this moment, Obama and the Left are winning in virtually every theater they are fighting in – and again it's largely because of discipline in the ranks of the Left and (when needed) the folding of the Right.
Let's look again at the last three weeks:
Tax Deal passed
Michelle Obama's food industry takeover passed
There's a fifth one here but quite honestly I can't keep track of the Obama wins because they've been coming in so fast. Largely with Republican help.
Sure, we just won the Congress but we'll have to see if they keep their word. It's been a hell of a productive two years for Socialism if you ask me.
And since I gave Van Halen such an earful, I suppose that obligates me to answer opposing idiocies, like John Lane's here:
"He polled once to see if he was a viable write in candidate. Didn't call to congratulate & then went *away*."
Oh, so because he only POLLED, that's not so bad, eh? See, the problem is that he DIDN'T go away. He stuck around, publicly mulled a write-in bid, and kept the party split quite neatly while the media harped on his chances in a three-way race. He cost the party unifying time, which is infinitely valuable with less than TWO MONTHS before an election. I wish Castle had won too, but to whitewash his behavior afterward is just awful.
Plus, you've missed the point. No one here is saying that Castle cost O'Donnell the race. The point was that his behavior, and the behavior of his allies in the Delaware GOP in not getting out of her way, helped the DE Republicans toward a massacre in November. How much of what we lost there could have been saved if he had just quietly acknowledged his loss, congratulated the winner, urged people to vote Republican, and then left the stage? (Notice I didn't even say anything about an endorsement.) Instead, the only reason Castle wasn't the poster boy for "11th Commandment Violators" is because we had Crist, Murkowski, and Specter to deal with as well.