Thursday, 16 September 2010

"Mudstream" Republicans Stab O'Donnell in Back

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Some years ago, Donald Fehr, then the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, observed that baseball was the only industry where the manufacturers knocked their own products while they were on the store shelves. He overlooked politics. The similarity is unmistakable.

Perhaps that is because — and I admit I am guessing here — most owners of major league baseball teams are Republicans. Republicans are quite good at knocking their own products. It's one of their best skills. It used to be considered proper decorum for party officials to remain neutral in intra-party squabbles. Even the combatants in a Republican primary were supposed to observe Ronald Reagan's "11th Commandment." (Even Charlton Heston had only ten.) "Thou shalt speak no ill of thy fellow Republican."

But now most of the 2010 primaries are over and Republicans are still talking trash about at least one of their own nominees. I refer, of course, to the backstabbing of Christine O'Donnell, the party's nominee for U..S. Senate in Delaware. Republican leaders seem to be doing their darndest to make sure Vice President Joe Biden's former seat remains Democratic.

Whatever one might think of O'Donnell and her past financial irregularities, one might expect the Republicans would, now that she has secured the nomination, rally around her and at least try to deflect the blows they know will be coming from the Democrats. But no, the Republican leadership, or what passes for leadership in today's GOP, is sniping at the same candidate they said couldn't win. Tom Ross, the party's state chairman even said, after O'Donnell won the primary, that the nominee "could not get elected dog catcher." Mr. Ross probably knows something about dogs. As Sam Houston said about one of his foes, the gentleman resembles a dog in all things but fidelity.

As if that were not bad enough, Karl Rove, the man with the dubious distinction of being George W. Bush's brain, has continued sniping at O'Donnell on TV talk shows. The man has utterly no shame. He leads the world in chutzpah. The political architect of the most disastrous administration in at least the last 70 years is out sniping at a candidate who looks and sounds like someone who really wants to put into practice the budget-cutting, small government principles the GOP espouses. No wonder they're afraid of her.

Is this Back to the Future — again? When Barry Goldwater in 1964 broke the Rockefeller-Wall Street stranglehold on the Republican presidential nomination and brought the party back to its pre-New Deal roots, the party's liberal and moderate faction took a hike and left Goldwater twisting in the wind. They are employing the same tactic against O'Donnell, but it will come back to bite them in the end. If she loses, the Tea Party conservatives who backed her will blame the treacherous Bush League Republicans who pulled the rug out from under her. And they might very well start thinking about organizing another party.

If the "mudstream" Republicans are uncomfortable with the Tea Party types in the party, they might think about how they are going to hold up their "big tent" without them. Richard Nixon, that old "devious Dick," said after he lost the Governor's race in California in 1962 that you can't win as a Republican running on just the right wing. But neither can you fly very high or far without the right wing. That's a lesson King Karl and the rest of the Grand Old Prostitutes might well ponder before it is too late.

Read also:

Delaware Tea Party Candidate Victory Rattles GOP Establishment

GOP Resists Tea Party in Northeastern Primaries

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