Friday, November 5, 2010

Crazy Candidates - UPDATE

A co-worker and I were discussing the election on November 1st. The conclusion: "If the GOP wins 65 seats they'll say that if it hadn't been for Palin they'd have won 66." Same kind of sentiment with regards to the Senate. Apparently the largest gains in recent GOP history aren't enough. If Palin would just go away we could have more!

As far as I'm concerned the GOP should be on its knees humbly thanking their Maker for another chance. Either do it right this time or hit the highway for good as far as I'm concerned. Trust has been broken.

I'm satisifed with the election results. Re-taking the Senate was not something I wanted anyway. I want the GOP to stay hungry. What did we gain, 6 seats? I think it was 6. I don't think we lost any.

The WaPo has taken it upon itself to bemoan the GOP's election losses:

Even a vast political victory does not change an iron law of politics: The quality of candidates matters. Serious, mainstream Republican Senate candidates could have won in Delaware and Nevada. But Christine O'Donnell was not serious. And Sharron Angle - warning of "Second Amendment remedies" in case of political loss - was not mainstream. Weak, poorly vetted Senate candidates were the main reason that while Republican gains in the House were historic - the largest in 72 years - gains in the Senate were not.

O'Donnell and Angle were gifts of Sen. Jim DeMint and Sarah Palin to their party. Tea Party enthusiasm and shallow ideological purity were supposed to be better than outdated, "establishment" attributes such as achievement, wisdom or qualification. This approach to politics is expected of DeMint, who has gained national prominence by accusing his Republican colleagues of compromise. Coming from Palin, however, it is a threat to the Republican future.

Ah, yes. That achievement, wisdom and qualification that lead us to brilliant proposals like cap and trade.

O'Donnell and Angle were gifts of DeMint and Palin? I don't know DeMint's political history so I won't get into that, but I will address the Palin aspect.

Palin never endorsed Angle in the primary. She didn't endorse anyone in the primary, although her Dad and brother stumped for Danny Tarkanian. After the primary who was she supposed to support, Harry Reid? I will be the first to say that Angle made mistakes, but that's what happens when you're a rookie candidate. The Tea Party has brought many political newbies to the forefront, and they're just getting started. They'll be back.

As for O'Donnell, Palin endorsed her I think a few days before the primary. I'm all for crediting Palin for her endorsement power, but the truth is that O'Donnell probably would have beaten Castle anyway. O'Donnell was then facing an uphill battle for Joe Biden's old seat in a deep blue state against everyone, including Republican organizations who would have left her hung out to dry entirely if it had not been for the rage of the party base at that idea.

Mr. Gerson assumes that if we had run Mike Castles in Nevada and Delaware that they would have won. How he knows this is anybody's guess, but my personal opinion is that we've already got a couple moderate RINO headaches to deal with. Definitely don't want one more named Mike Castle.

Gerson continues:

Palin's support for O'Donnell showed poor political judgment. But Palin went further, also endorsing Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo in Colorado, one of the most divisive figures in American politics.

Gerson will note that Colorado's governorship went to a Democrat. After winning the Republican primary, Dan Maes went on to implode with people un-endorsing him left and right. Endorsing Tancredo was a last-ditch attempt to save the Governor's mansion from the Dems. It didn't work anyway. The Democrat got 51%, Tancredo came in second with 37% and Maes got a whopping 11%. Even if Maes and Tancredo had morphed into one guy the Democrat still would have won. I'm sure someone can find some way to blame Palin for that too.

I seem to recall President Obama praising left-wing nut Alan Grayson as an outstanding member of Congress last year. Grayson lost by 18 points to Palin endorsee Daniel Webster last Tuesday. I wonder when Gerson will write an article about Dems concerned about Grayson or Pelosi and Obama's support for them.

The whole thing is silly. When it comes down to it you rally around your teammate, no matter how "nutty" the media makes them out to be (unless they're truly insane with people locked in their basement).

Yes, Gerson, quality of candidate does matter. That I will agree with. Now please explain to me how Mr. "This War is Lost" Reid is of better quality than Sharron Angle or Christine O'Donnell.

Hindsight is 20/20. Conservatives will evaluate their performances this year, figure out what worked and what didn't and come back later even stronger. In the meantime, for Pete's sake, we did great. Don't get bogged down by the two or three losses. You can't win 'em all.

At least all this talk of extremism gives me an excuse to watch this video again:

UPDATE: RAM (Rebecca Mansour who works for Palin) pretty much confirms my explanation of the Angle and Tancredo situations on Twitter:

FTR: Palin didn't endorse anyone in the NV GOP Senate primary.But she got behind Angle when she won - just as all good conservatives should.

FTR: Palin endorsed Tancredo days before the election (when the GOP candidate was polling at 5%).

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