Monday, October 11, 2010

The Marxist and the Witch - Elevating the Tone of Politics

Delaware is in the national spotlight following the upset primary victory of Christine O'Donnell over Mike Castle in the Republican Party. Leading up to the primary, many Republican voters were deeply upset with Mike Castle's voting record with respect to a number of issues from Financial Reform to Cap 'n' Trade. Mike Castle also refused, repeatedly, to meet his primary opponent in a debate, either considering her beneath him or too much of a threat to face in an uncontrolled forum. Either way the anti-incumbent mood sweeping the country and the fire of conservative activists was too much for the Delaware state GOP machine backing him.

Democratic candidate Chris Coons did not have a primary challenger. The Delaware state GOP's endorsement of Mike Castle was supposed to be enough to make Castle a shoo-in for the Republican nomination, and there was widespread speculation that Coons was a sacrificial lamb to allow Castle an easy general election win. The primary result has clearly changed that calculation if it was ever the case.

Now, the race is a madhouse. Videos have surfaced of a much younger and presumably much more naive Christine O'Donnell speaking out against everything from masturbation to evolution, admitting to associating with "witches", and declaring that mice were being bred with human brains. Coons authored a paper in college in which he admitted to being a "bearded Marxist" and Harry Reid has said Coons is his "pet".

Given the anti-incumbent mood and Harry Reid's complete lack of popularity, I have NO idea why he would think it's a good political strategy to refer to anyone he wants to have any success in an election in so disrespectful and domineering a fashion as to call them his "pet". Nevertheless, this is not something Coons said himself but something a clearly out-of-touch politician said about him. It also turns out that Marx himself had a beard so qualifying any "Marxist" as bearded may be redundant!

All of this is terribly exciting, but you'll notice the one thing that has not come up yet in this elaborate discussion of the Delaware US Senate election is anything issue related of any kind. Members of the O'Donnell campaign are bragging that they will soon "come out of the gate swinging" to "portray her a Marxist elitist" while the Democratic machine has come out in force using O'Donnell as a foil to raise money across the country in light of these 10-15 year old videos.

Lost in all the name calling are the issues important to the people of Delaware and any coherent presentation of how either candidate will defend the Constitutional rights of Delaware and its citizens from Washington. I may only be speaking for myself, but I don't much care what Chris Coons wrote in college. I'd be surprised if anything I wrote in college still existed outside a few rotting pages in a landfill somewhere. I've also met Christine O'Donnell in person and heard her express support for libertarian-Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky as well as endorsing state sovereignty with respect to the "War on Drugs". These positions do not seem to align with the expressed views of the anti-masturbation evolution doubter from these videos. I also don't see anything wrong with exploring other religions whether it's Buddhism, Wicca, Sikhism, or Atheism.

Therefore this history does not concern me. What concerns me is that both candidates are trying to manipulate me with name calling and cheap attacks. What concerns me is that neither candidate is talking about the importance of holding the Federal government accountable to its Constitutional boundaries. What concerns me is that while the media has a feeding frenzy over all of this nonsense, the one serious candidate in the election who is not trying to manipulate me and is advocating the Constitution above any partisan agenda is being ignored and excluded from "non-partisan" debates. I am fortunate to know Jim Rash and my direct involvement in Delaware's electoral politics has made me keenly aware of his candidacy for the Delaware US Senate seat and the principles he advocates.

While the Democratic and Republican candidates tear each other down and appeal to the most extreme elements of their base, I hope that all OTHER Delawareans will join me in voting for Jim Rash and show the incumbent parties that we are tired of bickering, name calling, and mindless partisanship.

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