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Former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, once boasted that the only way that he could lose an election in Louisiana was if he were caught in bed with “a live boy or a dead girl.”
Two weeks away from Election Day, the same probably holds true for Delaware’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Chris Coons--and he’d probably still have a good chance under the “live boy” scenario.
His opponent, Republican Christine O’Donnell has gained little traction in the polls since her surprise primary victory against Rep. Mike Castle, and the NRSC has all but written off the race, quietly shifting resources to more competitive contests.
Everyone but the most die-hard O’Donnell supporters understands that, barring one of the greatest political comebacks in history or unless every Democrat in the state suddenly forgets that there’s an election, this race is over.
So why is the mainstream media treating Delaware as though it’s the most competitive and important senate race in the nation?
Last Wednesday CNN featured the Delaware candidates' debate on the network and brought out big gun Wolf Blitzer to moderate. CNN has not broadcast any other candidate debate during this election season. The point of the exercise was clearly to get O’Donnell to say something crazy or stupid. It was also quite obvious that moderators, Blitzer, Nancy Karibjanian of Delaware First Media and Coons himself were anxious to turn the conversation towards divisive social issues like abortion and evolution--two issues that Democrats can still successfully use to scare independent voters into supporting their candidates.
Saturday Night Live has done multiple sketches skewering O’Donnell featuring Kristin Wiig as the candidate. Last week, SNL led off with a joke about O'Donnell on the show’s Weekend Update segment. (It was followed by a much funnier and timelier joke about the Presidential Seal falling off of Barack Obama’s podium while he was speaking.)
Late night comedians generally feature at least one O’Donnell joke per monologue.
Hosts on left-leaning cable networks can’t seem to get enough of O’Donnell.
President Obama and Joe Biden visited Delaware last week to stump for Coons, a candidate who is up by double digits in every poll. He didn’t need the help.
The attention that this race has garnered from all sections of the liberal establishment shouldn’t surprise anyone. Decades old non-issue oriented O’Donnell quotes concerning masturbation and witchcraft are great late-night fodder. But the Obama administration and its media allies see something far more beneficial in the candidate’s weakness. As a result, they have sought to nationalize the Delaware Senate election.
Given the Democratic Party’s inability run on its legislative record, this Hail Mary makes perfect sense. It allows Democrats to ignore Tea Party candidates who are going to win on November 2 and focus on the one who almost certainly will not. By making O’Donnell the most visible member of the Tea Party movement, she comes to define it.
The obsessive focus by Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and America’s late-night jesters is probably not an intentional ploy to help the Democrats, but it does so nonetheless, particularly among young voters, many of whom get a significant portion of their political news from comedy programming.
The truth is that when liberals-–and many conservatives as well-–first laid eyes on Christine O’Donnell, they saw a younger, less heavily armed version of Sarah Palin. No Republican energizes the Left more effectively than Palin and energy is the thing that the Democrats desperately need right now.
So Obama and Biden made their way to Delaware and nationalized a race that they know they are going to win. This visit, followed by a Chris Coons landslide will allow the President to claim that he wasn’t a drag on Democratic candidates during this election cycle. Left-leaning analysts on MSNBC and CNN will undoubtedly point to Chris Coons' victory as proof that the President is still popular enough to lift candidates to victory even as Democrats are dropping like flies across the rest of the nation.
O’Donnell has served the Democrats very well in recent weeks and by nominating her, the Tea Party gave Obama and the Democrats a powerful weapon to wield between now and Election Day--a weapon which the Administration’s media allies like Joe Klien have already begun to use to label all Tea Partiers as political ignoramuses who are just too dumb to understand that America can only function properly if it is run by career politicians and wonkish Ivy Leaguers. O’Donnell herself has helped them make their case. Her first ad began with the words “I’m not a witch” and this denial helped keep the joke alive and kicking for another two weeks. She failed to name a Supreme Court case that she disagreed with. This made comparisons with Palin seem even more legitimate.
But these missteps do not excuse the media’s double standard that has led them to focus heavily on O’Donnell while completely ignoring Democratic Senate candidates who have engaged in behavior far more bizarre and have just as little chance of victory as O’Donnell.
For example, South Carolina Democrats nominated Alvin Greene to run against Tea Party favorite Jim DeMint. Not only is Greene facing obscenity charges, but I have become convinced that he is…how do I put this delicately……slow. One wonders whether Greene could name the three branches of government if put on the spot or if he would even be able to name one Supreme Court justice, let alone a court case that he disagreed with.
Greene got a good deal of attention when he shocked the establishment by winning the South Carolina Democratic Primary. However, media interest has faded since then, probably because liberals have realized how bad the indicted candidate who quite possibly has special needs, makes them look.
But just like O’Donnell, Greene touts his anti-elitist, Washington outsider status as his greatest attribute and many liberals have openly proclaimed that they think Greene is “still better than Jim DeMint.”
In Oklahoma, U.S. Senate candidate Jim Rogers pulls in as much as 30% of the vote in some polls.
The candidate beat out Oklahoma attorney Mark Myles--an army veteran with an impressive resume. Rogers has no website. Had I not managed to track down his home phone number, all we would know about the guy is that he has a beard and likes to wear a red hat.
The curmudgeonly Rogers was not happy about being contacted by a member of the media and accused me of meddling in “…the internal affairs of the state of Oklahoma.” When I managed to calm him down a bit and assured him that I was not a Republican Party operative trying to destroy his candidacy against Tom Coburn, he opened up a bit and went on a rant against the Chinese.
The guy is comedy gold. But neither he nor Greene have been wheeled out by the mainstream media or our comedic gatekeepers recently as being representative of the Democratic Party.
I would pay money to see an Alvin Greene--Jim DeMint debate on Fox News. That would be the kind of thing that I would invite friends over to watch. We would alomst certainly come up with some sort of drinking game that revolved around Greene's constant missteps. Hilarity would ensue.
Truthfully, Greene is probably just as representative of the average South Carolina Democrat as O’Donnell is of the average Delaware Tea Partier. Perhaps if Greene was an attractive woman or if 2010 were expected to be a better year for Democrats, he would be getting more attention. Additionally, if Greene became the subject of ridicule by Jon Stewart and David Letterman, the NAACP and Al Sharpton would undoubtedly show up with a bullhorn to cry “racism.” Better to just stick to making fun of the pretty, white Christian lady.
In the end, O’Donnell will lose badly and will probably find a niche as a conservative commentator on cable news. But conservatives need to be more careful in the future. It’s fine to nominate purists as long as they are not going to reflect poorly on the party as a whole. O’Donnell has dimmed the G.O.P’s prospects of taking back the Semate and her candidacy is being used as a weapon against us. While she is not nearly as “nutty,” “extreme” or “ignorant” as her detractors suggest, she is certainly not anywhere close to being an ideal candidate. We really need to take this kind of thing into account. 2012 is right around the corner and the results will be far more devastating to the Tea Party and the national Republican Party if we tread the same path and nominate a presidential candidate in the mold of O’Donnell, with similar negatives, to go up against President Obama. You know exactly who I’m talking about here, Tea Partiers!
For now the damage is limited. But O’Donnell’s near certain defeat on Election Night will be one thing that Democrats will actually be able to smile about on an otherwise dismal evening. They are sure to milk it for all that it's worth in order to denigrate the Tea Party in the coming months.
- Dan Joseph
Monday, October 18, 2010
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Posted by Falling Panda at 11:49 AM