O’Donnell Nom Exposes Tea Party, GOP Establishment Divide

Republican primary voters in Delaware offered a stern rebuke to their national Party Tuesday electing Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell over the comparatively moderate, establishment endorsed candidate, Rep. Mike Castle (R).  O’Donnell’s victory (53 – 47 percent) marks the end of a campaign that got really nasty in its closing weeks.  The primary is over, but the unpleasantness of the campaign lingers.

The fallout began immediately as GOP officials and strategists openly lamented O’Donnell’s victory.Republican new media strategist Patrick Ruffini, for example, perfectly stated the general sentiment of establishment Republicans reacting to O’Donnell’s victory in a tweet:

@PatrickRuffini Congratulations Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)

Then there’s Karl Rove whose disappointment was evident in an exchange with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.  Rove — a Fox News political “analyst” who, reportedly, has been working behind the scenes soliciting Tea Party groups to support Castle — told Hannity that O’Donnell’s victory diminished GOP chances of taking over control of the Senate this November.

“We were looking at eight to nine seats in the Senate,” Rove said. “Now we’re looking at seven to eight, in my opinion. This is not a race we’re going to be able to win.”

(Hannity clip via TPM)

Then there is the NRSC’s muted support O’Donnell — whose candidacy faces a significant cash disadvantage to her Democratic opponent — giving the impression that the Tea Party should pay for the campaign.  The GOP establishment seems sufficiently chafed from having to defend other fringe characters who’ve already defeated Party approved candidates — Sharon Angle (NV), Rand Paul (KY)…etc. — that they’re willing to write off Deleware in their effort to retake the Senate.

The reaction of Rove and others, taken together with the national Republican’s less than congratulatory response, has left a bad taste in the mouths of far-right web commentators.  Red State‘s Erick Erickson, while stating he’d rather see O’Donnell win in November than any democrat, declared that he’s “pulling the plug in Delaware,” because of her supporters’ propagation of baseless innuendo pertaining to Castle’s sexual preference.

Conversely, TheRightScoop reacted to the NRSC’s announcement by calling on its readers to donate to the O’Donnell campaign.  “Fine, if that’s the way they want it,” the author notes, “let’s send her money to prove we don’t need the establishment!”

Another prominent conservative blogger actually called on Fox News to suspend and investigate Rove, and for the head of the NRSC, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) to resign.  Following Rove’s exchange with Hannity, Dan Reihl blogged, “… it seems impossible to trust Rove as an objective analyst.”

Of course, the notion that Rove may have once displayed a capacity for objectivity is highly questionable.  Regardless, Reihl continued:

In terms of the conservative movement, we should not simply ignore him, but proactively work to undermine Rove in whatever ways we can, given his obvious willingness to undermine us.


I would encourage all grassroots and conservative activists and bloggers to, not just ignore them, but proactively work to run-down whatever web based initiatives they choose to employ until this matter is resolved. John Cornyn should be held accountable and removed from his NRSC position…

As the tension between the GOP establishment and the Republican Party’s right wing base develops into a pitched battle, I find it difficult not to derive a certain amount of personal satisfaction.  It’s not because I, like many others, prognosticated the widening rift when Sarah Palin quit or when Arlen Specter left the GOP.  That was more than a year ago.  Then and since, GOP officials have pandered to the self-proclaimed conservative purists — the same demographic responsible for the entirety of Palin’s present relevance, such as it is, and led Specter to unsuccessfully duck the fate Castle realized Tuesday night.

Now that the circular firing squad on the right is taking shape, it’s become clear that the GOP merely had the Tea Party tiger by the tail; and, with just two months to go before the 2010 midterms — after some nibbling throughout the primary season — that tiger took its first unambiguous bite.

That Rove’s hand was in the way when the jaws shut was, for me, the most satisfying result.  However, as enjoyable as it is to watch Rove twist, it wouldn’t be prudent to dwell on O’Donnell’s victory no matter how fortuitous it is for the Democrats.  After all, as the crack team of political analysts at The Daily Show hilariously observed while debating the numerous ways for the Democrats to “f#@% it up.”

Watch The Daily Show clip here! 


Christine O'Donnell twitter account


lyn L.
l L6 years ago

dELUSION IS THE TEA PARTY AND THE REPUBS. Lies and delusion that is. Looking for the facts rerad more it's everywhere about the fraud. Sop being so fox depend and search for it. it is in your face about the tea bangers.

Shirley A.
Shirley A6 years ago

Jamie J. The "LIFE" that the TP's are supposedly fighting for is an attitude of "my way or the highway." It's an arrogant and elitist attitude and that is not a democracy.EVERY single person in this Nation has the RIGHT to live by their own beliefs and morals.The TP's have made it VERY plain that they want to shove their own personal self righteous,hypocritical, archaic agenda down everyone's throat. No One or Government has the right to govern MY PRIVATE LIFE.

The Tea Party candidates that I've seen are ignorant of fact, narcissistic and have absolutely NO substance or credibility to lead this Country.

I sure would love to hear about this "redistribution of wealth" that the TP's think is going on. Just exactly who's and what wealth is being redistributed. Is giving a tax break to 98% of the people in this Nation redistributing WEALTH, I don't think so. Giving a break to the working class is overdue.The top 2% are not getting a NEW tax, only one that was left to expire by the Bush administration.OH, GEEZ! My heart bleeds for the uber rich that they will have to pay a little bit of their fair share in this Country FINALLY.With all the write offs and loop holes provided to them for years, I wouldn't worry about THEIR WEALTH being redistributed any time soon.

A Democracy respects and abides by Majority rule and values compromise and intelligent debate to make changes in society and policy. I have seen nothing of this from any Tea Party candidate or follower.

jane richmond
jane richmond6 years ago

Never thought Rove and I would agree on anything!!!!

Jaime J.
Jaime J6 years ago

And Lyn, right now we DON'T have checks and balances in our government...don't you see that? We are fighting for a smaller government to allow us to live our lives. Right now, the government you are fighting for is putting too many regulations on my life and beginning to control every aspect of it! That's socialism! When the government redistributes wealth so everyone had the same thing regardless of whether they worked for it or not. The government controls everything. Whether its one dictator or a group of beaurocrats, it doesn't matter in the long run. The size of the government is not dictated by how many people are in it, it's dictated by how much control it has over its people.

Jaime J.
Jaime J6 years ago

Patricia, (sigh) you are right, I suppose I just expect everyone to be informed, but I guess that is expecting too much!

And, Lyn how do you live daily by your delusions? Don't you find it exhausting? Well, then again, since you have no proof or research to back up any of your statements, I suppose it must actually be easier to spout such prattle rather than find out the truth.

I just know that the kind of life the Tea Party candidates are fighting for is WAY better for ALL of us than anything the democrats are offering.

lyn L.
l L6 years ago

Please don't take the tea party wins as something great and awesome. Look at it like this. They have lied, bullied, applied terroristic threatenings, threatened public officials and their families and properties and gets away with it. They have racist congress people who help them. They lie scheme and defraud all government officials of the democratic persuasion and they have threatened the public at large with acts of war should they not win and defraud us somemore. They have the backing and blessing of the rich all I can't say. They have the business community backing, all I can't say.The primaries may have been fixed I don't know but I suspect it. They are so dishonest and call the other persons not good enough. So we have what we have. Now all we have to do is defy them and go vote. Make sure you take your helmet just in case. Joke?

Rosella Decker
Rosella Decker6 years ago

I too am so disguested I don't want to vote.I do it so that I know that I tried to go with the candidate or party that I am closer to believing in .

Patricia S.
Pat S6 years ago

Jaime J,
Surely you don't expect all of these left-wing progressives who write here to read that?

Jaime J.
Jaime J6 years ago

Has anyone read the Forbes (September 27, 2010) article entitled "Obama's Problem with Business"? If you have not, I highly recommend it as it will give some insight into what is really going on in our country's current administrative belief system.

Jaime J.
Jaime J6 years ago

Has anyone read the Forbes (September 27, 2010) article entitled "Obama's Problem with Business"? If you have not, I highly recommend it as it will give some insight into what is really going on in our country's current administrative belief system.