By Scott Tibbs, September 20, 2010
In the aftermath of Christine O'Donnell winning the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Rush Limbaugh had this to say about the Republican Party establishment:
|And here's the bottom line, folks. When they told us we had to support all these people if they won we did. When Specter won, we got in line. We were loyal. OK, the party, the party. We supported somebody that opposed Specter, but Specter wins. We got in line. Now look at the petulant attitude. These people, "Well, screw you. Christine O'Donnell wins, she's on her own. You're on you're own. (incomprehensible whining.)" So it's always a one way street.|
What the party establishment does not get about ideologically conservative voters is that we are not "party people" who are involved in politics because we want to advance the interests of a social clique. I am involved in politics because of my commitment to the conservative principles of limited government, individual liberty and (above all else) preservation of innocent human life. It does us no good to elect a "Republican" if that "Republican" supports more government, higher taxes, and the culture of death.
Leading up to the election, supporters of Mike Castle had argued he was more likely to win, and it was important to have a Republican majority even if Castle voted against the GOP on key issues. They argued that Republican control of committee chairmanships was important. Limbaugh took issue with this, saying it does little good to have a Republican majority if we have several Leftists who will vote with Democrats.
If we accept the premise that Castle would have been a better candidate in the general election, his supporters would have a strong argument for choosing him... if this was a U.S. House race instead of a U.S. Senate race. Individual senators have much more power than individual representatives do, and committee chairmanships carry more power in the House. This is why it does little good for people to elect self proclaimed "conservative" or "pro life" Democrats such as Brad Ellsworth and Joe Donnelly, both of whom voted for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker.
The same phenomenon exists in the Indiana House as well, where voters in the heavily-Republican 60th state legislative district have elected and re-elected Peggy Welch every other year since 1998. Her nanny-state leanings aside, Welch has been a consistent socially conservative vote in the legislature - but that does little good when she is voting for Pat Bauer for Speaker of the House and giving Democrats control of committee chairmanships.
In the U.S. Senate, though, it is much more important to elect ideological conservatives rather than a RINO like Castle. Voters in Delaware told the Republican Party establishment to shove it and voted for O'Donnell. The party establishment should learn from this, but they will not.
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