My father was a frugal man–sometimes painfully so. What cannot be denied is that he had a clear, self-reliant view on how one should live there life. He worked very, very hard to ensure that he provided for his family without any outside assistance. The consequence of this point of view was that he didn’t like money taken from him to be given to others. Sometimes, of course, I found this annoying. My dad hated the system of tipping, in any context. Now he did tip because he was aware that waitresses were paid such a ridiculously low salary that they needed tips to survive. What he objected to was the entire social construct. He would have much preferred that people were just paid a decent wage, that there was a price on the menu and that was that. He didn’t have a problem with charity, when freely given. His issue was with when that “charity” was forcibly taken from you by the government.
Now I could label my father with many adjectives but “radical” and “fringe” would never be among them. Yet many of the political and economic views he held I now see in the Tea Party movement. And that group is decried as to be so radical that they are dangerous. How is this meme sticking? The basic statement is that the idea that one be free to take care of themselves and their family is dangerous and abnormal. How is such a statement not found immediately laughable?
Yesterday, in Delaware, “radical” upstart O’Donnell won the Republican primary for the Senate race over the GOP-backed Castle. To many Republicans, this was a disaster. You see, O’Donnell polls poorly against the Democratic opponent. To people who’s blinders are on, where the only thing that matters is Red vs. Blue and the seat count come Novermber, ideology scarcely matters. O’Donnell just represents one potential failure in trying to turn every blue seat red.
Now I haven’t followed the race closely. I don’t know exactly what O’Donnell stands for or just how much of a RINO Castle is. What I do know is that I’m tired. I’m one of the independents you see pollsters make reference to. I’ve never been affiliated with a political party and I can’t imagine the circumstances where I would be. What I’m tired of is supporting a candidate that runs on a platform of fiscal responsibility and yet, when elected, starts handing out money with a callous disregard of basic economic principles.
Over at the Corner, there have been some heated discussions back and forth on this very topic. Jonah Goldberg posted some email he received in response to his view that O’Donnell winning was a bad thing. The emails themselves are very good, so go read them. Goldberg seems to get it too, responding with:
By the way, I do agree with the first reader that it is/would be outrageous for the GOP to withhold aid and support for O’Donnell now that she’s the nominee. It works both ways. You can’t condemn pols like Charlie Crist or Lisa Murkowski for refusing to accept the will of primary voters but then refuse to accept it yourself when things don’t go your way. O’Donnell is the Republican nominee and she deserves the support of Republicans, including from Mike Castle.
So far she is only getting half of what she deserves. The NRSC initially (and hastily) announced last night that O’Donnell had no chance of winning and they wouldn’t be wasting any money supporting her. That decision seems to have been reversed. Castle, on the other hand, has refused to endorse O’Donnell. Such behavior is a clear indication that we are better off that Mr. Castle lost in the first place… In the original post, Goldberg also had this to say:
When you have an organic grassroots uprising, it’s sort of silly to expect that it will make every decision with surgical skill and perfect foresight. Indeed, the attempt to play mincing games of compromise threatens to cool the very passions that have gotten us this far. In this Rush, I think, is basically right.
Would I still prefer it if the tea parties had found a stronger candidate? Of course. Do I think it’s better to have a moderate Republican than a liberal Democrat in that seat? Yes (tea partiers certainly understood this with the Scott Brown election).
But I’d rather see the tea parties go too far here and there while shooting for the moon than see them go not far enough everywhere. And I’m glad the message coming out of Delaware to everyone in the tea parties’ way, Republican and Democrat alike, is: Watch out.Indeed.