September 16, 2010

COLLATERAL DAMAGE: “The emotion generated by O’Donnell’s upset win has brought out the worst in many politicos and pundits — from the Left, the Right, and the GOP establishment.” Yes, it has. Try to avoid the personal infighting. People forgive disagreements, but they never forget personal insults, and it makes it harder to work together in the future, even on things where you agree. That’s quite damaging to a party or movement over time.

But there’s also this: “Were Republican voters as well behaved as Frum would like, Senate seats in Washington, Wisconsin, California, and West Virginia would not be within reach. Without the enthusiasm ginned up by the rowdy conservative populists, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Ohio, and North Carolina would not look as good for Republicans as they do now.”

UPDATE: Related thoughts from Roger Kimball. “That’s the thing that scares people about the tea party. It operates outside the jurisdiction set down by the other parties, be they Democratic or Republican. All those sources of patronage, wells of political preferment, reservoirs of prestige, perquisites, and power: That’s what politics as usual is about. It has built up an impressive institutional structure. It’s worked, more or less, for many decades. And now this decentralized, grass-roots organization (in so far as it is an organization) threatens to upset the whole apple cart.” But read the whole thing.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Bill McConnell writes:

Reading Steve Chapman’s article this morning and several others in the same vein, I am amazed that so many pundits come so close to an important take on all this but never actually say it. That is regardless of the outcome of the election, both the winners & losers will understand the peril to their political careers of going to Washington now and returning to business as usual. That is the major effect that the Tea Party has had and will have.

Perhaps you should be the first to say it.

Actually, I think you were, Bill . . . .

Plus, from Ed Morrissey: “The GOP is in danger of becoming the Sore Loser Party and destroying its credibility with grass-roots activists in the process.”

Plus this: “The primaries are the manner in which voters hold candidates accountable for their records. After the voters make their choice, though, the debate is supposed to be over. The GOP has demanded loyalty from various constituencies at the end of the process, in which incumbents or anointed candidates such as Castle almost invariably win. Suddenly, though, those rules don’t apply to the GOP establishment — or at least the establishment seemed ready to reject them yesterday. That’s precisely the same kind of elitist attitude that Americans get from Washington DC, and why the Tea Party exists in the first place.”

Comments are closed.
InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.