The Great Conservative Dilemma in DE: Stopping Obama versus Reversing Obama

By Sam Foster

Right now there is a colossal war of opinion being bandied around by top Conservative Mark Levin and the Top Conservative Blog, Powerline. The epic battle is over which candidate to back in Delaware: the Republican moderate-liberal Mike Castle or the conservative Christine O'Donnell? It's a familiar question that conservatives are facing across the nation; unfortunately few understand the nuances in play. In truth, what we are really choosing is whether Stopping Obama is more important than Reversing Obama.

The standard Stop Obama argument is put forth by Paul Mirengoff at Powerline


When the American left was out of power, it faced the same kind of electoral decisions that now confront conservatives -- how to a weigh Democratic candidates' ideological purity against their electability. Activists on the left resolved the decision wisely, along the lines suggested years ago by William Buckley. They supported leftists in states where they were electable, and backed or tolerated centrists and center-left candidates in red states.

Mark Levin makes the standard Reverse Obama argument:

Mirengoff is not as sophisticated as he'd like you to believe. Mirengoff pulled the 52 percent figure because it was the last ACU rating - in 2009. But the year before, in 2008, he received a 28 rating from ACU. I am citing the same organization and the same rating system as Mirengoff, and I think any rational person looking at those figures would conclude that Castle votes wrong -- from a conservative perspective -- most of the time. He is unreliable. Moreover, respecting certain crucial issues, like cap-and-trade and the DISCLOSE Act, Castle's positions are very troublesome. And these are not inconsequential matters.

Truthfully, both are right, but Levin is more so and here is why.

The monolith that is the Obama Agenda has become such a specter to conservatives, that the 2010 elections may actually include a promotion for two of the cap-and-tax eight to the US Senate; Mike Castle-DE and Mark Kirk-IL. It is amazing to watch the changing tide of support from only a year ago. That is how powerful the need to stop the Obama agenda is and there is little doubt in my mind that Castle and Kirk would help put an end to the Obama transformation of the country. To this end, I believe Paul Mirengoff is correct in his support for Castle.

The problem is that we aren't in the first inning but the seventh and legislation like Obamacare and Finance Reform have already lurched government policy drastically to the left. While, I do not doubt Castle's ability and willingness to obstruct a vast majority of the President's agenda, I cannot say the same for his will-power to reverse it, especially after having supported some of it.

The one variable, neither Levin nor Mirengoff kicked into play, is that this year may shape up to be a conservative landslide for congressional elections. There are good odds that regardless of DE, the Obama agenda is stopped. Do we now stop at halting the agenda?

Landslide victories are far and few and if the goal is not just stopping but turning back the Obama agenda, then we need to push for even more conservative of candidates. Not over ideological purity, but because this year and not 2012, is the year that conservatives can win in blue areas like DE, even if they are seemingly long-shots.

Keep in mind that the proposed Republican leadership soon to come into office is far from the rightwing contemporaries of the radical leftist leadership of Pelosi and Reid. A massive conservative tidal-wave is critical this election season if we are going to move the Republican Party to the conservative spectrum and ensure a congressional agenda of repeal and replace.

I couldn't stress more the fact that reversing the Obama agenda is not a certainty in the Republican agenda. The only reinforcement for conservatives to ensure that Reversing Obama is a priority is a strong showing that conservatives and conservative ideals win elections, even difficult ones.

While we are unlikely to be able to repeal items like Obamacare until 2012, 2010 is a critical year if we hope to change hope and change. If we don't get this election right, we may do worse than failing to stop the Obama agenda, because hey, it's already happened.

On an interrupting addendum: I also believe the Mirengoff is incorrect in assuming that "moderate" Republicans will lean right given Republican control as Ben Nelson did with health care. Politicians are never brow-beat to lean right.

Discussion at Memeorandum here


Donald Douglas at American Power has info, but dodges the messy stuff.

Update x2:

RSM thinks Poll-Vision might be Powerline's culprit.

Update x3:

Jacobson and the Nuts and Sluts defense.

1 comment:

  1. Now is the time to stand athwart the statists' agenda. We've compromised long enough. We're now being asked to compromise on the compromised compromises. It's time for the Leftists (Democrat and Republican) to make some compromises. And I don't mean the kind of compromise in which the Leftists continue lurching to the left, only not quite as far to the left as they'd like. It's time for the pendulum to swing to the right.

    If the voters of Delaware really want another socialist to take Joe Biden's place, fine. But let the Democrats supply the left-wingers.

    A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.” ~ Ronald Reagan

    O'Donnell's detractors seem to be blinded by their desire to take back the Senate this year. But the Senate is a long shot for the GOP whether Republicans take Delaware or not.

    Power without principle is poison. This isn't about purity. This is about principles. If we can't take a few risks and stand for the constitution and fiscal sanity in 2010, even when the outcome is uncertain, we're going to loose this country.

    RSM made this very powerful argument:

    Conservatives ought not succumb to the defeatist argument that we should retreat, ceding political terrain to our anatagonists, simply because they are strong and we are weak. When will we be stronger?

    If Republicans can’t elect a conservative in Delaware this year, at what future point will such a victory be possible? In 2012? 2014? Ever?
    Am I the only one who sees that this kind of helpless passivity toward the presumed liberalism of “Blue States” is a sure-fire formula for slow-motion political suicide?


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