Why the Mike Castle Chapter of Republican politics won’t stay closed

By Sam Foster

Thank You, Dan Riehl for daring to go where the minds of Republicans and Tea Party Conservatives have been trained since the elections; primarily, what Conservatives want Republicans to understand about 2010.

While a Republican, a corporatist, or a governmentalist might describe Castle as potentially a good Senator, no honest, serious thinking Conservative ever would. That does not mean that O'Donnell was an ideal candidate. But it is imperative that the conservative movement learn from 2010, come to understand why we lost where we did, and reject the conventional Republican wisdom that only serves to undermine our cause. Surrendering to liberalism, while claiming victory as a Republican, is a defeat for conservatism. And it is precisely those types of defeats Republicans have been fostering for too long, damaging our movement and, ultimately, their own brand in the process.

Donald Douglas at American Power stepped into the fray while detailing the crossfire:

Folks can quibble about all of this, and I'm betting Dan and the others are not tweeting each other sweet nothings this morning, but after seven years of RINO government in California, I can tell you that successful fake Republicans are no better than genuine socialist commie Democrats. Sure, a vote here or there might be reassuring for GOP insiders, but every compromise helps the left in the end, on bullshit cap-and-trade, on budgetary bloat, on appeasement in international affairs, and so forth and so on. Just look where pragmatic conservatives line up. It if were me, I wouldn't come close to Frum Forum RINOs with a ten-foot pole --- and you can make that 100 if the name Alex Knepper gets thrown in there for some "pragmatic" icing on the cake!

On the other side of the coin: Here is the key from Jimmie at The Sundries Shack:

Let’s be clear here. The Tea Party was an unalloyed good for conservatism and, so far as I can see, it will continue to be so. However, with increased power must come at least as much increased wisdom. Tea Parties bring a great amount of energy, stubbornness, and willingness to go toe-to-toe with progressives and, Lord knows, the GOP needs all of those things. However, the GOP has a wealth of political experience, technical know-how, and money the Tea Parties sorely lack. If we conservatives ever hope to remain in the majority for more than an election or two, we are going have to figure out how to marry the outsiders with the establishment without blunting the strengths of either one. If we can do that, then perhaps we can figure out how to capitalize on the wins of candidates like outsiders Marco Rubio and Ron Johnson and insiders like Dan Coates and Rob Portman to grow a majority. That will not happen so long as we continue to snipe over a candidate who carried more baggage into her Senate race than Lovey and Thurston Howell III going on a three-hour tour. It certainly will not happen so long as Riehl, and folks like him, continue to throw crotch-punches at the most innocent provocation.

So why am I putting this eyesore of political banter up for reading? Because, it is important to understand the lesson of DE and learn it well.

In truth, there are far better races to squabble about who’s at fault and what lessons should be learned. NY-23 comes to mind. We are transfixed on the DE Senate race, because O’Donnell had baggage and some would pretend as if voting for Cap and Trade isn’t baggage. This is precisely where Jimmie loses me.

Castle gets a reprieve from some, because Cap and Trade never turned into an executive reality. Let’s turn back the clock. Cap and Trade was a close vote and Republicans could have killed it, save Mike Castle and seven other Republicans. What if Obama had the opportunity to sign it into law and Mike Castle stood as a full-blown accomplice. Am I now allowed to hold him accountable, or must I vote Castle should the 2016 Presidency come down to Castle and O’Donnell?

Fiscal conservatism is what is winning the political argument in 2010. How do we then put Mike Castle on the poster? The idea is unfathomable. It runs contrary to the argument we are making before the people. We would be sacrificing our own proposed solution for America on the alter of senatorial power. We are for limited government and I’m not afraid to be what we are, anywhere.

Stand for nothing and you’ll represent nothing.

No one ought to be losing sleep over Mike Castle. Dislike O’Donnell? Fine! But, at least don’t tell me that pulling the lever for an R is more important than running a candidate that represents the message. Otherwise, what is the point of the Republican Party? I’m for not checking my brains at the door. I remember where Mike Castle stands and it’s not the same shore that the nation needs to land on, so forgive me if I’m one of the guys on the SS Republican trying to launch off of Castle’s shore.


  1. Well said. If party is more important than principle--which of these things should give way? One of the reasons I find myself in the camp of independents (and a very sprawling camp it is) is that I am tired of being told to support people with Rs after their names who are farther from conservative principles than some with Ds.

  2. If all you're going to get is a bunch of lefties with an 'R' on their lapel, who cares? This is why I'm so sick and tired of the "beat the Democrats" argument. No. I'm against all collectivists. It's liberty or bust for me!

    People who hang their hopes on the Republican Party are completely ignoring history. Sorry, but Republicans have never, I repeat, never done anything to shrink the government. Not only did George W. Bush grow the size, scope and cost of government more than any other president in history prior to Obama, the government even grew under Ronald Reagan.

    Truth or party ... and I've got news for those who prefer party ... WE'RE BROKE!

  3. Thank you. Well said. Tea partiers can gain experience w/o the Republican insiders. Its not like its some kind of mystical tome they own.

  4. Let's face it, there are going to be liberal Republicans just like there are conservative democrats. We can't always whip people wearing our team's jersey into shape. They have their own views, and they must at the very least be cognizant of their constituents' views. DE is a liberal state.

    Schwarzenegger is a RINO, but I believe he tried very hard to reign in spending and public sector unions. It wasn't window dressing. Would things have been better off the past years with a Demon Rat? I don't think so.

    I don't think Castle would have won. He might have made it close. But one vote short is the first loser. Either we make a united stand on conservative values and go down swinging, or not at all. Convince me that Castle would have won, that we would have taken the Senate BUT FOR O'Donnell, Angle, Buck, and Fiorina, and that Castle would vote with conservatives most of the time, then by golly I'd vote for him. Otherwise, he's just a millstone for the message - another Arlen Specter who votes "not proven."

    We can't expect too many Republicans to win in predominantly democrat states. It takes extraordinary people like Giuliani, Arnold, Romney, and Weld to carry us. We can't expect them to agree with us on anything.

    My point is that we must tolerate some moderate or liberal Republicans, particularly from liberal states, otherwise we surrender that territory forever. Democrats certainly didn't surrender Montana, Indiana, Nevada, and North Carolina. They won the entire states of Colorado and California through two decades of tireless effort.

    We need a 50 state strategy, and that's what won in November. But sticking with losers when control of the chambers is in jeopardy is silly. We have to lead with our strong suit. We should have had better recruiting in DE and NV. We needed a bigger push in CO, WA, and CA.

  5. Nick Rowe,

    I believe that the "team" mentality of the American populous is what got us into the mess we're in. Politics ain't sports. America is about individuals, "team" politics is about the collective. It's a hive mind mentality. It's the opposite of what this country was meant to be.


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