Can you hear us now?
The media is buzzing over the fact that Tea Party fave, Sarah Palin-endorsed, Christine O’Donnell beat long-time Republican representative Mike Castle in the Delaware primary for the United State Senate. O’Donnell will now be gunning for Joe Biden’s old seat against Democrat Chris Coons. There’s no shortage of Republicans and conservatives who believe that O’Donnell is a weak candidate and that a Senate seat that likely would have been won by the Republican Castle will now be lost by the Republican O’Donnell.
Maybe so. I’m not heavily involved in the state politics of Delaware, and haven’t followed this campaign. I understand that O’Donnell’s got some financial baggage, including not making mortgage payments and unpaid college bills.
If the allegations are true, and I have no reason to believe they aren’t, then they’re serious insofar as they speak to someone who may prove to be financially irresponsible. But Mike Castle’s argument that being irresponsible with your personal finances will automatically make you irresponsible with public finances seems a stretch. In fact, it’s Mike Castle who has been absolutely reckless with public finances with his support for liberal programs and causes. It’s not like we’ll be turning over the Federal Budget to Christine O’Donnell and trusting her to get us out of debt. She’s going to be one of 100 Senators, voting yes or no on bills that were initiated in a different legislative body (the House of Representatives generates the budget). The fact that she’s had some financial troubles and has, according to her statements, overcome those troubles:
I’m an average hard-working American. I’m not a multi-millionaire like my opponent. Of course in this economy I’ve fallen on hard times. But I worked hard. I sacrificed. I made the decision that I needed to make things right. I came through to the other side in a very strong position. I made it through the difficult times. That’s what the voters are seeing. Financial responsibility is making your obligations right.
She is, of course, correct. Most people get into some sort of financial trouble at some time. Maturity and responsibility does not mean never doing the wrong thing; it means acknowledging the wrong and righting it when possible.
So to Charles Krauthammer, Ramesh Ponnuru, Jonah Goldberg and the other conservatives I deeply admire, I think it’s time we move on and give full support to the conservative candidate from Delaware. Hand wringing about her electability is counter-productive. In 2010, it is folly to count out any conservative in any race.
The Roundup: Michelle Malkin takes Karl Rove to task for his bashing of O’Donnell. At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey advises the GOP to quit whining. At The American Spectator, Robert Stacy McCain writes that This Changes Everything.