Christine O’Donnell’s victory over moderate Republican Mike Castle in Delaware tonight sends the following message: RINO’s (Republicans in Name Only) beware: You will be purged.
Many tea party voters are really disgruntled former Republicans who believe that the GOP should be a conservatively principled party. They are sick and tired of Mike Castle type Republicans.
Look, a lot will be made about how O’Donnell can’t beat Democrat Chris Coons in Delaware and therefore the GOP just lost out on a golden opportunity to pick up Joe Biden’s Democratic Senate seat. That may prove to be true but the tea party voters are saying the following: If Castle is going to vote like a Democrat on key big government issues then what’s the difference? This was a vote for principle over practicality.
We always hear talk about how being principled is such a great virtue. But now many of those same people are saying that you have to be practical too. The GOP establishment simply wanted another “R” in their column. The tea party’s answer to that argument is that an unprincipled “R” is not worth having.
Here’s the deal. The media will make this story into a big Republican Civil War fight and that is accurate. There will also be pundits who will say that the O’Donnell, Angle, Miller, Buck and Rand Paul’s of the World will turn off some voters to the point where Republicans may lose General Elections they may otherwise would have won. That also may be true. So where does that leave these candidates and tea party patriots like Jim DeMint and Sarah Palin? It’s very simple. The onus is on all of them (and the collective tea party nation) to make the case to on the fence Americans that their deeply held conservative principles are not right-wing or fringe or scary. In short, they need to make the case for true conservatism. That is the real challenge. It won’t happen by November 2nd. Right now, tea partiers are stamping out GOP hypocrisy wherever they see it but the primary victories by these candidates are a step in the “right” direction. Remember, for these principled conservatives this is a process of returning to an "authentic" Republican Party. The ultimate goal is NOT being in the majority just to be in the majority. It's about reshaping the GOP to become a true conservative majority.
Oh, one more thing. Democrats shouldn’t gloat too much about how they now think they’re going to keep Biden’s seat in Delaware. They may keep it but the tea party has sent a clear message to the country that they are engaged and mobilized and that may not be good news for RINO Republicans during the primary season but when all those tea partiers turn out in force on November 2nd, it’s going to be far worse news for the Democrats. Democrats may be having a good laugh now but that laughter will probably turn to tears on the morning of November 3rd.