Is O’Donnell Crazy, or Just a Republican?

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67 Responses

  1. Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

    …yes, but she’s not a commie-Dem. And, even in the People’s Republic of Delaware, this cycle, that may be THE salient point of the election.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Dude, *I* have said worse *ON THIS VERY SITE*.

    It’s not about what she said.

    It’s about what she represents.Report

  3. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    I don’t get the impression she actually cares that much about limiting government, but I’m sure she’ll vote the way they tell her to, so what else really matters?Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    It’s interesting that David defends her more than once with “She’s no crazier than other conservative Republicans”.

    Anyway, I don’t know why people are mad at that fellow who looks so much like Ringo Starr. Are we positive that the US isn’t behind 9/11? Politics is strange sometimes.Report

  5. Her comments on Tolkien’s anti-industrialism are easily the most interesting thing here. O’Donnell, were she not apparently unreliable, would deserve praise for winning without the support of the major coporations that dominate Delaware. While she does have a degree of financial independence from these big players, she nonetheless appears to be the usual sort of Republican who would consistently vote to advance a corporatist agenda.Report

  6. Avatar greginak says:

    “American scientific companies are crossbreeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains,” warned Delaware senate candidate Christine O’Donnell on the O’Reilly Factor in 2007.

    This is pretty crazy, well “no crazier than the other conservative Republican’s”

    I’d trust her musings on Tolkien a bit more if i could see some proof of geekitude, like a 20 sided die.Report

  7. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I think liberals need to get away from playing the snob card, for lack of a better term. Ridicule is really tough to do right; if you’re not attuned to the opinions of your audience, you can just come off as petty and arrogant. I remember thinking that the best thing liberals could have done for Bush was making fun of how he conjugated verbs because it made everyone who has ever been inelegant in public a bit sympathetic.

    A much better strategy would be to disagree respectfully with the woman’s opinions, or better yet, not make the race about the culture war issues that everyone claims to be sick of anyway.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Rufus F. says:

      @Rufus F., I agree. In this case, the political environment is so extreme, and some of this stuff is so eye-grabbing (if not so crazy on examination), that I think they pretty much have to use it in a political campaign. But in general, I agree – over the long term, condescension is a horrible political strategy.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Rufus F. says:

      @Rufus F.,

      I’ve never quite understood this complaint. “Sure, I think they’re commie, pro-terrorist, socialist, elitist bums who’d rather steal from successful people than do an honest day’s work, but what really bothers me is their lack of respect.”Report

  8. Avatar Simon K says:

    Is it wrong that I like her more the more “crazy” quotes get produced? I mean she’s really starting to remind me of friends of mine … I mean, I’d never vote her into high political office, but she’s starting to seem almost interesting.Report

  9. I don’t have a huge problem with her based on the little bit i have heard. She’s easy on the eyes (hey, it’s MY criteria dammit) and she sounds more articulate than Palin did at this point in her VP run. I’m just upset that we’re going to lose Deleware (probably). Polling shows her down by 20 points. The same poll shows that if Castle were still in he would be up 20 points. 40 POINT SWING….ugh.

    I’ve always favored the Buckley approach which is to run the most rightward-leaning candidate that can win. Redstate would prefer a loss and maintenance of ideological purity. Bummer.Report

  10. Avatar Lyle says:

    The socialism comment relies on a re-definition of the word. It no longer means the communal ownership of the means of production, but a society more oriented to the community than the individual. The rights of the community override the rights of the individual in this model. Of course this basic question of community or individual is at the root of a lot of todays politics, and has been around for at least 2000 years. I found this redefinition by discussions on another board, and we must recall that we are living in a world where words mean exactly what the person saying them intends them to mean, not what the dictionary says.Report

  11. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    Your section on “Health” strikes me as disingenuous. You’re basically saying that we don’t know what O’Donnell’s views about sexuality are. Who knows? — you practically declare — She could be a radical feminist. It’s a mystery!

    But we all know this to be false, and there is no mystery. The reason Christine O’Donnell dislikes abstinence is because she is a supporter of chastity, and because people who abstain after transgressing once or twice are bad people to her.

    This is not only hypocritical, because it (charitably) describes one Christine O’Donnell, but it’s also an attack on pretty much everyone who came of age after the 1960s. That fully qualifies as crazy in my book and is quite deserving of ridicule.Report

    • @Jason Kuznicki,

      It wasn’t entirely clear from what David quoted, but that’s about the opposite of O’Donnell’s position. Talking Points Memo provides helpful elaboration:

      “Not only because I think I’m right,” she said in 2004. “I know what it’s like to live a life without principle.”

      But although she believes in no sex before marriage, she has also said time and again that what she strives for is not abstinence, not virginity, but chastity.

      “I don’t encourage anyone to seek ‘abstinence.’ I cringe at terms like ‘secondary virginity’ or ‘recycled virgin.’ One of my goals is to get the body of Christ to stop proclaiming these words. I would rejoice if I never heard ‘abstinence’ from a pulpit again,” O’Donnell wrote in Cultural Dissident in 1998. “As Christians, virginity is not even our goal. Purity and holiness are our calling in Christ.”

      Making virginity the goal, she wrote, “seems to classify certain people as second-rate Christians.”

      • Avatar David Schaengold in reply to Matthew Schmitz says:

        @Matthew Schmitz, I left my comment below without seeing this one. This quote certainly clarifies her view.Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Matthew Schmitz says:

        @Matthew Schmitz,

        So what you are saying is not that she makes a distinction between lifelong and intermittent chastity — but that she makes a distinction between the mere sounds of “abstinence” and “chastity” — even though their content in morals and praxis is indistinguishable?

        How exactly is that not crazy?

        (Forgive me if I’m showing my Catholic roots here, but when one takes a vow of “chastity,” it’s for life. Or so I’d thought.)Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

          @Jason Kuznicki, Chastity is not Celibacy.

          Maribou and I have a chaste relationship. We do not have a celibate one.

          The basic idea is that God created sex and wants us to enjoy the bejeezus out of it… in terms of a life-long partnership. Chastity is something to be celebrated. Celibacy sucks.Report

          • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Jaybird says:


            Chastity is refraining from sex. Celibacy is refraining from marriage. Celibacy may also be a synonym for chastity, but this is not strictly speaking correct. Chaste marriages are those in which the partners avoid sexual intercourse.

            Do I understand you correctly that you have a marriage in which you avoid sex?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

              @Jason Kuznicki, no, not at all.

              Celibacy is sex within very specific parameters.

              It is *NOT* abstinence.
              It is BSTINENCE.

              Full participation in the wonders of what two people can do with each other. Yes, First Base. Yes, Second Base. Yes, Third Base. Yes, Home Plate. God Yes. One Thousand Times Yes.

              And if it happens within a life-partnership marriage: IT IS STILL CHASTE.

              It ain’t celibate. Not by a damn sight. But two people who live each other in a life partnership relationship can donkey punch, spiderman, bel biv devoe, and big wiggle and it’s chaste.

              If one wants a word substitution, “monogamy” might fit (but imagine “monogamy” to be a word loaded with religious baggage).

              Maribou and I have a monogamous relationship. We have sex. It’s pretty good.

              It’s also chaste. (But it ain’t celibate.)Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Jaybird says:

                Do you really think that “monogamy” has more religious baggage than “chastity”? You’ll commonly find the word monogamy in secular scientific publications, and even abstinence. But chastity is pretty rare.

                Also, the Catholic Encyclopedia (alas, my source on such things) describes marital chastity as (at best) “imperfect,” at least if it includes sexual relations.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

              @Jason Kuznicki, no, I was asking you to imagine monogamy as having religious baggage.

              As for marital chastity being “imperfect”, I don’t know about that, being raised Babtist. We were always taught that God gave us these gifts for us to enjoy them… using the instruction manual He gave us. (This was one of the few areas where Genesis had more emphasis than Paul.)Report

        • @Jason Kuznicki,

          Yeah, I think she’s trying to acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes, and that it’s misguided to talk of “second virginity.”

          Her larger point is primarily rhetorical. She seems to fear that talking about abstinence instead of chastity (which may involve a fair amount of lovemaking, with one’s spouse) gives the impression that the Christian view is anti-sex.

          You could consider her view crazy, I suppose, but chastity (which includes sex within marriage) is certainly distinguishable from the radical support for abstinence once advocated the Shakers. Or, more recently, Morrissey.Report

    • Avatar David Schaengold in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      @Jason Kuznicki, I’m not saying we don’t know. I’m saying I don’t know, since I’ve done no research on her apart from reading the article. Truthfully I am not sure what she’s getting at in the quote. Your interpretation is plausible, but I feel like TNR would have given us the fuller quote if that’s really what she meant, because it’s much more extreme than what we can definitely infer from the quote. But she could easily have been making a claim like “abstinence is the wrong paradigm because it’s framed as simply not doing something, as opposed to talking about ‘chastity,’ which implies a sexuality integrated into one’s whole way of living.”Report

    • Avatar Sam M in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      @Jason Kuznicki,

      Across the board, advocating for chastity is “crazy”? I’m no advocate myself, but I hardly think that position is INSANE.Report

  12. Avatar RTod says:

    I get your basic point, David, and it’s a point well taken. But it also seems a bit cherry picked.

    I agree, for example, that saying that Obama is anti-American is, while I think silly and hyperbolic, pretty mainstream GOP. But saying that the evil scientific community is already creating mice with fully functioning human brains for some nefarious purpose? On TV, as an “expert” on ethics of science issues?

    In what world is not not totally wacko?Report

  13. Avatar Andy Smith says:

    “most people who don’t believe in evolution have no problem trusting aerodynamical engineering in practice to Science.”

    Which makes them not crazy, but definitely hypocritical.Report

  14. Avatar North says:

    Is the fact that the GOP has lowered the mean so much on the right that the views of this fruitbat are arguably “average” significant in any way? I mean a quarter of the defenses of her in this post are “hey everyone on the right is doin it”. Is that an argument for her sanity, or their collective insanity?Report

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