Weekly Standard’s Ham Misleadingly Plays The RINO Viktum Card Over O’Donnell

By
September 18, 2010

Given that the Weekly Standard led the charge in trying to destroy Christine O'Donnell, it's little surprise it seems to have now gone to Mary Katherine Ham to distract from the real argument. She's using an Allahpundit-like playing of the RINO viktum card to do it. He is regularly singing the same sad old song at Hot Air.

As I said it yesterday and I'm going to keep on saying, in response to this superficial, if not self-centered, view of the issue – this isn't about pundits being so called RINOs.

Everyone knew Castle's politics. No one should assume everyone backing him supported those politics. Most conservatives who were simply saw him as some path of least resistance to a GOP Senate Majority they believed was going to actually represent them.

Others, including myself, feel differently – and many of us have been here before. If we empower a too compromised GOP majority, we will invariably get burned. Delaware was chiefly a fight over long-term strategy, not the politics of each and every individual who took a side in the race. Castle backers now going on about this RINO nonsense are now trying to make it all about them and their own politics. It never was that for most of us. And they should stop using the RINO viktum card to distract from the more substantive matter at hand.

How much and how willing should we be to compromise with the more liberal elements of the GOP? Given Obama's agenda and the disaster that would ensue were an ideologically weak GOP to start over-compromising with him, I'd say very little, if at all.

This isn't and never was about purity, Mary Katherine or Allahpundit. If they genuinely believe that, they should try to employ a deeper reasioning, or at least try to get over themselves. The broader composition and balance of the GOP in Washington is far more important than what any one of us thinks, or supports politically as an individual.

In this example, Rove's history of backing Tea Party candidates is improbably turned against him simply because some of those candidates were male. He's a bit hemmed in here, isn't he? If he supports male Tea Partiers and not Christine O'Donnell, he's sexist. If he supports female establishment candidates like Kay Bailey Hutchison, he's a RINO. And, completely forgotten in the zeal to declare him both a sexist and a RINO is the fact that he's spending millions of dollars on female Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle in Nevada.

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Comments:
  1. rrpjr says:

    Ham is a glamour-puss and a lightweight. I stopped reading her a while ago.

  2. Rick says:

    Dan,
    I think the complaint of many here, and at the sites of your recent jihad, is that the nose-holding “supporters” of Castle want to win the Senate seat in November. You & ML and others seem to consider the True Victory to be retiring Castle. That’s fine, but that’s spiking the ball on the 10-yard-line.
    And before Pasadena and Moobs and the other indignitaries comment, here’s my contrition towards Ms. O’Donnell:
    piryx giving stream
    Hey Richard ***,
    Thank you for giving to “Support Christine O’Donnell” by Friends of Christine O’Donnell! Below is the login to your Piryx Giving Stream:
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    ***rick@aol.com
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    Login to the Piryx Giving Stream today to add your comment and interact with other donors that share your passion for this cause.
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    Now, bury the godd*m hatcht, already.
    Cordially…

  3. Ragspierre says:

    “As I said it yesterday and I’m going to keep on saying, in response to this superficial, if not self-centered, view of the issue – this isn’t about pundits being so called RINOs.”
    Hmmm…???
    And you read MKH’s piece, and came away with THAT crap about playing a vikum card as your prime impression.
    Wow.

  4. mark l. says:

    an allegory…
    you wake up and discover that you have tumors on your body and begin coughing up blood. you go to the doctor and he tells you that you have cancer, BUT, it is still treatable if you discontinue smoking. you go home, hopeful, and think to yourself:
    if quitting will allow me to recover, then maybe I can just cut back, and extend my life, or keep the cancer in my body at the current levels.
    castle was the choice of addicts, bargaining with themselves, but unmotivated to take the drastic leap of quitting, and accepting a horrible death for a few more years of life.
    o’donnell, I hope, was the choice to stop smoking. no patches, no substitutes…cold turkey and just a love of one’s own life and a commitment to it.
    as a country, we have terminal debt cancer and we are dying. the rxn I see from those at the front of this very public revolt is a grim acknowledgement of what we face. While I don’t share the visceral rxn that many real conservatives have to the establishment gop, their sentiments are not without reason.
    they are the only people who are going to save us. I won’t come to the bonfires, but you have my vote, ALWAYS.

  5. Purple Fury says:

    I didn’t have much of a dog in this fight, apart from wanting to see a massive conservative victory in November and success for the movement. I didn’t follow DE politics closely until the last week or so — when I did my research, it seemed to me that there were good arguments pro & con for O’Donnell. It wasn’t at all clear to me that either argument was obviously right or wrong, as each side depended on some unpredictable assumptions holding up.
    For the pro-Castle argument, the assumptions were that he would win in the general, and that O’Donnell would lose. I don’t think either is necessarily true. For the pro-O’Donnell folks, the assumptions were that she’s going to be a reliable conservative, and that if she loses, we’re better off (as a movement) in the long run with Coons (let the Dems eat their crap sandwich, and all that). I don’t think either of those assumptions is necessarily true, either.
    There were worthy non-establishment, non-RINO, respectable conservatives making the case each way.
    As for me, I ended contributing $50 after her win to spite the NRSC.
    All that said, Dan, you’re basically lobbing incoming rounds at friendlies (Allah, MKH, Geraghty and who knows who else), so do you think now that your gal has won you could maybe give it a rest and stop being such a dick? All you’re doing is giving our REAL opponents more ammo.
    Thanks.

  6. bishop says:

    They keep mortaring into Serenity Valley, he has to keep firing back

  7. Joe says:

    “But the national electoral dynamic this year isn’t about O’Donnell; it’s about changing course. And in making their choice, the Republican voters in Delaware showed a perfect comprehension many senior conservatives haven’t. A vote for Mike Castle was, in fact, a vote for the status quo. The voters knew what they were voting for — and many of them would have said that the kind of strategic voting urged on them by pundits and political professionals is exactly what has produced the status quo.”
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/j-e-dyer/359321

  8. Moobs says:

    to the first poster fine be a castle supporter but don’t act all indignant if he stabs you in the back when he gets the chance to run for senate yet again ok BTW i still like MKH and don’t consider her a RINO

  9. Simple concept: If you don’t like the entrenched corrupt establishment, stop voting for it. Replacing Joe Biden with Michael Castle is a big step backwards. If the GOP doesn’t like O’Donnell, they should have chosen a better candidate than Castle. If the GOP actually stands for conservative principles, why won’t they fight for them?
    I am having a ball listening to all of these stuck RINO pigs squealing with incomprehensible arguments on how we Tea Party conservatives are destroying their precious party. Hey guys, you created us. You wouldn’t listen to us as we held our noses to vote for your Assistant Democrats. Do you hear us now?
    Go ahead and ride your GOP off of the cliff. You may control the reins of the party, but we are the ones controlling the power and it is growing. As time goes by, we need you guys less and less so what is it going to be? Are you working for us or for the Democrats? Your choice.

  10. Moobs says:

    Pasadna it is an arduous task to try and reason with them but it is awesome that your trying to do so

  11. Ragspierre says:

    “Are you working for us or for the Democrats? Your choice.”
    There’s that “us” again, McPhilly.
    You keep speaking for a movement of people who you are one itsy, teeny, tiny part of, and on what basis? A lot of us find your “thinking” more than slightly…shall we say…conflicted. (See, a lot of TEA Party people are supporters of economic freedom, which you are decidedly NOT.)
    You are riding the GOP train (EVERY candidate you SAY you back is a GOP candidate), while doing your dead-level best to burn down the train.
    Can we call that schizophrenic…? Why, yes, I think we CAN…

  12. Moobs says:

    Pasadena*
    Can we call that schizophrenic? Why,yes i think we can
    Can we call that the pot calling the kettle black? Why,yes i think we can
    and btw if you were for economic freedom you wouldn’t worship a guy who supported cap and trade

  13. Ragspierre says:

    Moobs,
    As I’ve frequently noted, you don’t know WTF you are talking about.
    I supported O’Donnell in writing. Was I late to the ball? Yep. But Delaware politics are not a bright blip on my Texas-based radar.
    My views are hardly obscure.
    Read more about it…http://hindenblog1.blogspot.com/2010/09/burn-murky-does-anchorage.html

  14. Dave in dallas says:

    The more moderate elements in the gop fail to realize there is no status quo, and in a short time there will be no more America and no way to ever get it back… If not now, never… Those who do not see maostalin coming are dextined to serve him as propaganda specialists… Those of us who would fight are off to the gulag when maostalin has that power.. Just listen to the bill mahers and jon stewarts, they are already wanting that kind of power in washington… Maher is jealous of the chinese dictatorship, thinks americans are stupid and should get out of maostalin’s way… So he can “get things done”… Woody allen, george lopez, and a zillion other lefties feel the same way… We are far closer to gulags then anyone seems to realize…

  15. Demosthenes9 says:

    Dan, really liked the piece though I disagree with you a bit.
    In it, YOU didn’t play the RINO card and YOU didn’t make it about Conservative Purity. Thank you for that.
    As you can see here in the comments section though, some of the very people who have been your most ardent supporters here of late ARE STILL making it a “purity” issue. Will you stand up here at your blog and correct them or at least publicly disagree with them the same way you have disagreed with a number of my comments ?
    With regard to the MKH’s article, the only “playing the RINO victim card” is in her descriptions of how Rove has been hit by the moniker.
    She correctly points out that a number of O’Donnell’s fervent supporters made O’Donnell’s candidacy into a litmus test which is EXACTLY what was done.
    IF you didn’t support O’Donnell, then YOU weren’t a “true Conservative”, but a RINO.
    This was Levin’s default position, as it was for a number of the comment makers here. And yes, even you came across that way.
    Myself and other’s here who supported the election of Castle were branded as RINOs.
    Now, it seems that Jeri Thompson has morphed this into Karl Rove being sexist for not supporting O’Donnell. Again, a “litmus” test based on a single candidate. Support her or you are sexist OR a Rino.
    So no, MKH wasn’t playing the RINO card. Rather, she was discussing and criticizing the fact that OTHERS played the RINO card and the SEXIST card as well.

  16. Cc says:

    I am glad you tackled this.
    As an overeducated member of the great unwashed, MKH’s disingenuous defense of Rove infuriated me. It is NOT that he and Krauthammer, politically jaded insiders, backed Castle. It is the rudeness, condescension and hint of sexism that both of them exhibited toward her, and that Krauthammer has repeatedly displayed toward Palin. Rembember his comment in the health care debate last spring that “Palin should leave the room”?
    And as for commenters who say we are blowing our chance at taking control of the Senate, I say baloney. That has always been a long shot. Why, just last week, GOP “leaders,” and I use the term loosely, were downplaying their chances of winning the much more attainable House.
    There is a time for political cynicism. And every so often, sometimes not for generations, the stars align and circumstances call for idealism to principles to steer the country in the right direction again, this is one of those times.

  17. Moobs. Thanks. I have no feelings. They can’t hurt me cuz I’m an arrogant condescending a-hole (heh-heh). And besides, these guys are trying to raise the GOP Titanic (or GOP Hindenberg in Raggie’s case). We are going to win. We don’t need these losers.

  18. Ragspierre says:

    McPhilly, now you’re just lying again.
    http://hindenblog1.blogspot.com/2010/09/crash-gop-repeal-or-die-politically.html
    People who are working to move the GOP toward the Constitution (as I’ve been doing for about 4 decades now) ARE different than those who are trying to burn it down, replacing it with….
    not one damn thing.
    Let me ask again, who is this “we”…Kemosabe…???

  19. Does anyone here care about Raggie’s attacks on me? Does any of it make sense to you? It has never made sense to me and I have been subjected to his scurrilous attacks for several years now. At Michelle Malkin, he went from being a nuisance, to being my personal troll, then morphed into a “cling-on” troll and lately he has been stalking me. How did that work out for you at Malkin’s blog Rags? Oh yeah! You got booted!
    Now make your point and drop the personal BS. No one cares about you and me. It’s boring and annoying.

  20. Mook says:

    “As an overeducated member of the great unwashed, MKH’s disingenuous defense of Rove infuriated me. It is NOT that he and Krauthammer, politically jaded insiders, backed Castle. It is the rudeness, condescension and hint of sexism that both of them exhibited toward her, and that Krauthammer has repeatedly displayed toward Palin. Rembember his comment in the health care debate last spring that “Palin should leave the room”?”
    That’s an excellent point. Not sure I buy the sexism part, but everything else in that paragraph is spot on. It’s not just that Rove critized her, he took it much further calling her “nutty” and characterized her as unstable. A number of her detractors went WAY over the line and are now, instead of owning up to the unfairness of the smears they made against her and mending fences, they’re trying to change the subject pretending that the “real problem” is O’Donnell supporters trying to drum out of the party anyone who disagrees with them.

  21. Ragspierre says:

    Golly, McPhilly, I’ve been doing exactly what I’ve always done…challenge stupid BS wherever I find it.
    That isn’t personal, and if anyone has an ego issue, well, we know who that would be.
    As to “stalking” you arrived here after me, so…
    And, just for the record, I’ve never resorted to a email campaign directed to the site host because I was such a wuss that I couldn’t stand the heat. You’ve done that on Michelle’s site, and here, too.
    So, buck up, or get out of the truck…as a awful GOP hack (your terms) recently said.
    Or grow a pair, and get some help with your mania, as I’ve said.
    Who are “we”, McPhilly…and who is this “us” you pretend to speak for?

  22. Huey says:

    Frankly, I just don’t get it. Not the squealing from the Washington establishment politico and pundits – but us, the rank and file.
    The purpose of a primary is to choose a candidate palatable to those who voted in the election to represent a party in the general election.
    Okay. That’s done. Why in hell are we still fighting over the primary?
    I don’t get it. Is there some argument of which I’m unaware which can convince any Republican that it is better to have a Democrat sitting in that seat; or some argument can convince a conservative that it is better to have Coons rather than O’Donnell in that seat?
    If not, what in hell is all the jabberwocky about? Shut up and soldier.

  23. Ragspierre says:

    Huey, speaking only for myself…this thread hasn’t been about the primary. It was a happy day for me when O’Donnell won, and I think she has a good shot at winning the general. I am so pleased and hopeful, I may send her this month’s cigar allowance (THAT is true dedication).
    I have a kink…I admit. I can’t stand people who post “that there is only ONE party”, while supporting a guy who is running as a Republican. It is completely inconsistent.
    It is also completely NUTS to say that next year we will have a Tea Party (as in a viable third party).
    I have this commitment to rational thinking, see…
    Now, that is not to say that…in some future day…the GOP will never have sufficiently had carnal knowledge of the domestic canine to warrant formation of a replacement…as I have written.
    It IS to say that crap like “raising the Titanic”…when the guy you back is ON THE FREAKING TITANIC…is simply stupid AND counterproductive.
    Jes’ sayin’…

  24. SM says:

    “Everyone knew Castle’s politics. No one should assume everyone backing him supported those politics.”
    True enough. But it’s a stone cold certainty that many of those who supported him did so precisely because he is not a conservative.

  25. mark l. says:

    “I have no feelings. They can’t hurt me cuz I’m an arrogant condescending a-hole (heh-heh).”
    ditto.
    guilt is a luxury of a bloated and fat society.
    regret is not a virtue.

  26. Ragspierre says:

    mark I.
    you good with lying, too?

  27. mark l. says:

    not very…
    why does one have to lie?
    shame, embarrasment, self-service?
    I am a free man.
    i guess the motivation to lie is personal gain. i need nothing, and, I am content.

  28. Bilklo_83 says:

    First of all I agree they should stop using the RINO viktum card.
    But for the following to be true:
    “Delaware was chiefly a fight over long-term strategy, not the politics of each and every individual who took a side in the race.”
    voters would have had to have voted strategically en masse. This is a scenario which simply does not happen. Voters cast for who they like/don’t like, period. Revisionist theories involving national strategy in a state primary are too much of an overreach, in my opinion. Once November rolls around we will see if national voter response mimics anything that could be approximated as a “strategy” or not, but it will not mean that voters have bought in to that strategy or not, just that they have followed their gut instincts in the voting booth. My intuition is that gut instincts = Tsunami in 2010.