AP reporter Andrew Taylor wrote up one of those teasing narratives Tuesday – the kind where he says, gee the GOP could have the Senate majority if it hadn’t managed to nominate Tea Party wackos that were successfully ripped down by harsh national press coverage.
Well, there was no actual reference to the press or its anti-Tea Party aggression. There are only “flawed, gaffe-prone nominees,” and no mention of who in the political world decides what a “gaffe” is and how the media's gaffe patrol never seems to locate them in the vicinity of Joe Biden. Taylor began his “bizarre GOP missteps” narrative this way:
Chris Matthews, during MSNBC's live election night coverage, was distressed at what he saw was the "death of the moderate wing of the Republican Party." After his colleague Keith Olbermann ran down the latest results of Republicans leading or winning in specific races Matthews bemoaned how such moderates like Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter were run out of their own party and even bellowed: "Mike Castle getting knocked out by the woman who said she's not a witch...is a joke, it's a joke for the Republican Party to lose people like Mike Castle."
The following November 2, outburst by Matthews was aired during MSNBC's live election night coverage:
This goes back eleven days, but the entertainment value is too good to let it slide by without notice.
On the Thursday after Christine O'Donnell defeated Mike Castle in the GOP primary for Delaware's open U.S. Senate seat, the Associated Press's Philip Elliott apparently felt the need to seek out an one-time Republican (or at least that's what he said) -- one of only a very few Republicans whose positions were or have been to the left of Castle's.
That would of course be former Rhode Island senator Lincoln Chafee (pictured at top right). To pick just one example to demonstrate Chafee's liberalism, during 2006 and 2005, his final two years as a Senator, his grades from the Club for Growth came in at 27% and 26%, respectively. Castle's grades in the House during those same two years were 48% and 43%.
Gosh, Phil, was there any doubt over how Chafee would feel about Castle's defeat and O'Donnell's win? Is this news?
Here are a few paragraphs from Elliott's brief report, including a Chafee prediction that may be disproven in 5-1/2 weeks:
George Will on Sunday gave a much-needed education to the entire "This Week" panel about how the Tea Party is moving the GOP in a positive direction that could alter politics in this nation for years to come.
As Christiane Amanpour and her Roundtable guests - Democrat strategist Donna Brazile, National Journal's Ron Brownstein, and Republican strategist Matthew Dowd - all fretted about the so-called Civil War brewing in the GOP, Will was once again the voice of reason.
"At the beginning of the year, the question was, will the Tea Party people play nicely with others and will they obey the rules of politics? Who's sort of not playing nicely?" asked Will.
"Mr. Crist starts losing the primary to a Tea Party favorite Rubio. He suddenly discovers that he's an independent and changes all his views overnight," he continued.
"Mrs. Murkowski loses a primary and suddenly discovers that she has a property right in her Senate seat and she's going to run as a write-in. Senator Bennett thought of that in Utah, Senator Castle in Delaware is thinking of a write-in candidate. Who are the extremists?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Friday had a heated debate with the Washington Post's Colby King over what the Tea Party stands for as well as who its leader is.
As the panel on PBS's "Inside Washington" discussed Delaware Republican senatorial nominee Christine O'Donnell's surprising victory Tuesday, the conversation naturally gravitated towards the conservative movement reshaping the face of politics.
"They [the Tea Party] have a litmus test that goes into being right to life, social conservative issues that they're strong on," said King.
Krauthammer pounced, "Look, I hate to say this, but I think that is completely wrong."
The battle was on (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews on Wednesday departed from the liberal media conventional wisdom that Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell's defeat of Republican favorite Mike Castle was good news for Democrats and President Obama.
Quite the contrary, the "Hardball" host has become extremely pessimistic about Democrat chances to retain Congress in the upcoming midterm elections, so much so that he likened his Party to the Titanic.
"The boat is sinking," he told fellow liberal David Corn. "The establishment is sinking."
When Corn tried to push back on Matthews' view, the devout liberal said, "I take O`Donnell. How many points are you going to give me?" (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
Good Morning America's Juju Chang switched into prognostication mode on Wednesday and proclaimed that, along with other Tea Party wins, Christine O'Donnell's upset victory in Delaware "pretty much eliminat[es] the Republicans' chances of taking back the Senate." [MP3 audio here.]
She trumpeted, "We begin with an upset victory for the Tea Party and maybe for Democrats." The news anchor announced, "Christine O'Donnell has defeated a mainstream Republican candidate for the Delaware Senate seat, thanks to help from Sarah Palin."
Mainstream? Mike Castle's lifetime American Conservative Union score is 52. He has an F grade from the NRA, supported cap and trade and is aggressively pro-abortion. These are generally not known as "mainstream" GOP positions.
"This is probably one of the few times we're going to disagree here." -- Sean Hannity to Karl Rove regarding Christine O'Donnell.
I'll say. Even after Fox News called the Delaware GOP senatorial primary for Christine O'Donnell tonight, Karl Rove continued to rip the winner, questioning everything from O'Donnell's "rectitude" to her "character." Concluded the pessimistic Rove: "this is not a race we're going to be able to win."
Sean defended O'Donnell staunchly, but was met with a litany of Roveian criticism of Christine, including these comments:
Well you have to give Chris Matthews credit for admitting the obvious. On Monday's Hardball, as he overlooked the bad environment for Democrats this midterm season, Matthews appeared grateful he didn't make his much rumored run for Pennsylvania's Senate seat, as he asked one of his guests: "Do you think it could be the year where guys...like me were smart not to make the run?" [audio available here]
The admission came during a segment in which Matthews, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and local radio talk show host, Dan Gaffney of WGMD, were breaking down the prospects for Christine O'Donnell to upset Republican Mike Castle and go on to win the general election for the Deleware Senate seat with Gaffney explaining that it was a distinct possibility since there is "a lot of anti-establishment, anti-incumbent sentiment" in that state, calling that race "a crap-shoot." This caused Matthews to wonder, if in fact, that attitude extended to Pennsylvania as he asked Gaffney the following question:
Delaware might soon be referred to as "Little Alaska" not only because of its relatively small size in area but, more importantly, because the September 14 Republican senate primary in that state threatens to become a possible repeat of what recently happened in Alaska when little known Tea Party backed candidate, Joe Miller, apparently defeated the establishment incumbent, Senator Lisa Murkowski (absentee ballots still being counted). In the "Little Alaska" state of Delaware, Joe Miller comes in the form of little known Christine O'Donnell who is challenging "moderate" Congressman Mike Castle who has, until now, been considered as the sure victor in that state's primary. However, after what happened in Alaska, the O'Donnell challenge has to be taken more seriously.
Michelle Malkin is now focusing on that election in which anything, after Alaska, now seems possible:
Well, 70-year-old, nine-term House cap-and-taxer GOP Rep. Mike Castle has a challenger. She’s Christine O’Donnell — a young, energetic, fresh-faced conservative activist with a real shot at dislodging the entrenched liberal Republican. She’s been traveling the state of Delaware non-stop and reaching out to conservatives across the country for support. I met her on Saturday at a grass-roots gathering of Moms 4 America in Washington, D.C. Castle refuses to debate her and has resorted to sneaking in and out of local GOP meetings to avoid her. He has bagged out on four scheduled GOP primary debates, most recently one sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The establishment Republican fund-raising organizations are sticking by their big government brother.
In case you were wondering if there might be some consequence for the eight Republican members of Congress that voted for cap and tax last month, watch how Delaware's Mike Castle got roughed up by citizens at a recent town hall meeting (h/t Planet Gore):