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Monday, September 13, 2010

Nuts and Sluts In Delaware

The "nuts and sluts" defense is a common employment law tactic whenever a female employee brings a claim.  It doesn't matter what the claim is, the defense -- after the usual legal mumbo jumbo -- will be something like this:
"She's nuts.  And by the way, pssst, she may be a slut."
That is the mode of attack Democrats use against conservative women.  Sarah Palin is the prime example, as she routinely is called crazy and is sexualized by the left (to the silence of liberal feminist groups).

The nuts part of the attack is being used against Christine O'Donnell in Delaware by the local Republican establishment, and also by two leading conservative magazines, The Weekly Standard and National Review.  If O'Donnell is so nuts, why did the Delaware Republican Party nominate her to run against Joe Biden just two years ago?

If O'Donnell wins tomorrow, you can be sure that the Democrats will seize on the nuts attack from Republicans, and take it to the next step by sexualizing O'Donnell (it already has started).

By signing on to the nuts defense directed at conservative women, the Republican establishment has adopted the most pernicious line of Democratic Party attack.

I am not "anti-Mike Castle," but I do have a problem with someone who was willing to destroy the economy by signing on to Nancy Pelosi's cap-and-trade plan.  The vigorous attacks on Castle have been focused almost exclusively on his record and policy prescriptions.  Almost none of the attacks on O'Donnell focus on her policies or political agenda.

In politics, it often is necessary to put bitter primaries behind us.  I'm not sure, after the Republican establishment's nuts defense, that will be possible in Delaware.

Update:  See what I mean:

And, some commenters and articles in the conservative press use O'Donnell's statement that people are following her as proof that she is nuts.  But, the fact is that the Republican Party in Delaware has hired video trackers to follow her around (nothing illegal about that), as this post at DelawareOnline documents.  Other claims attribute to her the assertion that Castle supporters broke into her house in 2008, but O'Donnell never said that, she simply said in response to a question that she didn't know who did it.  This is the problem I have with the "nuts" defense; spin replaces facts, and once the image of the candidate is created in the public mind, there is no way to undo it.

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  1. agreed that this is a common liberal attack ... in the case of O'Donnell the "nuts" charge has alot of grounding in fact unfortunately ...
    she is out there ... and will get painted as a nut with her own words which have been bizarre ...
    she may be more conservative than Castle but her lawsuit, her financial records and her claims of having won 2 out of 3 counties in her last run are going to be fatal in the general should she win the nomination ...

  2. The problem with O'Donnell is not that she may be nuts (and she is surely a lot more pleasing on the eyes than Angle). The problem is that she simply will not win the general election in Deleware.

    Castle is a RINO, but a RINO that will do what McConnell wants if the Republicans become the majority. And if the Democrats remain in power, will still vote against them 75% of the time. However, unlike O'Donnell, he will get elected.

  3. Does Delaware allow crossover voting? If so, it may explain what's going on in the polls.

  4. Given O'Donnell's bizarre claims about people hiding in her bushes and her serial misrepresentations of her career, I fear there may be some justification to the "nuts" accusation. Couldn't the Republican Party of Delaware find a better candidate than either of these two?

    As for why O'Donnell was nominated to take on Joe Biden, his seat was so safe, I suspect she may have been the only one willing to play the sacrificial victim.

  5. I have looked at these accusations, and I find them questionable at best. She is NOT a seasoned candidate - that is clear from some of her responses. But do we want a career politician, or do we want someone who will fight for the people?

    As a woman, I find these smears and attacks abhorrent. Like Sarah Palin, I find that if you dig and look for the facts, the smears are not founded in fact, but are rather twisting of facts - spin - for a particular agenda. In other words, the GOP establishment is doing what the Dems have been claiming they do - to their own people. It almost happened to Joe Miller in AK.

    When will they learn? I see that there is a DC power struggle going on, and that McConnell and DeMint are vying for candidates to shore up their political power plays. Same for the Boehner crowd, although to a lesser degree. But.......WHEN will the Republican party realize that We the People are FED UP with this crap?! It forces the issue of a split Republican Party, or formation of a third party.

    Wake up, Republicans! O'Donnell is a Conservative, not a nutcase/slut. She has admitted readily to her flaws - who doesn't have them? She is NOT a part of the ruling class elite - that's why THE PEOPLE LIKE HER!

    We put you into the job - stop bucking us, or we'll buck YOU out next!

  6. Sounds a lot like the GOP bloodbath in the WA03.

    It was the most vicious, racist, despicable campaign I have seen in 20 years of politics... and it was all orchestrated by the GOP in support of their establishment candidate.

    That it was, unfortunately, successful just means that in the future, we can expect even more of this kind of thing... not less.

  7. I am outraged (she said quietly as she plans her blog thrashing of these bobble-heads at The Weekly Standard and National Review.

    Hell hath (and all that...)

  8. WTF is wrong with Jim Geraghty? If he thinks Castle is the better candidate, fine. Make that case. But slamming two conservative women with one tweet is idiotic. With friends like him....

    His smug and snobbish attitude is no different from the pointy-headed, liberal scribblers I detest. I'm fed up with him.

  9. As I get ready to drive the 20 minutes from my home in suburban Philadelphia to the suburbs of Wilmington (where incidentally most of my neighborhood has relocated to over the past 10 years or so) to work on the O'Donnell campaign, the vision of Lindsey Graham yukking it up with Elena Kagan during the SC nomination hearings remains seared in my brain.

    Chairmanships, although significant, are subject to change. RINOs are RINOs for life

  10. About that update, do you think Jim is saying that Sharron Angle is nuts as well? I took it to mean that she's way to the right of Angle.

  11. WooHoo Professor, you just hit the big time. I just heard Rush read from your blog. Will you remember us when?

  12. You are mentioned on Rush today.

  13. @PubSecret - please read the post before you comment.
    Regarding the nut or slut attack - this is old news out here in the Pacific North West. In Washington, Republican Linda Smith was elected to Congress (I forget the district #) to the utter horror of the Republican elite in that state. One of the Seattle papers had a cartoon perfectly capturing their attitude: A black-leather clad Smith was pictured roaring up to the country club on a motorcycle, where jeweled and formally-attired members were staring at her aghast. I don't have to tell you that she had impeccable conservative credentials. She's now running a non-profit that is attempting to stop trafficking in women.

  14. I think we just have to accept that we're getting a lousy candidate out of Delaware no matter who wins.

  15. It has been a standard attack for liberals for 60 years. No tall liberals are Dems! Look at the growtH of the "Nanny State" from 01 - 06 for proof of many lefties have an "R" attached.

  16. From RINO Moonbat Jim Geraghty's first blogpost 9/13/01 (this morning):

    "PPP Shocker: O’Donnell Leads the Delaware Senate Primary!

    and he said:

    "My views on the candidate[Christine O'Donnell] are now… well, infamous, but if PPP is right, then the conventional wisdom [meaning his RINO Moonbat wisdom] of how conservative a candidate Delaware Republicans prefer is wildly out of date."

    That he admits his attacks on Christine as "infamous" tells me his RINOness got his due thrashing.

    Wake up and smell the Tea, Mr. RINO. This is not your Progressive Republican Party anymore.

  17. Too many people are conflating establishment and electable. The establishment is making the correct choice here. They're supporting the more conservative candidates in Alaska and Utah. We need as many seats as we can get. Castle is a guaranteed vote to repeal Obamacare. To me that's all that matters right now. Anytime a 3rd party or a split is brought up, conservatives are only hurting themselves. We need a supermajority on our side right now, and a supermajority can't be supported by nominating someone like O'Donnell in New England. A vote for O'Donnell is a vote for Obamacare, no matter how much more she is aligned with you.

  18. If only the "establishment republicans" also known as "our betters" would put as much energy into fighting the democrats as they do fighting non-establishment republicans....

  19. I've noticed a lot of people tripping over themselves to get to the boards to announce O'Donnell unelectable, and they're all have the same talking points.

    I'm just sayin'...

  20. The GOP establishment is having a nervous breakdown. We Tea Party people have taken away their security blanket and instead of trying to win over the conservative wave, they band with the most liberal Dems, even adopting their slurs, lies and tactics, to attack us conservatives. The real GOP has been unmasked for the world to see and what the world is seeing is what we conservatives have been saying all along. The GOP is run by the Democratic Party.

    If this were about party over principles, the GOP elites would be jumping through hoops to help us get them a gigantic majority. But it IS about principles and the principles they are fighting for are the liberal principles we are fighting against.

    We need a second party and we are going to get one. Of course, a lot of people are going to have to get new Rolodexes.

  21. @mikehinton;
    A vote for O'Donnell is a vote for......O'Donnell. Obamacare is NOT going to get repealed in the next 2 years. Even if we were to achieve a majority in the Senate by electing Castle, there is no way to get 60 seats. That's what's needed to get past a filibuster. And you'd better believe that the Dems will filibuster any repeal attempt. Even if we could get a repeal past the filibuster, it would be vetoed immediately by Obama. Is there any conceivable scenario which ends up with 67 GOP votes in the Senate, to overturn a veto?

    You even say so yourself "We need a supermajority on our side right now." That just WON'T HAPPEN. So repealing Obamacare is no reason to vote for Castle. 2012 brings 21 Dem Senate seats into play, v 12 GOP. That's where the battle over Obamacare will be won, not in this year's fight over Delaware's GOP nomination.

    PS, Delaware is not in New England

  22. Look, if the left or right doesn't think someone will win, they wouldn't waste their time and resources trying to defeat them.

  23. In my newly awakened political mind, it is a simple of matter of walking the walk. We've been moaning about RINO's for years, and now, with the most momentum we've had in history, we are simply supposed to shelve our principles? I just don't get it.
    And, awesome that ElRushbo gave you your due today, Professor.

  24. @Danby
    I understand your points, but the Delaware Senator will still be there in 2012. I have no dreams of repealing Obamacare before then. 2010 is on the way to 2012, when we have the real deal. I just don't want to fall a vote short in 2012.

    PS, I'm embarrassed for not having checked where exactly Delaware is. I felt all those small states in the north east were considered New England, my bad.

  25. Professor, I'm really sorry to see you join the ridiculous attacks on National Review, the Weekly Standard and others in the conservative camp who are astute enough to recognize that the GOP's winning in Delaware would be a big deal and bring the Senate one step closer to an actual majority, and at the same time realize that O'Donnell is simply not going to win.

    Now, the question that follows from that must be, why can't she win? And the answer is clear, although it does make some people uncomfortable: it's because she is a flake who has never accomplished anything in life in the private sector or politics or government, has an electoral track record of being a total zero, and is carrying heavy baggage that the voters of Delaware will not like.

    To ignore these facts is impossible. The opposition to her among some Republicans and conservatives is not based on her gender or her supposed mental condition or her being "too conservative, but on her life's record, which is barren except for her ability to rattle off the right litmus-test positions for staunch conservatives -- a feat that will not help her get elected in Delaware.

    Mike Castle is/was a shoo-in, having won 12 statewide elections in Delaware, most recently in 2008 when he won by 23 points while Obama was sweeping the little state without needing to campaign. In the most recent Rasmussen poll, Castle runs ahead of the Democrat by 11 points while O'Donnell loses to the Democrat by 11 points -- a phenomenal 22 point difference.

    Now, you can make some sort of argument to the effect that you'd rather see a Democrat win than a "RINO" like Castle. At NR and WS and many other places, people are making the counter-argument that they'd rather have a RINO who wins and can help deliver the Senate to GOP hands while voting with the GOP half the time (better than none of the time with a Democrat). When they make that argument, they are called all sorts of vicious names.

    Every race is different. Sharon Angle was not the best candidate to beat Harry Reid -- but she's got a shot and is running neck and neck with him. But that's Nevada against a badly damaged incumbent. In Alaska, the GOP can easily win with a "Tea Party" instead of an "Establishment" candidate because it's a deeply Republican state. In Delaware, there is not a chance in hell for a candidate like O'Donnell to win. To say so and to warn that suicidal loss is not serious politics whould not be cause for fierce ad hominem attacks.

  26. In the 2008 presidential race, we were constantly barraged with claims that "only Giuliani could beat Hillary" or "only Romney" or "only McCain" and so on. Hillary was Satan and we couldn't risk nominating a Republican.

    Well, Hillary didn't win the nomination and we were stuck with a "whiter than white" cranky old liberal who spent more time throwing his own team under the bus for attacking Obama than in attacking Obama himself.

    Why is it that when an establishment Republican claims that a conservative can't win it is automatically assumed that it must be true? Scott Brown couldn't win either but the Tea Party put him in. Same with Joe Miller. And Chuck Devore was leading in the polls here in CA too before the establishment torpedoed him in favor of liberal inkblot Carly Fiorina.

    Here in Pasadena, it was assumed that no Republican, especially a conservative, could beat incumbent uber-liberal Adam Schiff but Tea Party candidate John Colbert is neck-and-neck if not ahead in the polls.

    If we get a conservative on the ballot, that conservative can win.

  27. The "nuts" attack is hardly some random smear. It arose from her own damn words, and how crazy they sound. It's like saying that calling Alvin Greene nuts is a baseless smear, despite the fact that it's self-evident in his own words. Let me quote some things, that O'Donnell herself said. It goes quite beyond simply saying that she's being followed. And yeah, she said she didn't know who was following her. And immediately after that said "but I know for a fact that Mike Castle and Tom Ross were campaigning against me." Certainly sounds like she believes that it's Castle.

    "They’re following me. They follow me home at night. I make sure that I come back to the townhouse and then we have our team come out and check all the bushes and check all the cars to make sure that—they follow me.

    That’s what’s disgusting, as you can see from the YouTube videos. They knock on the door at all hours of the night. They’re hiding in the bushes when I’m at candidate forums. In 2008 they broke into my home. They vandalized my home. They wrote nasty notes on my front door, on my front porch. They jeopardized my safety. They did the same thing to our campaign office. They broke into our campaign office. They vandalized our campaign office. They stole files. My campaign signs that had my picture—they put a spear in my mouth poked out my eyes, and cut out the part of my heart, and wrote nasty names all over those campaign signs.

    I would be a fool to be pressured into disclosing where I live, when I know that the stakes are even higher this time. What makes me think they wont do the same distasteful things they did in 2008 when the stakes are even higher, when we’re even more viable. I mean come on, John, you’re a class act. You don’t want to—you know that this is a security issue. You know what they’re capable of."

    And from her lawsuit against ISI, describing her reaction to being fired(go ahead an tell me if this sounds like the reaction of a normal person): "For at least six months after being fired, Miss O’Donnell suffered enormous pain, cried frequently at the sense of personal loss and failure caused by ISI, and at the sense of injustice, and could not sleep at night, often wide-awake, replaying the whole scene in her mind, until 5:30 am, and has suffered from understandable and resulting depression."

    If you don't think that those quotes demonstrate some sort of instability, that's your prerogative. But don't accuse the people worried about this of perpetuating baseless smears, or try to equate this to the attacks leveled against Palin (who, unlike O'Donnell, has shown no signs of being anything but a, normal, rational person).

  28. What Castle and the establishment Republicans have done to Christine the character assination and smears are detestable and I for one, as a Republican will not vote for him if he wins. I am sick of RINO's like him and I don't believe for a minute that he will vote to repeal Obamacare. He is part of the problem. Lifetime politician and when has he been part of the solution??? Look where we are. He won't get my vote and any of family or friends in the general election. He and they play to dirty for me. Why don't they have that much guts against the liberals??? They are wimps who like picking on women!! Try doing it to Obama and Pelosi and Reid instead of Palin and O'Donnell!!

  29. Pasadena, in the examples you mentioned, you have to actually look at the specifics for each case.

    Take Scott Brown for example. He was elected and served 3 terms as a State Rep and also three terms as a State Senator.

    Adding to that, he has a law degree and serves in the National Guard.

    O'Donnell's resume doesn't even come close in comparison.

    Let's also not forget that completely inept campaign run by Martha Coakley as well as some public resentment over "the Kennedy Senate seat".

    As for Joe Miller, he's a graduate of West Point. Fought in the Gulf War and was awarded a Bronze Star. Later, he graduated from Yale Law. Lastly, he was both a Federal and State Judge.

    Two other things to add to this. First, Alaska is a red state so being a Conservative candidate is not a hindrance. Secondly, he was running against incumbent Lisa Murkowski who is very "moderate" by Alaska standards to say the least.

    Also, Palin is still hugely influential in Alaska, even more so that she is in states like Delaware.

    yeah, you have to take all this stuff into consideration. You can't just say "Well, Joe and Scott did it, so O'Donnel can do it as well."

    The details and the specifics matter.

    Here's a link to someone that has a much more thorough explanation of all this as well as the best analysis I have seen on the Delaware race:


  30. IF O'Donnell wins today, then she wins. Let a true conservative run against a clear-cut unapologetic progressive in Delaware.

    Voters in Delaware can chose between the two, not between progressive-lite and progressive-heavy.

  31. @Voting Female
    And they will vote progressive-heavy with a vengeance. The country has moved sizably to right over the past two years, but it's still not enough to move Deleware right of center. O'Donnell will not get the support of the GOP, meaning she will have no money and no chance above and beyond her flaws. I would support a Castle independent run, if that is possible. (I support Rubio, Angle, Miller, and Lee) All the most conservative electable candidates in their own states.

  32. That is probably the best summation of this years visceral Primary season. Both sides are guilty of it. God forbid party hacks get dethroned! They sit in the rarefied air filled echo chamber of DC thinking- "after all 'we' know whats best for the unwashed masses."
    My retort to that insipid drivel: TERM LIMITS, otherwise we can randomly select names out of the phone book.

  33. Danby -- You're right that the issue in 2010 cannot be repeal of Obamacare, because of Obama's veto. However, implementation of the plan can be brought to a grinding halt by Congress refusing to fund key portions of it. Moreover, by sending repeal bills to Obama and forcing him to veto them, the GOP will be setting up the 2012 race by using this deeply unpopular "reform" as a linchpin issue against Obama and the leftist Dems. Besides Obamacare, there are a host of other issues -- the Obama deadline in Afganistan, for example -- on which GOP control of both House will matter a great deal.