Christine O’Donnell's upset win in the Delaware GOP primary has been the talk of the blogosphere, with the storyline involving a split between the Republican party establishment and the conservative base. I've seen quite a bit of nonsense from both the pro & anti-O'Donnell camps. Let's start with the antis.
O'Donnell supporters have been bashed for hurting the GOP's chances of taking the Senate. But why should conservatives -- and the GOP base that votes in primaries is overwhelmingly conservative -- vote for Mike Castle? I'm not usually in the habit of calling people RINO's, but Mike Castle is a RINO's RINO. There are really only two reasons for conservatives to vote for a candidate like Castle: 1) as a lesser evil, and 2) purely as an attempt to secure a Republican majority in the Senate. I myself am a lesser of two evils voter, and also someone who sees politics very cynically, so I'd probably have voted Castle. But there are very good arguments against those positions, which seem to go unrecognized. A Republican who aligns with Democrats can be worse than just having a Democrat. It gives Democrats cover to claim bipartisanship when he joins their legislation, and he provides talking points with which to bash other Republicans as being extreme. It does no good to retake the Senate if it is done with Republicans who basically support lighter versions of Democratic initiatives, and who will help President Obama pass legislation.
Then there is the argument that Christine O’Donnell can't win. This is ridiculous and premature. With Republicans energized, the Tea Party movement, an unpopular Democratic president and Democrats depressed, anything can happen in November. Has there ever been a better time to put up hard-line ideological conservative candidates? Not in quite some time. As we are already seeing, O’Donnell has national support. Donations are coming in from all over.
On the other hand, the "true conservative" types who support O'Donnell are spouting nonsense as well. Anyone who reasonably supported Castle in order to take the Senate is denounced as aligned with an out-of-touch "ruling elite" party establishment. The same goes for anyone that dares point out that Christine O’Donnell appears to be kind of a nut, with serious personal issues that make her a flawed candidate. Just because Mike Castle is a liberal Republican, it doesn't follow that conservatives have to support a lousy candidate purely because she's running against him. The ideological purists are also prone to ignore the real advantages that come with control of the Senate, focusing only on the potential that liberal Republicans might assist Democrats. Apparently they've forgotten that even Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins held firm and voted against Obamacare. There's definitely a risk in sending a liberal Republican to the Senate, but we've already seen the results of Democratic control. Personally I'd take my chances with someone like Castle over an even worse Democrat senator, and Democratic control.
Finally, given that the voters have decided, all Republicans should support the GOP candidate for better or worse. If you can't do that, you are basically an independent pretending to be a Republican, much like Colin Powell. Don't be a Colin Powell. That means you, Castle.