No Castle for Delaware

Conservatives are fond of saying they are conservatives first and Republicans second. The current Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Delaware presents a perfect opportunity to prove it.

I’d encourage conservatives to consider all the facts and the bigger picture, hopefully realizing that rejecting Rep. Michael Castle is critical to building a cohesive, Big Tent center-right majority within the Republican Party long-term.

There will be no Rubio, no Angle, Mike Lee, Toomey, nor Rand Paul in the Senate when the winner of the Delaware special election is sworn in promptly after the election on November 2. The seat is on the ballot again in 2014. Castle will be 76 by then. He’s a better placeholder for some next Democrat, than the GOP holding the seat long-term.

It remains to be seen how many genuine small government Republicans win their Senate races in November. But the Delaware Republican primary is on September 14. It’s what conservatives do now that matters, not what they hope a Republican Senate might do sometime next year. And even if Castle wins, there is no guarantee of a majority for the GOP in the Senate at this point by any means.

Conservatives have been fighting for years to simply steer the GOP more toward the right, not make the GOP pure, or to be exclusionist, as some weak Republican critics supporting Castle have alleged. Yet, suddenly, some conservatives already incredibly angry with the current Republican establishment are now making the argument that we should sell out principle purely to empower them, not conservatism. That makes no sense.

Not one conservative coming out for Castle has been able to explain their reasoning in the face of that critique. To turn around now and do the exact opposite of what we’ve been doing so successfully, only to empower those whom we already distrust makes no sense—unless one is simply a Republican, wanting the party to win, win, win, regardless of the compromising of its supposed principles it must undertake to do it. That’s precisely the sort of reasoning that has gotten us into this mess. Also, as most appreciate, genuine conservative’s patience with the GOP is fast running out.

Think about what we actually do know and where we really are with the Senate in this respect. Add a Mike Castle to a Snowe, Collins, Brown, Graham, Lugar, McCain, maybe a Kirk, and so forth—throw in a Mitch McConnell, already proclaiming a willingness to work with Obama, and what do you get? By the time the horse-trading, back-scratching, arm-twisting, pork and sweet heart deals get done, we end up with a center-left compromise in a center-right America. That would infuriate the base, potentially damaging our cohesion to stay on track in reclaiming the GOP in 2012.

Ronald Reagan won Delaware in 1980 and 1984. Bush 41 won it in 1988. Castle is to the left of the late Bill Roth, a former GOP senator from Delaware. Yet, the GOP would have us believe that a Republican as liberal as Mike Castle is the best we can do there today? I don’t buy it and neither should you. Nor should they be rewarded for so blatantly ignoring their base in going out and recruiting a liberal like Castle. He represents the path of least resistance to their ends, not ours.

They should be punished for that, not rewarded, even if it means a loss in the general election. Refusing to make the hard choices and send the right messages, means the GOP will continue to have no incentive to pay attention to the Right, let alone take it seriously.

Mike Castle is simply the wrong nominee for Delaware, for conservatives and for the GOP. He is entirely unworthy of any conservative’s support. As for Christine O’Donnell, I’d encourage you to read Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator, and also Mark Levin on his Facebook page. I’ll let them speak to that. But as regards Castle, I believe the facts are the facts.

He is a terrible choice as a nominee, especially at a time when the country is shifting right. The damage he will likely do to the GOP brand in the Senate should be seen as more important to conservatives, than what even a Democrat might do. If Republicans don’t win the seat this year, but conservatives continue our work in the right direction, there is a much greater chance of winning it with a genuinely moderate Republican in 2014. That’s when it would represent the kind of change for which we advocate and America very much needs.

Say whatever you want about Christine O’Donnell, but conservatives must say no to Mike Castle on principle and because it is the only truly right thing to do for conservatism. Republicans be damned, until they begin to care about conservatives, again, as they not only should, but must, if they hope to continue winning much of anything in the future.

Don’t allow them to shoot both themselves and conservatives in the foot with Castle.


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