A Second Look at Christine O’Donnell

Keith Johnson

Christine O’Donnell’s victory in the Delaware Republican primary may not be cause for celebration.  A Christine O’Donnell in Washington may just mean one more vote for endless war in the Middle East.

This statement was sourced from her 2008 campaign website by ‘On the Issues’:

Strategy to bring troops home from Iraq: it’s called victory

“Christine has a strategy for bringing our troops home from Iraq: It’s called victory. Past mistakes should not deter our need to stabilize Iraq so we can get our troops home. We can succeed in the future, but we must accompany our efforts with the honor and respect we’ve earned as a people. We cannot leave on the enemy’s terms. We must leave on our terms.”

Our Terms?  Take a look at what imposing “our terms” on the people of Iraq has done to that nation thus far. The United States invaded Iraq under the pretext of neutralizing Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.  In the process, the American military turned an emerging first world nation into a hellish, third world cesspit.  In the end, no weapons of mass destruction were found.  There was and will be no victory, and suggesting that America has earned respect and honor within the context of the Iraq War is an affront to the 1,366,350 slaughtered Iraqis and the 4,736 dead members of our American armed services.  Is this her idea of victory, or will that only be accomplished after we have shed even more innocent blood?

Remove the words “Tea Party” from the Christine O’Donnell equation and you may very well end up with your garden variety NeoCon patsy.  She has been on the political scene long before the Tea Party was even heard of.  In the last four years, she has made a run for the Senate seat on two previous occasions.

During the 2006 race, Ms. O’Donnell agreed with two other Republican candidates that Iran was intent on developing nuclear weapons and that their government had actually benefited from the war with Iraq due to its close ties with Iraqi Shiite leaders. She was, however, the only Republican candidate to go one step further and assert that the U.S. should consider military action against Iran. She stated “You can’t negotiate with the Devil” and also asserted that China has a “carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America.” No, that wasn’t Sarah Palin saying those things…but it may just as well have been.  Keep in mind that ‘establishment’ incumbent Mike Castle was among those three “Republican candidates,” and even he was not ready to put his full support behind an attack on Iran.  That’s not to say that it isn’t nice to see Castle go—good riddance.  But, here is a question that I’ve posed once before:  What are we getting in return?

If this woman still embodies the kind of pro-war ideology that she spouts in her previous rhetoric—she will no doubt become a useful idiot to opportunistic war makers on Capitol Hill—who will exploit her religious beliefs to advance their imperialist agenda.  Upon her arrival in Washington, the Israeli lobby and the defense industry will routinely court her.  Give the charming, fatherly Henry Kissinger ½ hour alone with this naïve young woman, and she will be eating out of the palm of his hand and going out of her way to send your sons and daughters off to die in holy, Christian missions of conquest against the evil Muslim hordes.

Has Ms. O’Donnell changed her stance on U.S. involvement in foreign wars?  If she has, I can’t find any mention of it.  When I go to her campaign website, I am delivered to a page that asks for a donation, but no information that will help me find out where she stands on the issues.  If I put her name into a search engine, I cannot find any reference to her position on war and foreign policy other than what I have already shared.

However, I did find plenty of information concerning her passionate crusade against masturbation, gay marriage, pre-marital sex and abortion.  I’ve also learned that she has strongly supported censorship and applying Biblical principals into all levels of public policy.  But even these issues don’t help us find out what she really stands for.  As recently as last night, O’Donnell seemed to be backpedaling on some of the more controversial positions she previously held in an attempt to clean up her image, or at least come off as less of afanatical religious zealot.

According to this morning’s Washington Post:

“In her first post-primary debate against Democratic nominee Chris Coons, O’Donnell said she has matured since making controversial statements in favor of “sexual purity” and against masturbation in a 1996 MTV documentary. “I was very excited and passionate about my newfound faith,” she said about that period in her life.”

“O’Donnell said during the debate that she opposes embryonic stem cell research and abortion except if the life of the mother is threatened. But she said she would adhere to the Constitution rather than her personal beliefs if elected, and emphasized her views about taxes and the size and role of government over her opinions on social issues.”

I find this all a little too wishy-washy for my taste.  Is O’Donnell the kind of “go along to get along” politician who is taking up the Tea Party banner just so she gets into a position of power?  Fighting taxes and reducing the size of government are familiar themes that every Republican campaigns on.

I fear that Christine O’Donnell is just the latest in a series of disappointing Tea Party candidates who appear to be merely riding on the grassroots popularity of the movement.  How can you take any candidate seriously about ‘fixing the economy’ and ‘reducing the size of government’ when they support the very wars that have created the problem?  Ms. O’Donnell, like many other Tea Party candidates, seem to lack a basic understanding of how our economy works.

One of the strongest rallying cries among the Tea Party movement is to take on the Federal Reserve.  They vow to audit it or abolish it altogether.  But if you support the war effort, you have to support the Federal Reserve.  If you interfere with their counterfeiting scheme, funding for these military adventures will cease overnight. In his article “The Hidden Costs of War,” Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) demonstrated that he has a complete understanding of how this works:

“Without the Fed’s ability to create money out of thin air, our government would be severely handicapped in waging wars that do not serve our interests. The money issue and the ability of our government to wage war are intricately related. Anyone interested in curtailing wartime spending and our militarism abroad is obligated to study the monetary system, through which our government seductively and surreptitiously finances foreign adventurism without the responsibility of informing the public of its cost or collecting the revenues required to finance the effort.”

Those who are serious about ending the Fed must be just as serious about ending these wars.  Campaigning to reverse health care and opposing tax increases are just part of the package, but you can’t cherry pick which pet projects you’ll allow the Fed to unconstitutionally finance.

Sure, it’s refreshing to see the symbolic message being sent to the ‘establishment’ incumbents.  But while we can rejoice in watching longtime Republicans and Democrats losing their seats, can we really celebrate putting someone like Christine O’Donnell in their place?  I personally cannot give my endorsement to someone who I know will vote in favor of war.  Doing so would be equivalent to loading a magazine into a soldier’s rifle.  I refuse to play the ‘lesser of two evils’ card when lives are at stake.

What’s really going on here?  One must ask themselves why a virtual unknown is being given so much press.  There is no such thing as bad publicity.  Like Sarah Palin, O’Donnell is being hyped as a rogue element in the GOP, someone who will restore old-fashioned Christian values and rescue us from the fat cat Republicans that many working class folks have trouble identifying with.  In many ways, the Tea Party has become a remarkably effective recruitment tool for the GOP to attract fence sitters and disgruntled royalists who have lost faith in the establishment Republican Party.

This week, the Internet was buzzing over the pseudo-feud between O’Donnell and former Bush point man, Karl Rove.  During an interview with FOX News’ Sean Hannity, Rove said some very unflattering things about O’Donnell.

“I’ve met her. I wasn’t frankly impressed by her abilities as a candidate,” said Rove. “One thing that O’Donnell is now going to have to answer in the general election that she didn’t in the primary is her own checkered background. There were a lot of nutty things she has been saying that don’t add up,” he added.

“Why did she mislead voters about her college education? Rove asked. “How come it took nearly two decades to pay her college bills so she could get her college degree? How did she make a living?”

Many have concluded that this confirms that O’Donnell is the ‘real deal.’  After all, if Karl Rove doesn’t like her, then she must be good, right?  Rove may be evil—but he isn’t stupid.  He knows that he doesn’t enjoy a good public image.  Going out of his way to attack O’Donnell is the biggest endorsement he could give.  It gives her street cred.  Besides, look at the negative things Rove chose to harp on her about—her unpaid college bills?  This only makes her seem more ‘down to Earth’ to the average working class stiff.

Now we find Sarah Palin coming out to endorse her and chastising Karl Rove for all those nasty things he said.  Don’t you see the game here?  The co-opted segment of the Tea Party has become an internal paradigm within the GOP.  Those who consider themselves Republicans, but have soured on the Party following the disasterous public relations nightmare that was Bush/Cheney, now have an alternative to invest their hopes and dreams in.  But at the end of the day—it’s still the GOP.

Oh—and by the way—just this morning, Rove has reversed himself and is throwing his full support behind O’Donnell’s campaign.  That places him among O’Donnell’s other cheerleaders that include Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Bill O’Reilly, Michele Bachman, etc., etc. etc.

Does Ron Paul get that kind of support from the NeoCon establishment?

I rest my case.

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