No, I'm in the First State of Delaware, which, except for Joe Biden, and being noted for having some fabulous restaurants and beaches that are "America's Favorite Playground," things here pretty much stay under the radar. And, for the most part, most folk here like it that way, thank you very much.
Until, of course, the Primary Elections the other day where Republicans nominated Christine O'Donnell as their candidate in the November elections for State Senator.
Mrs. O'Donnell has long been known as a certified wackadoodle, who didn't exactly need the endorsement of Mrs. Palin or the Tea Party Movement to earn those credentials. No, this woman has been earning that reputation all on her own for quite some time now.
She first made the scene back in 1995, as a spokesperson for Concerned Women for America, the group founded in the 1980s by Armageddon fantasist Tim LaHaye's wife Beverly to train conservative Christian women for political activism..
O'Donnell asserted that women serving in combat damages national security, and believed that sex discrimination by taxpayer-funded institutions was constitutional.
Here's what she said:
By integrating women into particularly military institutes, it cripples the readiness of our defense. Schools like The Citadel train young men to confidently lead other young men into a battlefield where one of them will die. And when you have women in that situation, it creates a whole new set of dynamics which are distracting to training these men to kill or be killed. And these dynamics between men and women are what make the relationship between men and women beautiful. So I don't think that we should try to desensitize men to the differences.O'Donnell further claimed that women have a special role in society, just not in military combat, citing the special role of mothers. "When you remove the role of the mother, the family is left to crumble," she said, blaming even declining SAT scores on this alleged phenomenon.
That was 1995, but that's her story and she's sticking to it.
Oh, but wait. There's more!
In 1996, she also made an appearance on MTV's "Sex in the 90s" in her role as president and founder of The SALT - The Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth - where she waxed absolutely puritanical in opposition to masturbation. She also said she considers looking at pornography akin to adultery, adding,, and I quote (because you wouldn't believe it any other way): "The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. You can't masturbate without lust!"
I am not making this up.
Rachel Maddow found the video in some dusty vault somewhere and showed it on her program the other night. You can watch the whole thing here. But, do take a TUMS - or, if you prefer, your favorite alcoholic libation - before watching.
Her issues with sexuality and gender rolled into her now infamous statement to Senator Castle when she told him to "get you man-pants on" - either impugning his masculinity or insinuating that Castle is having an affair with a man while married - or, perhaps, both.
That may not be the way to "win friends and influence people" but apparently, it's a way to win primary elections.
She doesn't believe in evolution.
I know. What a surprise, right?
On March 30 of 1996 (apparently, that was a Very Busy year for the poor dear), she was in a ... um . . . ."debate" . . . on the merits of evolution on CNN. She said,
". . . evolution is a theory and it's exactly that. There is not enough evidence, consistent evidence to make it as fact, and I say that because for theory to become a fact, it needs to consistently have the same results after it goes through a series of tests. The tests that they put — that they use to support evolution do not have consistent results. Now too many people are blindly accepting evolution as fact. But when you get down to the hard evidence, it's merely a theory. . . .Is it any wonder that state Republican party chairman, Tom Ross, who backed incumbent Mike Castle, said in a telephone interview, "Unfortunately, the truth always seems to be an issue. Her version of reality doesn't jibe with any of the facts." Furthermore, Ross said, "She's not a viable candidate for any office in the state of Delaware. She could not be elected dog catcher."
But creation . . . (wait for it) . . Well, creationism, in essence, is believing that the world began as the Bible in Genesis says, that God created the Earth in six days, six 24-hour periods. And there is just as much, if not more, evidence supporting that."
Oopsie! That may be so, but, she did win her party's primary election to Congress, proving that all some Republican candidate wannabes need these days is a "spot of tea" along with Mrs. Palin to provide an infusion of energy, enthusiasm and, um, oh yes, cash.
O'Donnell wasn't Palin's only win on Tuesday. As the NY Daily News reported:
In Wisconsin, Palin-backed Sean Duffy - an ex-district attorney and castmate in MTV's "The Real World" - handily won the Republican primary Tuesday for a U.S. House seat.Of course, a Palin endorsement isn't necessarily the golden ticket. According to The Washington Post's Palin endorsement tracker, as of Aug. 25, Palin endorsed 43 candidates (24 had Tea Party ties and 23 were women). Of the 43, 21 candidates won, 11 lost, and 11 were upcoming or had no primary.
And in New York, Michael Grimm defeated his opponent in the Republican primary for a House seat representing Staten Island. And in New Hampshire's Republican Senate primary, Kelly Ayotte, the state's attorney general (who is backed by Palin) narrowly won against Tea Party backed Ovide Lamontagne in a multi-candidate race.
And then there are other winning candidates, particularly in the Tea Party, that Palin has endorsed this election season -- demonstrating her ability to catapult nobodies into virtual stardom. There's Joe Miller in Alaska, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and Nikki Haley in South Carolina.
Nevertheless, Democratic party leaders are rejoicing at O'Donnell's victory. She is not expected to do well in the general election against Democrat Chris Coons. And that could destroy the Republicans' chances of gaining a Senate majority.
"If Castle had won the nomination, the GOP almost certainly would have taken the seat," Mike Allen, of Politico, said. "Now, Republicans are unlikely to take the seat and therefore unlikely to take the majority on Nov. 2"
That's the same thinking about the dynamic that lost the McCain-Palin run for Presidency. I'd like to think it's true, but I fear there were too many factors in that election - on both sides of the political fence - to blame the Republican loss all on Sarah Palin.
Take, for example, the voter turnout in Delaware. According to the State of Delaware's official website, while O'Donnell won 53.1% of the vote to Castle's 46.9% (or, a mere 3,540 votes), the Democratic turnout was only 12% as compared with 32% turnout for Republicans.
Okay, okay, so more Democrats voting in the primary election would not have changed the Republican primary election, but if the Democrats don't/can't mobilize their voting base, this is O'Donnell's election to lose.
Make no mistake: The Tea Party movement is not just a secular movement. It is, in its core, a religious movement. These folks really believe that they are on a 'mission from God'.
Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatchs reported that Ralph Reed emphasized at last weekend's 'Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference', Reed's attempt to reconstitute the Christian Coalition, that the Tea Party will triumph not just by
"one-on-one persuasion, but the collective (yes! socialism!) nature of the divine task of individuals. The mission, he told a group of about 50 activists assembled for a break-out session on Saturday afternoon, is "restoring America to the principles on which she was founded: limited constitutional government and faith in God." Their goals, he continued, are "electing certain people and passing certain legislation." That, he concluded, can't happen "if you and I aren’t willing to pay the price."The particular brand of 'tea' they are brewing is a pungent, aromatic blend of modern social networking mixed with the dry leaves of good-old-fashioned religious evangelism, and served with a heaping dollop of traditional Protestant sacrificial work-ethic and Pentecostal/Evangelical apocalyptic theology.
Intelligent people of every political and religious persuasion ignore this at our own peril.
If the voter turnout for the primaries is any indication, Democrats as well as moderate Republicans are in deep trouble.
It's time to brew up a strong pot of coffee, wipe the astonishment off our faces, along with our bemused "above it all" grins at the admittedly comical manifestations of this unbelievable political reality show, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.
The November elections are right around the corner. If the primary elections prove nothing else, they clearly concretize Mrs. Palin's role as a major political power broker. Please, God, that's not enough to win her the Republican presidential nomination, but frankly, she doesn't need that. She's President of The Tea Bag Party - a movement that more and more people seem to be following.
The bottom line: We've got to stop believing that the bottom line of any election is a dollar sign. It takes more than hard cold cash to win an election. If you look at the currency in this country, it still says, "In God We Trust."
It may be time for some of the rest of us to start believing that and brew up a little religious movement of our own. You know, like the kind this country was founded on. One that has a vision of "liberty and justice for all."