elaware Republican Christine O'Donnell brushed off a 1999 video in which she admits she'd "dabbled into witchcraft" (watch clip below), telling a crowd at a local Republican Party fundraiser Sunday that "there's been no witchcraft" since high school, and asking "how many of you didn't hang out with questionable folks in high school?" But unlike other controversial blasts from O'Donnell's past, will the witchcraft revelation — from a previously unaired TV clip released by comedian Bill Maher — hurt her with what Karl Rove calls her "church-going" base?
This is the final nail: "Good grief," says John Hinderaker in PowerLine. Witchcraft? No wonder O'Donnell canceled her Sunday talk show appearances. Worse, Maher says there's a lot more where this came from. Such a poorly vetted, frivolous candidate is "not what the conservative movement needs." We have six more weeks to live with this ill-chosen "laughingstock" before she's "clobbered."
"Christine O'Donnell's career, RIP"
"She tried it. She rejected it." Move on: "The left-wing blogs (and a few short-sighted rightie ones) are having a field day" with this, says Michelle Malkin in her blog. But they're missing the context: O'Donnell "opposes witchcraft because she has had first-hand experience with what they do." Her backers know she has "nothing to be ashamed of" — except going on that "attention troll" Maher's show so many times.
"Bill Maher's witch hunt — and the missing context for O'Donnell's remarks"
The GOP will overlook this, and anything else: "One can only wonder what else O'Donnell said," says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly. But no matter the "jaw-dropping insanity" that Maher, or anyone else, unearths, there is no "point at which the Republican Party will pull its support for O'Donnell's U.S. Senate campaign" — it wants that seat to have an "R" behind it too badly.
"O'Donnell's Band-Aid comes off slowly..."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Russia's Ukraine invasion is a moral crisis
- 4 life hacks from ancient philosophers that will make you happier
- The Daily Show explains Hamid Karzai's 'Afghan Hustle'
- Another Bitcoin exchange bites the dust
- The end of academic freedom?
Subscribe to the Week