Best Column

Christine O'Donnell: The 'Balloon Boy' of American politics

Democrats love lampooning the Tea Party-backed Republican Senate candidate, says Frank Rich in The New York Times, but the GOP establishment could get the last laugh

It took just 30,000 Republican primary votes in a tiny state, says Frank Rich in The New York Times, to transform Christine O'Donnell "into the brightest all-American media meteor since Balloon Boy," which is to say, a joke. For embattled liberals, Delaware's GOP Senate candidate is "comic gold," a tool to help them belittle the Tea Party movement that helped her win. O'Donnell's dabbling in witchcraft, her dismissal of evolution, and her "fearless stand against masturbation" have been part of a "bottomless trove of baldfaced lies, radical views and sheer wackiness."  Even influential Republicans like Karl Rove "badmouthed" O'Donnell initially, says Rich, but they quickly backtracked: Win or lose, Christine O'Donnell will prove to be a "useful idiot for her party," and they know it. Here, an excerpt:

[Christine O'Donnell] gives populist cover to the billionaires and corporate interests that have been steadily annexing the Tea Party movement and busily plotting to cash in their chips if the G.O.P. prevails... While O’Donnell's résumé has proved largely fictional, one crucial biographical plotline is true: She has had trouble finding a job, holding on to a home and paying her taxes...

By latching on to O’Donnell’s growing presence, the Rove-Boehner-McConnell establishment can claim it represents struggling middle-class Tea Partiers rather than Wall Street potentates and corporate titans. O’Donnell’s value is the same as that other useful idiot, Michael Steele, who remains at the Republican National Committee only because he can wave the banner of "diversity" over a virtually all-white party that alternately demonizes African-Americans, Latinos, gays and Muslims.

Read the full article in The New York Times.

Recommended

Iran's president-elect says he won't meet with Biden
Ebrahim Raisi.
all eyes on iran

Iran's president-elect says he won't meet with Biden

Dick Durbin doesn't know what Joe Manchin will do
Durbin and Manchin.
Who's to say

Dick Durbin doesn't know what Joe Manchin will do

Schumer makes major caveat ahead of Senate voting rights vote
Chuck Schumer.
are you listening, joe?

Schumer makes major caveat ahead of Senate voting rights vote

Susan Collins: 'Growing optimism' about bipartisan infrastructure deal
Susan Collins.
getting there

Susan Collins: 'Growing optimism' about bipartisan infrastructure deal

Most Popular

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now
Bernie Sanders.
Sounds dope

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats
Trump rally.
The big lie

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats