Wednesday, November 3, 2010


There is one chief reason behind the stunning losses of GOP candidates for offices in Delaware: The GOP establishment.

For years the moderate/liberal leaders of the party have welcomed money and votes from conservatives, asking them to hold their noses and vote for the party’s anointed candidates while promising conservatives their time would come if they were just patient and went along with the plan.

That time came.

But when the party leadership was called on to support conservatives, with a few notable exceptions such as Governor Pete DuPont, the moderate/liberal establishment made deliberate choices to sit out the election, go over to the Democrats’ camp, or actively sabotage the campaigns of the conservatives running for national and state offices.

Whether it was Tom Ross actively excoriating Christine O’Donnell as not being worthy of the office of dog catcher or whether it was the passive aggression of quietly withdrawing support from Glen Urquhart and other conservative candidates, the message was the same:

“We’d rather go down with the Titanic than send out life boats to save conservatives. Let them swim in the icy waters by themselves.”

Conservatives will wait until doomsday before they stop hearing the excuses of why the establishment wouldn’t support them--the candidates were personally flawed, they were inexperienced, they didn’t have the knowledge of how things really work, they were na├»ve, they were rash, they said silly things—and on and on.

But every Republican candidate would have been flawed. Human weaknesses and failures had little or nothing to do with the rejection of the GOP slate of candidates by party leaders and hangers on.

The main reason the slate of conservative candidates were not supported was that they were, well, conservative.

For decades Republican leadership has had a chummy relationship with the Democrats that has gone beyond mere collegiality and “reaching across the aisles." The reasons for the intense cooperation have most often been presented in terms of pragmatism and “reality;” but the truth of the matter is that by and large, Delaware Republican leadership has bought into liberal ideology, carving out only one consequential conservative domain: fiscal conservatism. Social issues have been and are still regarded as entirely superfluous. Reduction of the size of government, tackling the teacher's union and other important issues were not meaningfully addressed.

The result, as we have seen, has been absolute carnage.

The Republican Party in Delaware is now destroyed, mainly because the establishment
refused to embrace the conservative movement as exemplified by Tea Party movement and its legitimate concerns. Those who thought they held the reins of power entirely missed the conservative tide that swept through nearly every other state in the union.

Going forward, things look grim for the Delaware GOP, as conservatives have learned a bitter lesson and probably will move on without the party. They might well choose to leave the Republican establishment in their chosen seats—the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The Delaware GOP has been sunk because of its leadership’s pride and false sense of power, its delusional belief in its effectiveness. To use another historical metaphor, the current leaders have become like China’s last emperor—ruler of Forbidden City, surrounded by a sycophantic retinue and deluded as to the revolution going outside their walled compound.

As for the conservatives of Delaware? The Tea Partiers, the 9/12 patriots, the Rail Splitters, devout Catholics and evangelicals and other reformers who want a return to small government and constitutional principles—they will move on regardless, for their passion for reform of our great nation remains.

Delaware's conservatives will regroup and continue their efforts, looking toward the election of 2012.

For as these 2010 elections have shown, the blue tide is turning red.


  1. Small Government + Social Conservatism = Does Not Compute

    I have also yet to see any genuine fiscal conservatism from the DE GOP except from Colin Bonini.

  2. Will, I admire much that Libertarians support. Kudos for your strong stand on so many issues.

    I will agree to disagree about the pertinence of social issues. ;-) Probably it's too big a topic to cover in this response.

    I also hear you when you say fiscal conservatism hasn't been practiced, but certainly it has been mouthed a lot.

    Yes, Bonini is a good man.

  3. I'm not arguing their pertinence, though in other circumstances I certainly would. My comment is simply that a social conservative stance is fundamentally at odds with a small government. A small government cannot enforce social conservatism.

    A nice example is the Federal Tax system's encouragement of heterosexual marriage through increased tax credits and effectively subsidizing the "traditional" family. This costs money. It is also what created the "Gay Marriage" movement. They want to get in on the payout. If the Feds are passing out cash, who can blame them for wanting a cut?

    If the government got out of the marriage business entirely, that would be a smaller government and a lot less people would care about the "definition of marriage". You can't be socially conservative and consistently advocate for small government.

    Libertarians don't necessarily support gay marriage or any of the other ills that social conservatives rail against. We simply don't believe that government can effectively address those issues, constitutionally or practically. Let families, churches, and communities take care of it.

    I definitely agree with you about the GOP's lip service to fiscal conservatism. They talk about it to get votes, but when push comes to shove, we get TARP.

  4. That subsidy also complicates our tax system, btw.