Friday, October 15, 2010

The O'Donnell Conundrum

My Facebook news stream has taken on an interesting tenor lately. It is awash with opinion articles decrying the idiocy of Christine O'Donnell, and defending the "elites" she opposes. Liberals are nodding their heads in such unison, that I'd swear they were Republicans.

The meme of a pretty conservative lady with questionable credentials was, of course, pioneered by that lightning rod of liberal disdain, Sarah Palin. Her critics fell over each other to find new ways to call her stupid. She has been used to cast the entire Tea Party movement as merely a know-nothing rabble.

Enter one Christine O'Donnell. Riding on the Tea Party momentum, she ousted the Republican incumbent in the primary. Representing for many Delaware voters a political outsider who might better represent them, she has created a media firestorm.

Images and videos of her deep past have come to light, casting her in a sharply negative light. In fact, the media's obsession has boosted her campaign contributions significantly, and she has collected more money from outside of Delaware than inside.

Yet these things have not helped her campaign. She is a 15-20 point dog, with little chance against her Democratic opponent. And herein lies, for me, a conundrum:

Why does the Left continue to bash her so viciously?

Here's what I think. For one, they are attempting to position her as the figurehead of the Tea Party, so that her loss can be framed as a victory of Democratic Reason over Tea Party Madness.

Second, by piling on, the Left can all feel good about a common cause against the Tea Party menace.

Thirdly, and most interestingly, the Left feels compelled to say, "I'm not an idiot!!!" by loudly insulting Ms. O'Donnell, because if she's a dolt and wrong about everything, then the Left is still smart and right about everything (even though Obama and the Democratic Congress has clearly shown this to be false).

It's the same reason some closeted homosexuals express violent homophobia. To deny their own perceived weakness, they lash out at anyone who reminds them of it.

In order for the Left to deny it's own stupid mistakes, and thus bolster their own belief that they have all the answers, they must excoriate a relatively harmless candidate for perceived stupidity.

In other words, "the lady doth protest too much."

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