Forget viability. What about competence?

A quick question about the O’Donnell win in Delaware: At what point does a candidate’s personal problems or demonstrable lack of competence become a reason not to vote for them? O’Donnell really does seem manifestly unprepared for adulthood (to say nothing of elected office). Concerns over electability are one thing, but given her personal issues, is there a case for voting against O’Donnell even if you agree with every single one of her views?

If she was running for an office vested with more discretionary authority, I think plenty of primary voters would have thought twice before pulling the trigger.* But in an election over a backbencher Senate seat, does it really make sense to hold candidates accountable for anything other than ideological purity? A job whose major responsibility is to pull the lever for the right team strikes me as just about perfect for a career political activist. Would anyone – Republican, Democrat, or otherwise – vote for a congressional candidate they disagreed with because the person representing their views wasn’t quite right in the head?

*This is, incidentally, the reason I think Palin’s 2012 candidacy is stillborn. In their heart of hearts, plenty of people harbor serious doubts about the idea of Palin’s finger on the button even if they agree with her ideological worldview.

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13 thoughts on “Forget viability. What about competence?

    • @Jaybird, Er, I mean, we’re in a situation where the folks are “throwing the bums out”.

      Castle, according to people who cared enough to show up to vote, was yet another bum who had his nose up the establishment’s nethers.

      The crazy chick who I do not endorse, however, cannot be said to have her nose up anywhere.

      I probably would have voted for her too.

      If the Republican Party Machine cannot compromise enough to run a real friggin’ candidate rather than someone like Castle, then the Republican Party Machine deserves to be castrated.

      This shouldn’t be seen as an endorsement of that crazy lady. It’s not.

      It’s a repudiation of Castle.

      God Bless America.

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  1. I lived in Delaware I’m sure I’d vote for her in the general election. As bad as O’Donnell is, there is never any excuse for voting for a Democrat.

    But it’s a bigger issue than just voting the right way. Political office has to be more than simply in-group maintenance. It has to be that way because nobody’s clique, including the Tea Parties, is big enough to dominate American demographics by themselves.

    It can be worth our time and energy to demonstrate to non-Tea-Party types that Rand Paul or Dino Rossi are fine candidates who are worthy of their support. It’s just a completely hopeless cause for Miss O’Donnell.

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  2. 1) At first I thought it was saying she had sue the ISI (i.e. of Pakistan) for mental anguish. That would be rather awesome and is frankly something Barack Obama might consider, and George W. Bush might consider signing onto.
    2) I support women candidates in going ahead with the “unmanly” charge. It shows pluck, and is almost certain to be accurate.

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  3. But in an election over a backbencher House seat, does it really make sense to hold candidates accountable for anything other than ideological purity?

    You mean a Senate seat that could very well be the deciding vote on a lot of things the way the Senate is currently run, or am I missing a joke here?

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  4. Will, where I come from we’d call her past ‘colorful,’ my last two congressional reps where chamgs: one ended up in prison for bribery and the other was pitched for hiring secretaries based on their ‘performance.’ Talk about ‘class.’
    Re: this: “At what point does a candidate’s personal problems or demonstrable lack of competence become a reason not to vote for them?”
    Will, please, this from a commie-Dem? Can you say: Jim Traficant, Dennis the Menace Kruzinski(sp), Algore, Bob KKK Byrd, and the recently deceased Penna Congressman Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, W.Va’s Mullohand…I mean, dude, the list of stupid, insipid, defective, lying, theiving Democrat Congressmen/Senators is seemingly limitless.
    I’d say Ms. O’Donnell, morally speaking, will probably be head and shoulders superior to these bottom feeders.

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  5. Derb chimes in, God bless him.

    nationalreview.com/corner/246631/temper-tantrum-john-derbyshire

    Not much doubt about what Republican voters were saying yesterday. Something like WE HATE ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS! Whether, as the rising E-R whine has it, this is a gift to the Democrats, remains to be seen.

    For once I was in harmony with the Zeitgeist. I voted for Carl Paladino in the NY gubernatorial GOP primary. What’s not to like? Carl’s opponent — I’ve forgotten his name already — was the last establishment Republican I ever sent money to ($100, in the 2000 election) in response to a fundraiser mailing. He’ll be the last for a long time — until establishment Republicans convince me their party stands for something other than government bloat, runaway spending, open borders, ethnic pandering, educational romanticism, and futile half-hearted wars.

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    • @Jaybird, i would think the derb is really not down with o’donnell’s anti-wack off beliefs.

      but i’m not surprised derby isn’t bothered by a candidate who says sort of racist type jokes, compared jews he doesn’t like to hitler and wants to use prisons as dorms.

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  6. And here I was thinking Palin’s 2012 candidacy was stillborn because she’s realized that she can make more money and fame, with far less actual work and responsibility, as a celebrity.

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