Thursday, October 14, 2010

The triumph of Chilean rescue over Christine O"Donnell

WE WATCHED a not-so-historic debate between Republican Christine O'Donnell, the latest Tea Party headlight, and Democrat Chris Coons on CNN before the network cut away to the historic miners' rescue in Chile. The juxtoposition of the two events offered the viewer a dramatic separation of the wide arc between human dedication to heroic efforts on one hand and the imbecilic babbling of a right-wing candidate who shouldn't even be on the GOP's senatorial practice squad.

In a word, O'Donnell is an embarrassment to the most modest expectations for a coherent U.S. senate candidate. Having said that, however, it's also true that with the help of crackpot right-wingers that have commandeered the GOP from coast to coast, she knocked off a moderate Republican congressman, Mike Castle, in the Delaware's Primary, thus allowing Sarah Palin to add another notch to her arrow.

When push came to a mild shove in the debate, O'Donnell was unable to name a single U.S. Supreme Court decision with which she disagreed, defensively sputtering, "Oh, Gosh, give me a specific one. I'm sorry. Right off the top of my head, I know there are a lot, but I'll put it up on my website. I promise." (Her spokesman resorted to damage control later by saying poor Christine had been "caught off guard."

She also noted that we had never finished the job - and need to do so - when we were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. Christine! Are you aware that we are now fighting the enemies that we supported against the Soviets?

There's good news and bad news in all of this: The good news is that the polls show her trailing her opponent by 17 points. The bad news, particularly for Republicans, is that it doesn't take much persuasion for some voters to nominate a mindless political nitwit like O'Donnell who has spent some of her campaign on talking about witchcraft and the evils of masturbation.

Meanwhile, back in Chile the rescue effort was continuing as the world came together for a deeply emotional moment inspired by magical technology, perseverance and soaring can-do confidence that saved 33 lives on a planet populated by nearly 8 billion people. With that disproportionate spread, it wouldn't seem like much. But every now and then, civilized human beings demonstrate that they can live together, work together and celebrate together apart from the rising tide of Christine O'Donnells and the current disgraceful state of what's left of the Republican Party.

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