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    I Could Not Vote For Someone Who Refuses To Debate

    I Could Not Vote For Someone Who Refuses To Debate

    My first foray into the Delaware Republican Senate primary a few days ago was to make the point that voters should select the candidate of their choice — be it Mike Castle or Christine O’Donnell — and not try to game the overall Senate outcome.

    In that prior post, I was careful to make clear that I didn’t know enough about the candidates to accept the view that Castle was a “RINO.”

    One thing jumped out at me, and has troubled me these past few days.

    Why won’t Castle debate O’Donnell?

    If Castle is the better candidate, and his positions on things like cap-and-trade and the Disclose Act are defensible, he should defend them in public in the presence of his opponent.  If his positions on those issues are not defensible, but his overall record is, he should defend his overall record.

    It is not a matter of insisting on ideological purity to demand that a candidate set forth his positions and defend those positions before the voters.

    The one thing Castle should not have done is show such disrespect for the voters that he refused to debate his opponent face-to-face, where his positions (and hers) could be challenged.

    I hate candidates who play hide-and-seek, who put their campaign strategy ahead of informing the voters, and who act like smug Washington insiders while claiming not to be smug Washington insiders.

    I cannot in good conscience lambast Harry Reid for stalling debates with Sharron Angle, yet accept when Castle does even worse and refuses to debate at all.

    Castle’s explanation for his refusal to debate is laughable:

    “I have no intention of talking to her,” Castle said. “The O’Donnell campaign has been based from the very inception on misrepresenting my record and using the lowest tactics that Delaware has ever seen in a campaign. I don’t intend to give a her forum to keep spreading misrepresentations about me or anything I’ve ever done.”

    My disdain for Washington smugness is so great at this point in our political life that if I lived in Delaware, I would cast a ballot for Christine O’Donnell based on Mike Castle’s refusal to debate.  That refusal tells me everything I need to know.


    (audio via Tammy Bruce and HotAir)

    Update:  Via Twitter I learned that Melissa Clouthier made a similar point on September 5.
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    Let's see…why would Castle not want to debate her?

    It might have something to do with the fact that some of her supporters insinuated Castle was having a gay affair, based on absolutely no evidence.

    It might have something to do with the fact that some of her supporters ALSO insinuated Castle would switch parties post-election, based on a similar lack of evidence.

    It might have something to do with Castle not wanting to legitimize an opponent whose greatest political accomplishment to date was winning the 2008 GOP primary for the same Senate seat she's currently trying to get. She then lost to Joe Biden in the general by 30 points. (She was uncontested in her primary, by the way. First in a field of one is something that I think even I could do.)

    Y'know, if I were Mike Castle, I don't think I would debate her either.

    As to Maggot's post earlier…Scott Brown and Chris Christie were justified risks in seats where the GOP seemingly had no candidates who "could win." Castle, by contrast, has led from the moment he jumped in the race. Why risk a sure thing that will be okay on something that isn't sure, and (given O'Donnell's problematic history) probably wouldn't be okay even if we got it? Some people don't want a RINO; what I don't want is a non-serious personality.

    Moreover, the states where Tea Party insurgents have taken nominations are also solid red or purple states where they either will win or have a good chance to win (see: Buck, Ken; Lee, Mike; Miller, Joe; Rubio, Marco). Delaware, by contrast, is pretty blue — I think Shirley Vandever already pointed this out. Delaware once produced conservatives like Bill Roth and Pete DuPont. Right now, Castle is the best person we have there who can win. If you don't like that, turn your efforts toward rebuilding the Delaware GOP, and take what we can get for now. In a year where THIS SINGLE SEAT could decide control of the Senate, a Castle in the hand is more than worth a bush-league O'Donnell.

    Sure, Castle is a moderate — and quite arguably a RINO, if you want to go that far. But I'd rather have a RINO than a straight Democrat, and THAT'S the choice here. Nominate Castle, Castle wins. Nominate O'Donnell, Coons wins. If you're a real conservative, frankly, you should want to pursue the outcome that puts the most conservative candidate in office. Here, that means Castle.

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