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    The Buckley Rule Is Not A Rule

    The Buckley Rule Is Not A Rule

    Prior to last week, when is the last time anyone heard of the “Buckley Rule,” a supposed prescription by William F. Buckley, Jr.?  Now it is all the rage for pundits whose man in Delaware lost.

    The Buckley Rule now rolls off the tongues, keyboards and pens of the punditry as if it were a law of conservative nature.

    Charles Krauthammer describes the Buckley Rule as “a timeless rule of sober politics,” as follows:

    “Support the most conservative candidate who is electable.”

    Timeless?  When is the last time Krauthammer cited the Buckley Rule prior the Delaware primary?  Admittedly, I’m not the best at Google searches, but I can’t find it (someone provide a link it you locate one).  Even if there is a mention, it hardly has been a guiding “Rule” of politics until recently.

    There is no such “Rule.”  The text comes from a comment about why Buckley would support Richard Nixon:

    “The wisest choice would be the one who would win. No sense running Mona Lisa in a beauty contest. I’d be for the most right, viable candidate who could win. If you could convince me that Barry Goldwater could win, I’d vote for him.”

    Why does that comment about a specific election and a specific candidate become a “Rule” applicable to all times and all elections?

    Charlie Crist was the most conservative Republican electable until Marco Rubio — written off as a long shot fringe Tea Party-backed candidate — took him out.  Should we have buried Rubio early on because Crist appeared at the time to be the more electable candidate?

    How everyone in the Republican Party now sings Rubio’s praises.  But it was not always that way.

    The “Buckley Rule” never was and is not a Rule devoid of time, place and person. If it were, it would be a license for a permanent incumbency and tyranny of the establishment, because by definition those backed by the party apparatus always start out as the most electable.

    In fact, Buckley had a great disdain for entrenched, self-perpetuating elites epitomized by the faculty of Harvard:

    I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.

    Make your case for a particular candidate in a particular race.  But don’t invoke some illusory “Rule” just because you don’t like the outcome.

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    47% of registered voters in DE are Democrats, 29% are Republican, and 24% are "Others".

    For perspective, MA has even fewer registered Republicans. While it's true many of the northeastern states thought of as liberal have far more registered Democrats than Republicans, it's also true they have a significant percentage of Independents. And we all know it is independents who decide elections on the margin.

    Now, using those numbers, I can think of a few scenarios where O'Donnell is a winner. For example, both Huck and Rove have said recently that Republican turnout this primary season has been stronger than anytime since 1930. That implies a very large chunk of the 29% Republican base will turn out. Next, certain elements of the Obama coalition are not going to turn out like they did in 2008. Blacks, represent 21% of the Delaware population.

    Blacks also historically vote 90% Democrat. So, in Delaware, about 18% of the Democratic coalition is the black voting bloc (90%*21%=18%). Does anybody really think blacks will turnout this year in numbers even remotely close to when Obama was on the ballot? I don't.
    Or what about the idealistic under 30 crowd who were so moved by the "Hope and Change". Are they going to turn out in the same numbers as when Obama was on the ballot? Again, I don't think so.

    While I can't see any Republicans voting for Coons, it's at least theoretically possible some "weak Democrats" will crossover to vote Republican as they learn from Byron York's reporting that Coons raised property taxes 5% in 2006, 17.5% in 2007, and 25% in 2009 — all after pledging he would not raise them a penny while running for the job of executive of New Castle county. He's a tax and spend Marxist.

    An uber strong Republican turnout, combined with weak turnout of blacks and younger idealists, together with a big chunk of Independents deciding to vote Republican (I saw a poll where Independents preferred O'Donnell over Coons by 8 points), and some weak Democrats crossing over to vote Republican, and O'Donnell wins.

    It will take many stars lining up just right, but O'Donnell can absolutely win. However, she won't win if Rove, Krauthammer, McCormack, Geraghty and the grassroots don't stop bashing her and continue to plant the seed in voters minds that she can't win.

    So now, it tunrs out that Bill Maher has clips of Christine O'Donnell from his show in 1999 that he plans to dribble out. The first dribble has her saying she dabbled in witchcraft and Satanism:

    Good grief! But who could have predicted this future, eh?

    I'm sure we'll see the O'Donnell do-or-die crowd double down on their wail that it's all a smear by the "Establishment" and their assorted fellow travelers. But here's the thing: when you can plainly see that someone has several very flaky, even kooky things in her recent past, it should not be a surprise to find out that there are even more crazy things that you haven't discovered yet.

    The fatal thing about O'Donnell as a candidate isn't and never was that she's an "extremist." It's that she's a self-promoting screwball. You had to be nuts to get onto Bill Maher's show in the first place. I suspect that O'Donnell failed at promoting herself in that kind of arena, so she thought she'd try GOP politics where maybe there were more people to fool.

    Any Democrat who votes for someone who raised taxes when he has to take the heat for raising them deserves to have his taxes raised.

    A vote to send him to the Senate is insane. No one is ever held responsible in Congress for anything.

    Only 1 ad is needed in Delaware and it has already been written.

    "they learn from Byron York's reporting that Coons raised property taxes 5% in 2006, 17.5% in 2007, and 25% in 2009 — all after pledging he would not raise them a penny while running for the job of executive of New Castle county. He's a tax and spend Marxist."

    When one gets from Bill Maher is leftist propaganda. Here's how far wrong he is in just one show.

    "“Bill, can you just explain to me in what sense Brazil ‘got off oil’?”

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