Friday, September 17, 2010


Last night, Christine O'Donnell appeared at a candidate forum with Democrat Chris Coons, and this Politico report leads me to believe that we're going to have to keep ransacking the video vaults if we want to go after O'Donnell, because she's clearly toned down her act and become a perfect -- and possibly electable -- little tea-bot. Example?

Asked about what the proper role of government should be in sexual matters during a two-hour candidate forum sponsored by The Jewish Federation, O'Donnell echoed the sentiment of one audience member, who shouted, "it's personal."

"I agree with you, it's personal. When I go to Washington, D.C. the litmus test by which I cast my vote for every piece of legislation that comes across my desk will be whether or not it is constitutional," she replied.

And, at another point in the forum:

"I was in my twenties and very excited and passionate about my newfound faith. But I can assure you, my faith has matured and when I go to Washington, D.C. it'll be the Constitution on which I base all of my decisions, not my personal beliefs," she explained Thursday to cheers.

Wow -- "my faith has matured"? Somebody spent a long time crafting that one for her, and the transcript of the quote -- lacking, as it does, the convolutions of syntax you'd get from Sarah Palin -- suggests that she delivered it flawlessly. And look -- there's the Constitution again!

But, then, what do you expect from O'Donnell? At every point in her public life she's enthusiastically and forcefully recited the talking points it was her job to recite. She wanted to be a move-the-Overton-window Christian-right activist, at a time when a lot of such people were doing quite well for themselves and having a real impact on America, so she gave us provocative soundbites about masturbation and condoms. She expressed suspicions about the death of Vincent Foster back when that line was all the rage on the right. Now she's a teabagger and a Republican candidate, so she gives a catchphrase about her faith that's redolent of Frank Luntz and she prattles on about the Constitution in classic tea style -- a style that's working quite well for a lot of candidates across the country, including some certifiable loons.

Last night she also lied about an old soundbite:

Democrats had begun circulating a video Thursday of O'Donnell where she states that integrating women into military institutions "cripples the readiness of our defense."

When pressed on that comment as she walked away, O'Donnell said, "Perhaps it was combat. We'll talk later about that."

But, as angelajean at Daily Kos notes, she wasn't talking about combat in that 1995 C-SPAN interview -- she was talking about all-male military schools. But there it is again: she was effectively reciting the right-wing talking points du jour. Integrating women into all-male military schools was a bad thing then on the right, and saying so infuriated liberals, so there she was on C-SPAN, eager to talk the conservative-provacateur party line.

And if America no longer approves of those old principles of hers, she has others.

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