Television irrlevancy Bill Maher aspires to viewership by threatening to make available a long series of video clips of long-ago appearances made by Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell on his generally unwatchable show. The prospect of startling revelations in the manner of O’Donnell’s admission to “dabbling into witchcraft” and her views on self-pleasure seems to have thrown many otherwise sensible people, as well as Karl Rove, into seizures of despondency. It is my great pleasure to set aright the deep thinkers of the dextrosphere, as well as Karl Rove, thereby allowing them to refocus their brainpower on the electability of Sarah Palin.
When a candidate for public office claims to possess a firm grasp of the Social Good that is to be delivered by means of government intervention in my life and in the lives of others, then we are all well-advised to delve deeply into this person’s character and habits of thought. The case of our current, surpassingly incompetent President suffices as both a case in point and a cautionary tale. But a candidate who proposes to reduce the range of government control over our lives requires far less vetting.
If Christine O’Donnell can help repeal the epic disaster that is DemoCare, if she can help stop the completely unsustainable growth in federal-government spending that the current administration and Congress have undertaken, if she can help thwart the appointment of federal judges and Supreme Court justices who look to the laws of the rest of the world for guidance in social planning, then no one who shares these goals need be bothered in the least by her personal predilections.
The singular advantage of limited government and maximum personal choice is that we do not need to be governed by persons of great intellectual heft. The delusion of the socialists, from the Fabians to the Maoists, has always been that a ruling cadre of superior insight free from Madisonian limitations can outperform a disorganized rabble of ordinary people making choices within a governing framework that severely limits their ability to rule each other. The “calculation error” made by socialists of every stripe is the cornerstone of their entire intellectual and policy edifice, which accounts for its general shakiness. Christine O’Donnell would undoubtedly make a poor commissar; it is our good fortune that this is not yet a position that is available to her or to anyone else.
I am not arguing that O’Donnell should be supported out of loyalty to “the team,” as has been argued elsewhere. If she turns out not to be a credible proponent of rolling back the Democrats’ assault on the economy and the health-care system, then I see no reason to support her. But if she is credible on that score, then I see no relevance to her personal beliefs, whether they involve onanism or satanism or–as in the case of Rudy Giuliani–fealty to the New York Yankees. What is going to be decided by the voters of Delaware is not who they’re going to hang out with on weekends, it’s who’s going to cast a series of pivotal votes on their behalf on matters of overriding historical importance.
I have more confidence in the voters of Delaware to recognize this than I have in the pundits to do likewise.