Once again defeated Tea Party favorite and GOP Senate candidate for Delaware Christine O’Donnell strikes again — this time comparing the “tragedy” of extending unemployment benefits to Pearl Harbor and the death of Elizabeth Edwards. And of course, she later insisted that isn’t what she meant.
O’Donnell is symptomatic of the 21st century’s troubling politico who feels nuance is a filthy word — that politics should all be shock quotes and sound bytes. And then, when some of these politicos are called out on what words came out of their mouths, they back off because what might sound typical of coming out of the mouth of Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck doesn’t cut it with a lot of Americans if it’s coming out of the mouth of a politician.
Her comments are yet another sign that if “compassionate conservatism” isn’t dead altogether it is on life support. With the plug about to be pulled. And another sign of the quality (or lack of thereof) of some of the people Sarah Palin wanted to put into office.
Prediction: Sooner or later she’ll get her own radio talk show, or wind up on Fox as a political analyst or host some kind of a show. She is 100 percent talk radio political culture — a culture which is quickly taking over the nation’s political culture as well. She actually could be an engaging TV personality.
It’s notable that Barack Obama’s compromise with the GOP on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans is under attack by some on the right (who don’t want the unemployment benefits extended) and liberal Democrats (who feel Obama compromising on the tax issue was a virtual sell out and shows he is unwilling to fight for principles they felt he stood for when they voted for him.)
But O’Donnell’s comment is yet another sign that she is not ready for prime time political office — but perfectly primed for talk radio or talk cable.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.