The Tea Party radicals had previously defeated better and more electable candidates: Mike Castle in Delaware, Sue Lowden in Nevada, Jane Norton in Colorado. Somehow the notion took hold that it was unprincipled and contemptible to support smarter candidates over stupid candidates, inclusive candidates over divisive candidates, experienced candidates over inexperienced, goverance[sic]-minded candidates over protest-vote candidates.I know nothing about Sue Lowden or Jane Norton. Mike Castle, however, hadn’t originally intended to run for the senate seat in Delaware because he was afraid of Beau Biden (!), who appeared to be the likely Democratic candidate until he announced that he wasn’t running. Castle is an aging political operator who hasn’t had an original thought in decades, and who, no doubt, would have fit perfectly into Frum’s theory of “goverance” – i.e, what the people want (or need, perhaps) is politicians who can reach across the aisle and somehow compromise with a pack of socialists (who have zero respect for our traditions of individual liberty) and, above all, churn out legislation and get things done. Does it matter what sort of things? One suspects Frum doesn’t really care; a bi-partisan bill to legalize cannibalism would probably be acceptable to him, as long as it resulted in a photograph of Harry Reid and John Boehner smiling and shaking hands over the final document. Of course, if the people wanted compromise, why elect Republicans at all, conservative or otherwise?
Getting back to Castle, he is the quintessential RINO, and the one thing we know for sure about RINOs is that, at crunch time, they’ll let you down. They’re the weak links in the chain, they’re the cavalry that doesn’t show up on time, they’re Ralph Branca pitching to Bobby Thomson in the ninth inning of the last game of the 1951 National League pennant race.
And Frum, interestingly, has omitted any mention of the decline and fall of Charlie Crist. Is he one of your level-headed, Republican professionals, Dave? In my opinion, if the only thing the Tea Party accomplished was to help Marco Rubio defeat that execrable narcissist, then the whole venture was worthwhile, because Rubio – arguably the first Tea Party candidate – will one day be president of the United States (remember: you read it here).
Frum is unable to distinguish between a lynch mob motivated by irrational anger and prejudice, and a revolution fueled by right reason and a perfectly justifiable resentment against a mindlessly expansionist federal government. Perhaps if it were a moderate revolution (led by whom, exactly? John Cornyn? Olympia Snowe? Lisa Murkowski?) Frum would be content. Fortunately, we are not governed by a mandatory solicitude for Frum’s approval, and can thus spare ourselves the futile effort of toting up all the successful revolutions carried out by middle-of-the-road time-servers.
Finally, by what authority has Frum presumed to set himself up as the official butler of conservatism, slamming the door in the face of the Tea Party? That "good riddance" at the end of his piece is the absolute frozen limit.
Update: Doug Ross has a great post demonstrating the fatuity of the Republican Party machine (H/T: Carol's Closet).
Update II: Good observations from Captain Heinrichs in the comments:
His family background is "Progressive Conservative", otherwise known as a "Red Tory". His party went into the election of 1993 with 169 MPs and the Government benches, and came out with 2 MPs and non-party status. The remnants were absorbed by the Reform Party and yielded the current Conservative Party of Canada. I would doubt that Mr Frum would be a member of the CPC.