Praying for Miss O’Donnell

by Joe Hargrave

As I have indicated, I will be happy when dozens of Democrats are swept out of office on Tuesday, and happier still to have played some small part with my vote. Of all the Tea Party challengers, there is one in particular for whom I am praying for victory, and that is Christine O’Donnell. The victory of this outspoken woman who has made no secret of her Christian faith would be icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned. This is all the more true in light of the “Gawker” scandal that has erupted in the last few days. For those who haven’t heard about it, this site published an anonymous account by a man who claims to have had a one-night stand with O’Donnell exactly three Halloweens past.

This absolutely appalling and slanderous piece has been universally condemned on the right and the left, in fact, though the subsequent rationalizations follow from what I would call a left-libertine view of things, for as they state, referring to the alleged incident itself,

Much of the criticism leveled against us is based on the premise that we think hopping into bed, naked and drunk, with men or women whenever one wants is “slutty,” and that therefore our publication of Anonymous’ story was intended to diminish O’Donnell on those terms. Any reader of this site ought to rather quickly gather that we are in fact avid supporters of hopping into bed, naked and drunk, with men or women that one has just met.

They proceed to clarify:

Our problem with O’Donnell—and the reason that the information we published about her is relevant—is that she has repeatedly described herself and her beliefs in terms that suggest that there is something wrong with hopping into bed, naked and drunk, with a man or woman whom one has just met. So that fact that she behaves that way, while publicly condemning similar behavior, in the context of an attempt to win a seat in the United States Senate, is a story we thought people might like to know about.

And they repeat variations on this theme ad nauseum throughout the rest of the piece.

Strange as it may seem, however, I believe that this notion was sincerely held by the editors of this publication. It is reflective of their own moral confusion, which in turn is reflective of the moral confusion that runs rampant throughout our society. And for those readers may find it puzzling that I would refer to the moral confusion of these editors when it appears that it is O’Donnell who is morally confused, I will explain why.

It is certainly true that Christ admonishes the hypocrite who denounces the sins of another while being guilty of the same thing:

Or how canst thou say to thy brother: Brother, let me pull the mote out of thy eye, when thou thyself seest not the beam in thy own eye? Hypocrite, cast first the beam out of thy own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to take out the mote from thy brother’s eye. (Luke 6:42)

However, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. First, Christ is speaking about a person who is speaking to his brother, that is, a person who is a part of their community, one individual to another, one equal to another. Christine O’Donnell, on the other hand, has made very general statements about basic Christian truths regarding sexuality, and as far as I can tell from her public statements, has never judged anyone personally or even spoken of “sinners” in a general and derogatory sort of way, though her comments about homosexuals were interpreted that way – of course, so is the teaching on homosexuality of the Catholic Church, so no surprise there. Secondly, Christ is speaking of a person who cannot see their own faults; once a person does see them, however, it is plausible that he might be able to point out another’s sin.

This is a perfectly sensible teaching, if you consider it. If we were to apply the logic of Gawker’s editors consistently, a mother who had succumb to a drug-addiction would have no moral grounds to try and prevent her children from taking dangerous drugs: this would make her a hypocrite. A father with a sex addiction would have no grounds to try and prevent his teenage daughter from going into pornography or becoming a prostitute: this would make him a hypocrite. A man with a gambling problem would not be able to counsel a friend against betting his whole paycheck at the blackjack table, a woman with 10 cats would be in no position to warn a friend that perhaps 5 is too many, and so on, and so forth.

But we can see that in each of these cases, it is possible, likely even, that one’s experience with the vice or problem puts them in an excellent position to speak on it. Now if any of these hypothetical addicts were completely blind and obstinate in their follies, it would be outrageous for them to tell others that they shouldn’t emulate them. But most people with problems such as these suffer deeply, and even if they have not been able to escape from them, they are moved by compassion even in their degraded state to do what they can to prevent others from following them. How many motivational speakers are themselves barely recovered from the problem that they now speak to high school students about? How many of them slip back into the problem?

None of this, of course, is to suggest that Christine O’Donnell is some sort of alcoholic sex-addict, far from it. But a problem need not rise to the level of habit and obsession to make an impact on one’s life. Perhaps we Christians sometimes take for granted the truth that all are sinners, but Christians who are conscious of their faith, as O’Donnell appears to be, are surely aware of it. Assuming that the story is true – or at least true in part, though I presume innocence until guilt is proven – it is quite possible that she regrets it, as many do regret such things. And to the contrary of the editorial rationalization, it would be wrong if Christine were to stop speaking out against sexual immorality as a public figure.

For in the final analysis, there are far worse things a person can be guilty of than hypocrisy, such as condoning and promoting behavior that is destructive to individuals and society, which this publication apparently does on a regular basis. If it were morally necessary that every person who speaks out against immorality be a saint, there would hardly be a voice left in America to do so. All of us, especially in this age, and this time, struggle with sins within a cultural context that either laughs at the notion of sin or positively embraces it. It is exceedingly difficult to remain pure, but we may loose what little dignity remains if women such as Christine O’Donnell are shamed into silence.

Thus my earnest prayers are with her, and I will toast her victory if God sees fit to grant it to her.

52 Responses to Praying for Miss O’Donnell

  1. Donald R. McClarey says:

    The Gawker paid for the “one night stand” anonymous attack piece. According to that piece of libel, the “one night stand” was sexless and the whole thing reads like a bizarre fantasy by a leftist, dateless, pathetic dweeb. No reputable organization would have published it, which is precisely why the gutter dwelling Gawker did.

    I have been following politics for four decades. I have rarely seen any candidate receive such massive and unrelenting vituperation in such a short time span as I have Christine O’Donnell. One would think that the woman is some sort of enemy of the state instead of simply a candidate seeking public office. The personal attacks on her are beyond shameful and lapse into sadism.

    Ironically, I think all of this may be accruing to her advantage. Coons cancelled his last two debates with her. Obama is running to Delaware to campaign for Coons today. Why? If the race is a blowout why waste the President’s time? I suspect that the internal party polls are showing this a closer race than the public polls. O’Donnell has been doing well with men in her polls. The meanspirited misogynistic Gawker attack may well cause a backlash among women voters and make up her deficit among her own sex. If the GOP wave is big enough, O’Donnell may have a very long shot path to a shocking victory. We shall see.

  2. T. Shaw says:

    Me, too!

    The hate-filled dem/libs’ attack ads distort and destroy virtuous, GOP/Indep candidates. They NEVER say what they, the execrable dem/libs, accomplished or the additional burdens they plan for us.

    I’m in NY. I’m voting for Paladino because the worst governor in NY history Mario Cuomo’s idiot son is the dem candidate and all he says is: “I’m not that nut (self-made man) Paladino.”

    Not to mention: the NY and national dem establishment “royally dissed” Gov. Paterson (Basil Paterson’s idiot kid) from day-one after Spitzer got caught with his pants down. Even Obama told Paterson to go away – quietly. If I were a black, I would sit this one out.

    If I recall: Stalin accused his political opponents of being nut jobs and had them locked up. The ACORN doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  3. Teresa says:

    Joe you are spot on! This was a hit-piece which used gutter politics and personal, misogynistic attacks on Christine O’Donnell instead of focusing on the issues. While listening to our local Catholic radio station recently I heard the priest talking on people who may be encountering sruggles in life such as addictions, marital issues, depression etc. in relation to counseling, and he said that no person who is struggling should have a counselor who thinks that they are perfect and hasn’t had to deal with struggles in life at one time or another. I found this interesting and seems logical. The counselor can identify with the person struggling with an issue or issues much better if they have been through similar struggles themselves.

    I am working to have a book published in which I hope to help women who have been sexually assaulted, help women avoid being sexually assaulted, am going to try to break the mold of colleges covering up for crimes or crime rates, and also advising women to be careful of those who are in positions of power because they may not have their best interests at heart. I am hoping to publish my true story experience in order to help prevent others from going through the same type of situation and pain that I went through. Now, I am on my final draft revising and making sure that I can’t be sued by the university either (obviously not mentioning the university name). I continue to pray each day for those who abused their power, the person who assaulted me, and I have finally found peace in forgiving both the perpetrators for committing the crime, those who helped to cover it up, and myself for feeling guilty about wishing that I had handled things differently. A priest once said to me “hindsight is 20/20”. I am following the wisdom of St. Faustina and trusting in God.

    This also reminds me of the attacks on Bristol Palin for speaking out and promoting sexual abstinence.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Christine O’Donnell. Be it done according to God’s Will.

    Christine O’Donnell may be closer to winning than the polls indicate –

  4. bearing says:

    I think maybe you should edit your post to clarify that the guy who did his little kiss-and-tell with Christine O’Donnell said that she WOULDN’T have sex with him. We shouldn’t be repeating the story with the term “one night stand” in it. There’s a big difference between making out and having sex.

    I’m not really sure why this episode is supposed to prove she’s a hypocrite anyway. Human nature is such that I don’t expect even the most strident advocates of saving sex for marriage to have made it out of young adulthood without ever engaging in some sexual behavior that stops short of intercourse.

    And repentance is such that past behavior doesn’t make a hypocrite out of you anyway. Not that the 24-hour-media cycle would understand that….

  5. Elaine Krewer says:

    O’Donnell, like Sarah Palin, does have some other issues apart from this that might make one question whether she was the best candidate the GOP could have for this office — I’m thinking of the financial and management matters.

    However, I absolutely do NOT consider her political and religious views to be anywhere near as crazy or out of the mainstream as the MSM would have one believe, and they certainly do not disqualify her from holding public office.

  6. Blackadder says:

    That Gawker piece was one of the most vile articles I’ve ever read.

  7. Tony says:

    Two points: I fail to see how Gawker contends that the story is credible. I won’t go to Gawker to find out, so I am stuck. But if, according to anonymous, Christine was drunk, is there any doubt that anonymous was probably more than a wee bit tipsy himself. Is there, then, any possibility that his account is reliable?

    Second, if the account WERE both true, and credible, it would indeed have a bearing on the character of the candidate. She would have some explaining to do. Explaining that being young, single, and having a good deal more to drink than her usual put her at risk of exactly the sorts of moral danger that it does to others, and that she regrets giving in to the temptations to that extent, might solve her political damage. But without any explanation, she comes off as a bit of a hypocrite: we all do things that are not consistent with our principles, but we don’t all try to make hay out of those principles at the very same time.

  8. Cminor says:

    Y’know, in South Carolina they’ve been throwing accusations of this sort at gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley since the primaries. These people are not only sleazy, they’re unimaginative.

  9. florin says:

    I don’t understand the vicious attacks against Christine O’Donnell given that she is way behind in the polls. The libs must be scared to death of her for some reason. The alleged one night stand did not include sex – and it may not have happened anyway because it is not verified. I, too, am praying daily for Christine O’Donnell – she may just pull off a magnificent upset – she is clear and consistent in her policies and her understanding of major issues and speaks well and is knowledgeable – more than Obama is without a teleprompter. She may not be ready yet for a major political office but she will be – she’s got character and integrity and an ability to stand strong without being strident or vicious…the mud that is being thrown at her will rebound and slime those who are attacking her. Let’s all pray for her…

  10. Kevin in Texas says:

    I think it’s bleedingly obvious to all now that any women who are Christian, conservative (fiscally and socially), physically attractive, and without an elitist bone in their bodies are deeply anathema to the Left, and especially to the Left’s vision of what modern feminism should be all about. I agree with you all that the outrageous, contempt-filled attacks against Palin and O’Donnell are utterly stomach-churning. It boggles the mind that more people don’t see this and call the Left out on their madness here (and yes, I literally mean madness wrt their views of conservative women). By the way, I’m not an O’Donnell fan at all, but much like Joe has said here, I sincerely hope she wins the race in DE, goes to the Senate in DC, and sticks to her principles there.

  11. Art Deco says:

    O’Donnell, like Sarah Palin, does have some other issues apart from this that might make one question whether she was the best candidate the GOP could have for this office — I’m thinking of the financial and management matters.

    Bad analogy. Gov. Palin and her husband were having financial problems because they were running up legal bills. They got slapped with the legal bills because their political enemies were harassing them with bogus ethics complaints. The Palin’s are quite capable human beings in all spheres of their life. (I do wish they had been more successful at imparting a sense of taste and modesty to their oldest daughter, but it seems anyone with a full complement of children these days produces at least one ringer).

    Miss O’Donnell’s financial problems, by contrast, are part of a tapestry, one which depicts an adult life that has never quite got off the ground. I do not think it would be doing this pleasant but chronically inept woman any favors to put her in Congress, so I my prayer will be that she finds an agreeable and low pressure job which pays the bills and apartment near a 1st or 2d degree relation who is willing and able to keep an eye on her.

    Then there is the matter of this fellow Coons. It is too bad they both cannot lose.

    That Gawker piece was one of the most vile articles I’ve ever read.

    It is far from the vilest thing I have ever read. She just comes off as silly, nothing more. It would not surprise me if it were true. One of her quondam neighbors complained to reporters of Miss O’Donnell’s neglect of her property and the knock-on effects on other residents of that block. If she lives like a college student, it does not surprise me if she (on occasion) socializes like one as well.

    You recall James Carville’s remark about what you get when you trawl cash through a trailer park? There are now contentions abroad that the anonymous author of the article (and beneficiary of Gawker‘s slush funds) is a salaried employee of (shh…don’t tell David Jones) the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. So, now it’s trawling cash through some decidedly bourgeois precincts in the BosWash corridor. The country’s gone way downhill in the last twenty years.

  12. restrainedradical says:

    Tony, Gawker and other media outlets have verified the more innocent parts of the story. Of course, only O’Donnell and Dustin Dominiak (aka anonymous) know what happened in the bedroom. But it’s telling that O’Donnell’s official response doesn’t include a denial.

    I still don’t think it should be held against her. Should we condemn high school drop outs for telling their children not to drop out?

    florin, it’s not like some liberal organization went to look for dirt to hurt a conservative. Some guy offered Gawker a story that would get Gawker publicity. I’m sure they would’ve done the same with a story about Hillary Clinton cheating on Bill.

    Kevin in Texas, the left hates conservatives because they’re physically attractive? Oh, I think it probably has more to do with the fact that they’re liberal and their opponents are conservative. Nobody is calling out the left here because the left condemns Gawker’s decision to post the story.

  13. Teresa says:

    Being attractive is only the icing on the cake giving liberals an excuse to ratchet up their attacks against conservatives a notch or two. I do think the fact that Palin is attractive and doesn’t fit into the Leftist mold drives the libs crazy and that is why there has been so many attacks on Palin and her family.

  14. Donald R. McClarey says:

    The poor excuse for a male in question attempted to sell the story to Radar Online for $25,000.00. They didn’t bite.

  15. Deb says:

    I love this post! Your insight into defining true hypocrisy , and the huge differnce between it and helping others in abstaining from particular sins that we ourselves have had the unfortunate experience in was dead on! Well said. I too would rather pray for all of us who are sinners and not worthy to cast stones. Great post ?!

  16. Tim Shipe says:

    I think Joe makes a good case for voting the way of flawed conservative types- as a way to check the powers of social liberals who are on their way to completely undermine Catholic values regarding the right to Life, what is Marriage?, What role should religion play in society? and so forth- These are really huge deals. My own idea is to try to keep Government strong while simultaneously improving the morality of leadership and the general populace- but this is a harder thing to accomplish than to get some short term relief in the form of putting into leadership people who want to limit the powers of the political authority, and allow good Catholics the freedome to do their thing- I suppose while the rest of society rots or just stops breeding. I prefer to work on society in part through government interventions for the common good, and also work within the Catholic community specifically to build up networks of economy, education and so forth that are based upon fair trade and religious-based education.

    So- my choice would be to have strong leaders who understand and appreciate the noble role of being a servant-leader in government- but since these characters are MIA in the actual political arena for now- Joe’s approach may be the one I take on for the short-term- until I find some of my soul-mates running for office- or until my kids are old enough to join their old man in the grand fight for God and Man in the political arena- where my enemies- the Left and the Right will again join together to push my kind back – until I suppose the Left/Right types finally succeed in their wild swings to completely de-rail the American Experiment- and people wake up and start considering the Catholic social doctrine as an actual and real requirement of Faith.

  17. Joe Hargrave says:

    “Obama is running to Delaware to campaign for Coons today.”

    Ah, so then O’Donnell’s numbers ought to improve.

  18. Florin says:

    O’Donnel, like Palin, does have other issues – so does Obama, major ones; Biden – lies and pushing the Kenyans to put abortion rights in their constitution promising that money would flow if they would – he has made major gaffes; Robert Gibbs has major flaws, manipulations and lies on his plate; then you have Obama’s safe school czar Jenkins who is a member of man/boy sex club and who wants to put his homosexual agenda in schools – and so forth. Pelosi who claims she won’t know what’s in major legislation until it’s passed – compared to these and others in Obama’s administration, O’Donnell and Palin are brilliant and wholesome..the problem is that they are attractive women, flawed to be sure, but growing – they are honest and really understand people. Remember, even elite Republicans scorn these women because they are not Harvard educated…I used to respect Karl Rove but he was outright nasty and dismissive of O’Donnell and of Palin…so I hope O’Donnell wins just to show them that elitism is out and mainstream American is in. O’Donnell has been crucified just for being human and for trying to live a good, healthy moral life…Obama won’t let anyone know what he did or what he wrote in College…and he is allowed to get away with it. What we do know about his long time associations shows a man who is not happy with America and is doing all he can in the time he has to undermine our values and beliefs – and don’t forget, he supports not only the killing of the baby in the womb but allowing a baby who survives and abortion to receive care..he is anti-life – he has had no experience running anything and the mess our country is in shows what happens when you choose a President because of charisma, a Harvard Education and no experience…I’ll take my chances with O’Donnell any day…

  19. Mike Petrik says:

    The libertine/left will always play the hypocrisy card because they know it cannot be played back at them. It is hard to conform one’s actions to one’s conscience, and no one has done it perfectly for over 2000 years. It is so much easier just to conform one’s conscience to one’s actions and scream “hypocrisy” at others.

  20. restrainedradical says:

    I think the bigger story should be that O’Donnell is on record saying she doesn’t celebrate Halloween because she think it’s satanic.

  21. Donald R. McClarey says:

    So O’Donnell can be condemned both for Witchcraft and believing that Halloween is Satanic? Here is a radical thought: maybe people could focus on her positions on the issues? Naah, that would be too radical!

  22. Joe Hargrave says:

    Who cares if she thinks it’s Satanic? A lot of people celebrate it in Satanic ways. If they aren’t messing with occultism, they’re certainly drinking, drugging, and dressing like prostitutes.

  23. Florin says:

    True – there are many throughout the world who celebrate Halloween in a satanic way…I worked for many years as a lay missionary in Haiti and they celebrated Halloween in a satanic/voodoo way…and there are ‘witches and warlocks’ who celebrate halloween in a satanic way…strange how many from left and right sides of the aisle continue to attack Christine O’Donnell – must be something about her that threatens them –

  24. Elaine Krewer says:

    Is Halloween a Satanic “holiday” or not? Guess that’s another chicken and egg question… which came first, the holiday or the paganism/Satanism?

    Of course the Catholic point of view is that the holiday (All Saint’s Day) came first — so All Hallows Eve doesn’t belong to the devil and never did.

  25. brettsalkeld says:

    I don’ think the thing to make hay with here is hypocrisy. She’s not a hypocrite from where I stand. Being three sheets to the wind (and naked) and managing to NOT have sex tells me she is trying pretty hard to toe the line on the premarital sex issue.

    As far as I can tell, what IS a political issue here is immaturity. The story reads like something I’d expect from a college sophomore, not a woman in her late 30s with pretensions of running for public office. The woman in the (tawdry and shallow) story sounds awfully insecure and confused.

    Of course, how much of an issue that really is depends on how much this behavior is part of a pattern and how much it was a one-off thing. Everyone has bad days.

    For the record, I’m with Deco: it’d be better if they could both lose.

  26. restrainedradical says:

    I too wish O’Donnell wins but when I heard her comment about Halloween, I realized that she was unqualified to teach kindergarten.

  27. Donald R. McClarey says:

    I can only assume rr that you have not been in a kindergarten class lately. As to her statement about Halloween, I have heard much stranger theories from tenured professors at major universities and from various judges over the years. Not to mention the babbling nonsense that comes from most Senators several times a year, but I do not know if we want to hold O’Donnell to a standard quite as low as that.

  28. Joe Hargrave says:

    No kidding Don. They’re not electing a faculty chair at Harvard, or the head of a prestigious policy institute or think-tank.

  29. Donna V says:

    For goodness sake, if the people of Delaware are so concerned about sending a person endowed with high intelligence and strong sense of personal and fiscal responsibility to represent them in the Senate, why on earth did they keep voting for Joe “Plagiarist” Biden all those years? The bar has already been set pretty darn low there.

  30. Donald R. McClarey says:

    True Donna. Compared to Biden O’Donnell is Marie Curie!

  31. Mark Noonan says:


    O’Donnell’s life never quite got off the ground? Well, running as a rock-ribbed conservative, she did manage to secure the Republican nomination for Senate in the State of Delaware and did it against a popular and well-funded, establishment candidate. What is your claim to fame which prevents us from seeking a blood relative to keep an eye on you?

  32. Art Deco says:

    Mark Noonan:

    From a distance, I am fond of Miss O’Donnell and repelled by the treatment of her. The discursive culture of the left (which comprehends most of the media) is an unpleasant thing to contemplate.

    That having been said, I cannot help but notice (last time I checked) she was being rather unrevealing about her employment history over the last 19 years. I do not think that is a sign of accomplishment. One datum that has been verified is that she took one employer (ISI Press) to court in a case that did not impress the trial judiciary. She has never married, has no children, has a history of financial pratfalls, and (per one of her exasperated neighbors) is a perfectly wretched housekeeper.

    I am fond of her, but equal respect is the abolition of respect. She is someone who struggles (often unsuccessfully) just to get through life.

    I have no claim to fame. I am not particularly capable in mundane life but do cut my lawn often enough not to generate rodent infestations which inconvenience my neighbors. I am not running for office in Delaware or anywhere else.

  33. Mark Noonan says:


    Provide your absolute, stand-up-in-court verification of all those things you list against her. Then please provide equal proof you’ve never done anything stupid. Finally, if you can accomplish this, please cast all the stones you wish.

    The point here is, for crying out loud, don’t believe everything you hear. Look at what people do rather than what they say – and certainly more than what other people say about them. If she’s this miserable incompetent who couldn’t even keep her lawn mowed then I doubt she’d have the ability to win the GOP nomination Delaware against such high odds. She’s got something – maybe not enough, but something…and something, very likely, you and I don’t have.

  34. Teresa says:

    Mark and Art,

    When has it become the status quo to persecute a person in the political world for their past mistakes? It seems like perfection is a requirement anymore. But, who is actually perfect these days? No person. It seems like she has learned from her mistakes, and is now guiding others in a positive manner. I don’t consider financial pitfalls a bad thing since then she will be able to better understand and have empathy for those going through financial issues better than the elites who may not have had to deal with monetary issues.

  35. Donna V says:

    She has never married, has no children

    Can I put in a good word for us spinsters? I have never married and have no children. If I had married one of my old boyfriends I have no doubt that I would be divorced now. I can be faulted for having very poor judgment when it came to my choice of boyfriends, but it would have been even worse judgement to have married one of them.

    How many Congress critters are on their second or third marriage? How many of them have been caught in illicit affairs? I really rather resent the idea that being single, in Art Deco’s estimation, is a surefire sign one is not a “real adult.” I’ve seen too many married folks with children act foolishly and selfishly and irresponsibly.

    Teresa wrote:

    It seems like perfection is a requirement

    It certainly is for conservative women.

  36. Paul Zummo says:

    I see with O’Donnell a bit of the same over-reaction to any hint of criticism that I see with certain Palin supporters. Undeniably this woman has been the brunt of unfair attacks from both left and right, the latest being the most egregious example. However, some of the things that Art brings up are completely fair. No, we don’t need perfection from our candidates, but let’s not pretend that Miss O’Donnell is the best candidate the Republican party is putting up this election. Now, more than ever, I hope she pulls out a miracle on Tuesday, but let’s recognize that she does have some faults that we ought not gloss over just because her opponents are obnoxious.

  37. florin says:

    O’Donnell may not be the best candidate for public office but neither was Obama the best candidate for the office of president of the USA. How nit picky some are – and where are the proofs of the statements against O’Donnell? No one is coming to her aid just because she is a conservative woman – she has made mistakes as have we all. Let’s make a list of all Congressmen and women, of all Senators…let’s have them investigated and see who measures up. Not many I am sure. I don’t know if O’Donnell is ready for prime time but I do believe that many in Congress have betrayed their office and have secrets which, if known, would disqualify them by the same standards O’Donnell is being held to.

  38. Art Deco says:

    Mark Noonan, Donna V, Teresa:

    No individual element of Christine O’Donnell’s life would I regard as disqualifying. Each individual element standing alone would be unproblematic or at least forgivable. I do not insist that that Christine O’Donnell be flawless. I think she is likely a decent human being and moderately intelligent and closer to my worldview than any of her recent opponents. However, the whole ensemble of features suggests someone of diminished social competence. Unlike Patrick Kennedy, her problems do not have clinical or popular names, as far as I know. Like Patrick Kennedy, I do not think the answer to her problems is a life in public office.

    Again, the comparison with Gov. Palin is not valid. Joe Hargrave has made much of Gov. Palin’s deficit of forensic skills and deficit of intellectuality (a quality correlated but not identical to intelligence). Too much, in my view. Gov. Palin likely would not know John Rawls from a cord of wood, and Christine O’Donnell just might. How you assess Gov. Palin depends on your assessment of the importance of intellectuality in public office and how much you think her deficit of intellectuality is borne of a deficit of intelligence. How you assess Miss O’Donnell depends on your assessment of the importance of adult life skills in getting anything done. As is, though, the public would I wager suffer a good deal less than Miss O’Donnell herself were she elected to Congress (bar that it would provide her with a regular salary).

    Mark Noonan,

    I have not made reference to anything that is not in news reports. Now, reporters can and do write sorely spin-doctored stories and on occasion make things up out of whole cloth. Much of what troubles me about Miss O’Donnell as a person is not her history but the gaps in her history, and those gaps were manifest in what she chose not to say on her campaign website. Perhaps she has updated the website in the interim to fill in the blanks. I have not checked. What I saw was a woman born in 1969 who attended college and offered a quite meagre account of where she had been working since 1991, listing two employments that might have occupied two of the last 19 years. Unless she has hidden her husband and children in a woodpile for whatever reason, she was not building a family during those years. I do not think she has denied she was in Dutch with her mortgage servicer. Perhaps the next-door-neighbor who had such a sour assessment of her domestic efforts has been lying, or has uttered words twisted out of shape by lousy reporters, or is fictional. I tend not to be comprehensively skeptical of what I read in the papers; that will put you on the road to the cul-de-sac occupied by members of the John Birch Society.

    Finally, I have done (and failed to do) a number of things I regret. I am not going to give you an inventory of my failings because I write blog entries and participate in these fora to discuss issues, not to offer reports on what is going on in my life (though I do request prayers for my proximate relations from time to time). I am not running for a demanding or publicly prominent position and am not recommending Miss O’Donnell take any course of action I would not take in her circumstances. I would not insist that Miss O’Donnell be without notable regrets or pratfalls, either. I do think that positions in the federal legislature should be reserved for people who are passably capable.

  39. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “would not know John Rawls from a cord of wood,”

    There’s a difference? 🙂

  40. Joe Hargrave says:

    “Again, the comparison with Gov. Palin is not valid. Joe Hargrave has made much of Gov. Palin’s deficit of forensic skills and deficit of intellectuality (a quality correlated but not identical to intelligence). Too much, in my view.”

    I’d still support her against virtually any Democrat. I don’t think she should be the leader of the GOP though. I’d be fine with her as a senator – a reliable conservative vote.

  41. Elaine Krewer says:

    “I’d be fine with her (Sarah Palin) as a senator — a reliable conservative vote”

    Me too. I personally think that a stint in Congress or as a cabinet official for the next GOP president, whomever that may be, would make me feel a lot more confident about electing her POTUS someday.

  42. florin says:

    Regarding the ‘deficits’ or unknowns in Christine O’Donnel’s life – perhaps there are some, I don’t know but what I do know is that the man elected to the highest court in our land had major deficits in his life history – refused to let his health record be seen; refused to let anyone see his transcripts from college; refused to say who funded his college education…while some may feel Ms. O’Donnell is not qualified, that is a personal opinion. The bits and pieces that are being thrown about are very small in content and may not all be true…do we see a pattern in her life that may indicate she is not qualified for high office? I honestly don’t think these little pieces of her life qualify or disqualify her. Barney Frank has male lovers, one of his male lovers was a CEO of Fannie Mae – and we saw how Barney covered up for Fannie Mae; another of his male lovers ran a prostitution ring out of their basement and another of his male lovers sold pot from their home – of course, Barney knew nothing about this. If Barney Frank is qualified to run such an important branch of our governnment, then who is not qualified??? Let’s keep things in perspective.

  43. RL says:

    I doubt you’ll find one person here to claim that Barney Frank is qualified or good or decent Florin. In fact, his example highlights the relative importance of personal character and why reasonable people may be reluctant to fully embrace O’Donnell.

  44. Florin says:

    In fact there are many who consider Barney Frank qualified DESPITE his character, Catholics in his district included…and Christine O’Donnell has minor flaws in her overall decent character…no comparison.

  45. Mark Noonan says:


    As I ponder a run for office, myself, I consider that – do I give a detailed list of all my sins and all my errors? At times, this seems best – put it all out there before the other side digs it up and hits me with it. On the other hand, if I did, would it really satisfy the critics? Would it, instead, just whet their appetite? Make them wonder that if I’m saying that about myself, what else am I still holding back?

    You can’t win for losing on this. O’Donnell is not, to say the least, a person we traditionally think of as a first-tier Senate candidate. But, then again, what have we gotten out of that apple barrel? Ted Kennedy? Arlen Specter? Lindsay Graham? If you really wanted to list the sterling characters we have in the Senate today I bet you get stumped after naming four or five. Are we to continue to limit our search for the next Daniel Webster to our current sources? Maybe it is time we cast our nets wider?

    Regardless of the veracity of the complaints against her, have any of them risen to criminal? Has she been convicted of a crime? Investigated for crime? Been associated with criminals? No. Is she of sufficient mental capacity to do the basic job of a Senator? Certainly as much as anyone else in that body. What, then, should we really judge her on? One what she proposes to do – and in that, she’s miles ahead of all but a few.

    What you are doing is concentrating on the narrative crafted about her by a Ruling Class which is desperate to keep people like her out of power. Perhaps, if she wins, she proves the most bone headed person ever to be in the Senate (though she’d have to fall very far to reach that dubious distinction). If so, then she gets booted in six year – the world will not suffer irreparable harm for having one more idiot in the Senate. It will, however, suffer grave harm if we keep electing people who are dedicated to perpetuating the current status quo. Perpetuating, that is, the class which has brought our nation to the brink of disaster.

  46. Mark Noonan says:


    That is a good point – but Frank embraces his depravity, while O’Donnnell has sought redemption.

  47. Mark Noonan says:


    In O’Donnell’s case it may be a lingering bit of the old double standard: where a man who sleeps around is a stud, a woman who does it is a slut. Caesar’s wife must be above reproach – but Mrs. Caesar as a Senate candidate apparently has to be a saint.

  48. Art Deco says:

    I have said time and again what I find inadvisable about her candidacy. You can review those remarks at your leisure. You will find if you do that I suggest at no point that she must be the equal of Daniel Webster.

    I am not sure why you consider criticism of Miss O’Donnell is unreasonable because the acts subject to criticism are not indictable crimes.

    I am afraid my interpretation of her biography was the work of me own addled brain. Am not channelling the ruling class.

  49. Jasper says:

    I would gladly vote for Christine O’Donnell and I will pray for her as well. We have enough ‘Ivy league’ edjucated people in congress, we don’t need anymore of them. I want somebody who shares my values.

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