Sorry, while I agree with your assertion that a party is responsible for defending candidates, in the end getting elected in the personal responsibility of the candidate.
And if we are going to have a tea party, and it is going to challenge the establishment, and push candidates that will oppose the establishment, we have to get candidates who can win election without much help from the establishment.
You can rail against the establishment all you want, and complain that they didn’t help us topple them out of power, but I believe it is absurd to expect entrenched political powers to help us decapitate them. We either play with them and get the best candidate they can support, or we rise up against them, in which case we need candidates that can make it with our help alone.
IN this specific case, there was nothing the delaware establishment could have done to save O’Donnell. They might have made the race closer, but it is absurd to think that even a perfect republican committee can rescue a fatally flawed candidate in a state that is 2/1 democrat.
If it was that easy, we’d never win elections.
Christine O’Donnell proved herself to be a fairly principled conservative on issues, and a failure as a candidate getting her message out and making it appeal to the voters of Delaware.
She had $6 million, and only got 5% more of the vote in this election (against a placeholder democrat candidate in a wildly republican year) than she did in 2008 against Joe Biden, in a year she had no money.
If she had lost by a few points, like Sharon Angle, I think you could argue that a full-court blitz of support, AND a quick endorsement by the other primary candidate, might have been enough to swing the election.
But this was a rout, it was always going to be a rout, and that is because the candidate was a poor choice.
It’s a pretty bizarre world where what is “wrong with politics” is people who see a candidate lose by 16 points, and after the loss point out that they were a lousy candidate.
I sent her money, even though I knew she couldn’t win. I would like to have had her win. I don’t think she would have been a bad senator, and she was mostly right on issues (I was always nervous with her love affair for Hillary Clinton though). But it was easy to see she had no chance of winning. General elections aren’t primaries, where the electorate is your base.
That is the lesson the tea party movement has learned in this election, and they are already working around the county to vet and pick better candidates to support.