Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reviewing a Troublemaker

So the News Journal got their copy of Troublemaker and true to form they set out on a campaign to not only destroy the book but to destroy the author. I was mad, REALLY mad, but just moments before I started writing this post, I read the following hit piece from Chad Livengood at the News Journal. It should have made me mad. Should have…but it didn’t. As I read through the piece, through the long list of backstabbers and second guessers. Through the list of names of people who campaigned for Mike Castle, who developed the “Kill the girl” strategy that the Delaware GOP imployed in a vain attempt to stop O’Donnell from taking down the most liberal member (former) of the U.S. House of Representative, a guy who had destroyed the credibility of every candidate he’d run against and not their policies, I realized something. These are sad examples of what politics has become. Some of these people were great success stories. Some have TREMENDOUS talents. Others are just corrupt political scoundrels. None of them have escaped with their souls intact. 

I’ll tell you, I could go on and on about Maria Evans’ failed career in media (I bet most of you have never even heard of Delaware Talk Radio have you?), Priscilla Rakestraw’s record of making false allegations to the employers of candidates she doesn’t like and Tom Ross’ outright sabotage. I could go on about the failure of the Delaware GOP to hold on to their seats long before the TEA Party came along. I could point out that in politics, it’s apparent that NO ONE is trustworthy or decent. I could…but I won’t because it doesn’t matter. 

Ken Grant can enjoy his time on stage tearing down the work of one of the finest human beings I have ever met (thanks for the extra book sale), laughing it up with all of the Delaware political monsters in the crowd. Priscilla Rakestraw can live out the rest of her short time on Earth being as mean and nasty as she wants to be. Maria Evans can take solace in the fact that she’s assisted in the personal destruction of someone just trying to make a difference. Steve Grossman can sleep well tonight knowing that he stabbed a person that he supported in the General Election in the back. Chad Livengood can rest easy knowing that he has taken an impressive career and splattered it with a huge black spot. Tom Ross can smile knowing that he, as Chairman, ensured she’d never win and Mike Castle, king of Delaware kings, can sit up on his throne in Chateau Country with Chablis and some brie and be content knowing that Christine has been beaten down.

The bottom line here is that all of this, from Day 1 of her getting into the race till now was predictable. Anyone who is anyone saw this coming. The News Journal has always been just a tin can and string away from the DNC HQ and let’s face it, the Delaware GOP elites have long ago realized that “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”. Nothing I can say, no evil words, no backroom truth, no startling revelations about these cats is going to undo what they’ve done. So none of these people (except Mr. Grant…again, thanks for the book sale) is going to read Christine’s book. That’s fine, she didn’t expect you to. She didn’t write it for you. She wrote it for the people who TRULY supported her, not the ones who showed up just for the paychecks. She wrote it for the people who bucked the establishment trends, not those who buckle underneath it because they were born into it. She wrote it for the people who want to CHANGE politics, not the people who are desperately trying to keep it the same. She wrote it for conservatives and independents, not for progressives and liberals. 

Truth be told, Delaware is the small town of states. Just like any small town upstart who challenges the lifelong political culture of a backwoods North Carolina town, a challenger to the Delaware establishment will be ostracized and beat up. If that North Carolina challenger wrote a book, after facing down a popular Mayor in a heated election, it’s unlikely many town members would buy their book. The same thing is happening here. I don’t believe that many people in Delaware will buy Christine’s book, not because it’s bad, but because they are too closed-minded to see beyond their own irrational hatred of a true patriot. They hate me too and I just don’t care. Because you see, I know something they don’t know. I know that for every plank they tear out from underneath our feet, we receive yet another Blessing from God. By the time they have ripped all the planks out, we’ll be able to float away.

So the title of this blog said “Reviewing a Troublemaker” and we’ve spent a lot of time reviewing Chad Livengood’s predictable and sad hit piece. Now I’d like to take some time to do what a decent reporter in Chad’s shoes would have done which is to review the book. I’m not going to pluck out a sentence here or there about the most damaging parts of it though. I think Chad’s covered that, thanks Chad! What I’m going to do is tell you what you’re going to see in the other 350 pages that Chad didn’t bother to read.

“Troublemaker: Let’s do what it takes to make America great again” is a fantastic book that really brings you into the struggle that the TEA Party faces. For those of you who don’t know who the TEA Party are and what they stand for, Christine shows you who they are: They’re you. You’re frustrated by the lack of jobs, so is the TEA Party. You’re upset at the down economy, so is the TEA Party. You’re angry at the corrupt political class in Washington, so is the TEA Party. You’re worried about the future for your kids, so is the TEA Party. You’re scared that out nation is going in the wrong direction, so is the TEA Party and so is Christine O’Donnell. You see, Christine got one thing right in the infamous “Witch Ad”, she is you. We’ve all said things that we wish we hadn’t, we’ve all quoted something kooky from a story we read and we’ve all questioned authority. The difference is that the TEA Party has simply acted on that questioning and so has Christine O’Donnell. She stood up, like the TEA Party did and said “Enough is enough, we want our country back from the political elites and the special interest groups.” That’s why she took on her own party first. You see, Christine ran a write in campaign in 2006 when she was asked by some of the political establishment and some close friends (for different reasons) to do so. Her write-in candidacy was designed by the political establishment to do one thing, stop Mike Protack (another person who bucks the establishment trend and scares the crap out of the elites). For Christine, it was an eye opening look at politics in America. In 2008, she had think long and hard but she decided to seek the party’s nomination to challenge Joe Biden. Not because she liked the smears and lies and distortions from the 2006 campaign but because she loved Delaware, loved America and thought that Joe Biden was not the right answer for either one. Truth be told, most people in Delaware agree with her but elections here are more about WHO you know than WHAT you know (a simple glance through the current and recent Delaware political class will prove that). 

For a girl who grew up in a small house with a big family, Christine is surprisingly outgoing in public. Behind the scenes, as I came to know her, she’s quiet and thoughtful. She reminds of, well of me to be quite honest. She’s dealing now with what I dealt with throughout Jr. High and most of High School. She’s right on the edge of cool, right on the edge of being part of the crowd but there’s one problem, she won’t go along with their dastardly plans. She won’t drink that vodka or take that hit. She’s got one thing I didn’t have though, the willpower to see through convictions. See I eventually took that hit, drank that vodka and drove the getaway car. She won’t. I think that’s what inspires me about her. It’s what makes me want to defend her every chance I get, whether it’s using the left’s own science against them (Mice with human brain cells: Live Science & National Geographic) or calling them to task for using the same tactics against her that they rail against. The fact of the matter is that, as Christine explains in her book, she’s a Troublemaker because she won’t play ball their way. Yea, you’ll read about her childhood, her father as Bozo the Clown (and what a great guy he is) and her reversal from political liberal and pro-choice to pro-life conservative. She’ll walk you through her 2008 Senate campaign against Joe Biden and her 2010 Senate campaign against Mike Castle and Chris Coons. Sure, you’ll read a little about the infamous “Witch Ad” but you’ll also read about the real sad shame of the Widener debate when Chris Coons, a long time lawyer and a crowd of up and coming lawyers in the auditorium had trouble explaining the First Amendment to the Constitution. You’ll see how the political class will stop at nothing to derail those who it sees as obstructions to their goals and how they really just don’t care who they affect or how. I am personally well aware of this fact, their false accusations against me, labeled me a campaign finance violator and have cost me employment outside of politics. The book isn’t exclusive to political campaigning though. Christine offers some real solutions to Americas problems and many of them harken back to the original problem solvers, America’s founding fathers. While some will question these policy suggestions, those in the TEA Party and those with common sense will see them as excellent ways to move our country forward while returning our nation to the timeless principles of liberty that our founders held dear. 

Christine tells a story that many of us in the TEA Party could tell but there are so many different reasons to read this account. For TEA Party members, it will validate much of what you’ve felt over the last 10 years. For those going into politics, it really runs down the problems that you are going to face with taking on the established political class. For women, Christine shows the incredible double standard among not only the politicians but among the liberal media as well. If I had to summarize that part, I would say that the women’s lib[eration] movement only works if the woman in question is a lib[eral]. If she’s a conservative, feel free to bash away. Christine doesn’t come away whiney or downtrodden but rather stronger for the criticism she’s faced and wiser for the experience. She comes away more convinced than ever that conservatism is the right answer to America’s problems and you will too. The book is a must read for TEA Partiers, political novices and young women. It’s a snapshot of what Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and even Hillary Clinton to some extent, have faced over the years and it’s evidence that the political class is running in abject fear of the TEA Party and conservative thought.

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