Sunday, October 10, 2010

She got the moon in her eye

I've never read and Joan Vennochi column before today, and I hope never to do so again.  This piece on witches and Christine O'Donnell is astonishingly bad.  Let me comment on a few excerpts:
During this autumn of our discontent, the Delaware Senate race is like every other race in the country. It comes down to a choice between a Democrat and a Republican and which one can do the best job of putting people back to work. Voters just might go with the witch, if they believe she has a job creation potion that is potent enough to succeed. Her Democratic rival — who is up in polls by double digits — has to show that it’s all smoke.
Okay, quick point: if O'Donnell is trailing by double digits, I'd say the burden of proof is on her, not her opponent.
As for the conventional wisdom that Delaware voters could never elect someone like O’Donnell — remember the conventional wisdom that Massachusetts voters could never elect Republican Scott Brown as Ted Kennedy’s successor. Brown never expressed an affinity for the occult, nor did he take up other extreme positions embraced by O’Donnell. But he did overcome the nude centerfold he posed for as a law student.
Um, yeah, well, here's the thing: Scott Brown was an accomplished, moderate state legislator with clear political talents, and he was running against someone who was astonishingly politically tone-deaf.  Neither of those conditions obtain in Delaware right now.  I suppose Vennochi is just saying, "Hey, you never know what might happen," which is certainly true, but isn't much on which to hang a column, no less a political campaign.
Here’s another problem with the attacks on O’Donnell. Casting female candidates of all political persuasions as witches — or bitches — is standard operating procedure for their rivals.
Barbara Bush did it to Geraldine Ferraro (rhymes with rich). The Drudge Report did it to Hillary Clinton. Brown supporters did it to rival Martha Coakley. And the entire liberal establishment — with Mitt Romney’s blessing — is trying to put Sarah Palin on a broomstick to oblivion.... 
Female voters may finally be sick of the “witch’’ line of attack, and O’Donnell, of all people, could be the beneficiary. Who said American politics isn’t flush with irony?
Okay, a few points here.  One, insinuating a female candidate is a bitch is rude and sexist, but it has nothing to do with a female candidate conceding that she was once an actual witch.  As far as I know, no one is seriously calling O'Donnell a witch, either in the occult sense or the sexist one.  She mentioned this herself, both on "Politically Incorrect" many years ago and just this week in her "I'm you" ad.  It's a bit disingenuous to cloak (heh) this witch talk as sexism.

Second, yes, it would be ironic if O'Donnell won this year.  It would also be ironic if Osama Bin Laden won the Nobel Peace Prize.  The same things that make these events ironic also make them very, very unlikely to occur.

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