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Republicans Reap What They Sowed

The GOP establishment is aghast over the victory of Christine O’Donnell in Delaware: How could the party base be so willing to elect an extremist over the moderate Mike Castle, who would have been a lock to win the seat in the general election? Jonathan Chait at The New Republic explains: “[T]he Republican base has been taught not to think this way,” Chait writes. “This isn't just politics, remember? This is a twilight struggle for freedom.” He goes on, “Moreover, Republican voters have luxuriated in the belief that they represent the true majority of the American people … Now, most elite Republicans understand that the red meat fed to the base isn't exactly right. It's useful to scare the daylights out of the activists, but writers for the [Weekly] Standard and the Journal editorial page understand that ‘freedom,’ as most people understand the term, is not really at risk.” The problem, Chait says, is that “the conservative base is not in on the joke.”