The NRSC, through Sen. Cornyn, has congratulated Christine O’Donnell and told her she will receive $42,000, the maximum allowable donation. This is a good decision for several reasons. First, O’Donnell is the Republican party’s nominee for the Senate and, as such, deserves a showing of support. Second, it would be foolish to alienate the Tea Party movement by withholding a contribution of this modest magnitude.
It’s clear that the Tea Party is a huge and often valuable player in the Republican party. If the current co-habitation fails, neither the Republican establishment nor the Tea Party is likely to prosper. Co-habitation will require mutual accommodation, and it’s far from clear that we’ll see enough of that to make the “marriage” work. But it would have been ridiculous to fuel a feud over a $42,000 contribution to the duly nominated candidate in Delaware.
Between now and November, other establishment sources of funding will have to decide which states to devote most of their resources to. To obtain these resources, O’Donnell will have to be judged by the usual criteria, including electability as measured by the most recent polls at any given time. But today was not the day, and the NRSC not the source, to invoke these considerations.
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