Democrats shouldn’t crow too loudly about Christine O’Donnell’s Republican primary victory for the open Senate seat in Delaware.

Yeah, she’s nuts.

That’s all the Tea Party serves up is a bowl of mixed nuts. It’s gotten so bad that the Planters corporation is suing for product defamation.

O’Donnell is especially odd on the matter of sex. She’s on record saying condoms don’t prevent AIDS, that AIDS victims shouldn’t be called “victims,” and that masturbation is bad, bad, bad.

Yes, O’Donnell’s upset will make it more likely for the Democrats to win the Senate seat there, and thus hang on to majority control of that chamber. But don’t count her out, since hard-core conservatives are going to show up in huge numbers on November 2, no matter what.

Even if, as expected, she loses the campaign, O’Donnell represents the rise of the far right in America. She was correct when she said, in her victory speech, that she’s riding a wave.

It’s a wave with a dangerous undertow, and it could take our democracy away with it.

Her victory on Tuesday was another triumph for Sarah Palin, who’s proving to be quite the queenmaker.

Palin’s endorsements have paid off dramatically, and with every new one, it seems more and more possible that she could actually win the Republican nomination. Already, she has the highest favorability ratings among the leading candidates, and her unfavorables were comparable to Romney’s. It is Palin, more than any other Republican figure in the country, who senses the moment and is seizing it.

Some Democrats think that’s great, on the assumption that, as the Republican nominee, she’d have no chance of beating Obama.

But be careful what you wish for. She’d start with about 40 percent of the voters who can’t stand Obama. And she wouldn’t have far to go to make it a race. If the economy continues to stall, who knows?

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his article “Obama Should Shake Up Economic Team.”

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter


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It's finally setting in: Trump is Trump and he’s not going to change because of winning the nomination.

The new head of the Environmental Protection has a history of suing the agency for trying to do its job.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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