Of Course, I Was Going to Vote for Christine O'Donnell Before This

By James Fallows

If I lived in Delaware. And I was seized by a spirit of Theater of the Absurd. And I thought having her in the Senate might make CSPAN live coverage more fun. And if I hadn't read via Chris Good the latest gem, unearthed by the AP from 2006:

>>She said China had a "carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America" and accused one opponent of appeasement for suggesting that the two countries were economically dependent and should find a way to be allies.

"That doesn't work," she said. "There's much I want to say. I wish I wasn't privy to some of the classified information that I am privy to."<<

Thumbnail image for chinese-military.jpgIt's not the concern about takeover that's so far-fetched. Who knows how the world will look in 50 years. It is the "privy to classified information" riff that, to anyone who knows anything about the world of politics, instantly signals, "I am completely insane."

"Dabbling" in witchcraft, mice with human brains -- yeah yeah, I don't care. But the idea (a) that there would be a secret document laying it all out, (b) that it would have come into her hands, and (c) that her confidentiality oaths would bind her to protect it -- all this  instantly connects her with the vast reserve armies of conspiratorialist lunatics that anyone in any branch of public life (media, politics, civil service) encounters over the years. I'm never sure which is worse: the person who says, "If you will just spend six hours with me on the phone discussing my single-space document with handwritten marginalia, you will finally understand the true conspiracy!" Or, the person who says, "I wish I could show you the single-space document that contains the final proof, but They would come to get me if I said another word." It's a close call.

Either way, Ms. O'Donnell, I now have a familiar category into which to fit you. It's been fun until now.  UPDATE: There is more to the story than I thought! More here.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/10/of-course-i-was-going-to-vote-for-christine-odonnell-before-this/64028/