Christine O'Donnell's victory in the Republican Party primary for Delaware's Senate seat has anti-Republicans rejoicing, or so we're told. The story is that O'Donnell is a wing-nut who will discredit the entire GOP and allow the Ds to retain their Congressional majorities for more enlightened governmental effectiveness.
We know little of O'Donnell except that she worked for the conservative Intercollegiate Studies Institute, an organization that promotes conservative politics on college campuses, and had some kind of legal dust-up involving her allegation of sexual harassment. Since we don't vote in Delaware, we aren't going to confirm whether she is indeed a wing-nut.
We will not, however, that throughout our life as a voter, we've heard Republicans called wing-nuts.
Our first Presidential election as a voter was 1980, our birthday in late November having spared us the ignominy of voting for Carter in 1976, the year we turned 18. What we recall most in that year, aside from our visceral disgust at the prospects of four more years of the sanctimoniously impotent Carter, was Carter's savaging of Ronald Reagan as the kind of nut who would blow up the world.
Carter was merely taking a page from LBJ's playbook. While in our youthful political enthusiasm we were making campaign placards for Johnson out of 3" x 5" index cards, pencils and cellophane tape to carry to the polls (like many, we were liberal when young and became conservative when we were old; unlike many we were politically liberal at age six and conservative by age 20), Johnson was running a TV ad depicting a little girl picking wildflowers, followed by the image of a hydrogen-bomb's mushroom cloud, with voice-over intoning a message that never said directly but clearly implied that Johnson would never do what Goldwater might do--start a nuclear war.
Since Johnson, the wing-nut accusation has been the favorite of Ds, even displacing the Herbert Hoover trope.
So for at least 46 years, Republicans have been nuts.
For over half of those years, a Republican has been President.
And somehow, we're still here.
But now Christine O'Donnell is going to change all that. That's how nuts she is and the GOP is.