The Opinionator: Free Will Quick Hits

The GOP primary for Joe Biden's Senate seat has raised the question that has often bedeviled "conviction" voters: do we vote for the person who matches us politically, or for the one who is the "most conservative who can win?" In this case, neither candidate is especially inspiring. Christine O'Donnell has youth and ideas, but she also comes off as amateurish. Mike Castle, on the other hand is a political lifer who will be 77 years old should he choose to run for re-election in 2016. Plus, he's nowhere near the most conservative who can win. At least for this election season, when voters are looking to replace the House and Senate's Old Guard wholesale, I think it's worth a roll of the dice to vote for O'Donnell.

Lisa Murkowski's trial balloon for a write-in third party candidacy should make every moderate in the GOP caucus blanch. How many times have we been told we have to support this or that "moderate" over a better, more conservative candidate. And how many times have those "moderates" turned on the GOP as soon as their hold on power was loosened. Conservatives have shown more loyalty to the GOP than Arlen Spector, Lincoln Chaffee, and now Lisa Murkowski ever have.

Good riddance to Mayor Daley. I'm always hearing about how sophisticated Chicago is, but why its voters prefer to be governed by mayor-for-life acting as potentates dispensing favors like a Tammany Hall ward heeler is beyond me. If it is their destiny to be lorded over by Rahm Emanuel, they deserve every bit of it.

If I put out an invitation to my Facebook friends announcing that I was going to burn a Bible in my backyard, would anyone care? Doubt it. But, call CNN and say you're going to burn a Koran at some podunk "church" and suddenly it's "alert the media" time.

Michael Gross' anti-Palin hit piece in Vanity Fair was apparently self-debunking. What's funny, though, is how easy it was to get through the week without having to read Gross' article. A few years ago, such an article would have been must-see reading. Now, you wonder, "do people still read Vanity Fair?" I used to subscribe - I read it as a satire of upper-crust life - but around 2006 it published one too many "rise of the vulcans" style pieces about the Bush Administration, so I quit.

CNN is apparently replacing Larry King with Piers Morgan, a Brit journalist (he used to be editor of the Daily Mail) turned media personality. He seems like a pleasant, sophisticated guy with a plummy accent, but he's also a firm believer in the BBC brand of leftism, reflected in the fact that he lost his editorship after publishing fake photos of US atrocities in Iraq. You have to wonder why CNN thinks this is the guy to increase its appeal in middle America.

Just watched The Outlaw Josie Wales. It's good, but about 20 minutes too long, plus it has a goofy scene where Clint Eastwood parleys with some Navajo, using the sort of "men good/government bad" rhetoric that probably sounded very profound back in 1976. Worth seeing for the excellent supporting cast, which looks like it just stepped out of a Civil War-era tintype. You have to wonder whether a movie starring an ex-Confederate soldier refusing to surrender would be made today.

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