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Vicious Food-Fight Breaks Out Between Sarah Palin, Karl Rove and Christine O'Donnell

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A massive wave of Schadenfreude is sweeping across Progressive America over this spat. TPM:

Sarah Palin joined the chorus of right-wingers slamming Karl Rove over his  comments that the Republican nominee for senate in Delaware, Christine O'Donnell, has said some "nutty things" and doesn't have a chance to win in the general election.

Last night, Rove  bashed O'Donnell -- and her chances of being elected -- and insisted that she's said a lot of "nutty things." He was attacked by some right-wingers for those comments. O'Donnell  whacked him back in a televised interview this morning. And then Rove responded to O'Donnell and his right-wing critics, daring them to  'prove me wrong'.

Then Palin got into the mix.

Palin, who endorsed the tea party-backed O'Donnell, was asked about Rove's comments on Fox News today: "You may have heard Karl Rove just a moment ago suggesting that Christine O'Donnell is not electable as a statewide candidate. Your thoughts?" Palin replied: "Well, bless his heart. We love our friends, they're in the machine, the expert politicos. But my message to those who say that the GOP nominee is not electable, or that they're not even going to try, well I say, 'buck up!'"

As I wrote earlier, Tea Partiers are mad as Hell with reality this morning, and that's what this comes down to: Rove acknowledging that O'Donnell is not going to win, but Mike Castle would have done so easily.

Here's Robert Stacy McCain, drinking deeply of the Tea Party's cool-aid:

The essence of the establishment's criticism O'Donnell is that she is a "flawed" candidate who can't win in November. Unfortunately for the establishment, their credibility was shattered when O'Donnell won the primary. Rove and the rest of them did all they could to beat her, and it wasn't enough.

Yes, he's actually saying that her GOP primary victory is evidence of her viability this fall. Let's examine that claim.

O'Donnell won the votes of just under 31,000 Republicans. In November, she will face an electorate made up of 280,000 Democrats and 181,000 Republicans ( in 2008).

Her opponent, Mike Castle, won 27,000 votes last night, falling 4,000 short of O'Donnell's total. 43 percent of those Republicans who cast a vote for O'Donnell said they'd support the Democrat in November. (It's a number that's almost certainly inflated as Castle's supporters were asked in the heat of the moment, but still.)

And McCain's 'establishment versus outsider' narrative doesn't capture the dynamics of this race and other races where an ill-qualified tea-bagger knocked off a credible Republican. Candidates like O'Donnell represent the fringe, and they're bucking mainstream American political discourse. Contrast the views of people like O'Donnell, Rand Paul, Sharron Angle or Joe Miller with the "outsiders" Democrats run against establishment pols. Look at Ned Lamont challenging Joe Lieberman in Connecticut, Joe Sestak beating Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania or Bill Halter going against Blanche Lincoln in the Arkansas primary -- all were credible candidates with resumes and political views that fell well within the center-left mainstream.

Update: The lede from a related piece by Media Matters:

In the run-up to Delaware's Republican Senate primary, conservative media figures noticed that their colleagues are "lazy and unfair"  "idiot[s]" and "mouthpieces for the Republican establishment" who engage in "ranting, not serious arguments" and whose commentary consists of "smear tactics," "mischaracterizations," "exaggerated claims," "slander," and "attributing sinister or corrupt motives to those who disagree with them."

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