Delaware in national spotlight again

Delaware got a serious shot in the arm in regards to its national identity when Joe Biden got voted in to serve as vice president of the United States. Oh, he gets picked on a bit by the pundits for his propensity to talk a little more than the next guy, but he’s carried himself well and has been a good reflection on the state in general.

Agree with his politics or not, Biden has not done anything to give a black eye to our little state, and he’s been as visible (and, yes, audible) as any vice president before him. You can slam his policies. You can crack on him for the things he says sometimes. But it never really gets to the point where he has embarrassed our state.

Enter Christine O’Donnell.

I’m not going to get into her politics here. There is a Tea Party movement that has gained significant momentum nationally, and right now O’Donnell is a central figure in that effort. Personally, I’m an Independent and don’t really embrace the extremist ideas on either the liberal or conservative sides, but that’s my personal taste.

I’m a believer that compromise and common sense would prevail over scoreboard watching of poll numbers and apocalyptic overreactions if it was ever actually tried. It’s probably a little naive, I know, but I just believe our two-party system all-too-often turns people on both sides of our political system into sheep — mindlessly following the lead of people in Washington and on the airwaves as they set the course for what are supposed to be our “personal” beliefs. It’s time for the American people to stand up, make up our own minds and take back ownership of this country that is supposed ...

But I digress.

At one point, I set out to talk about O’Donell. Now, there is something I do like about this Tea Party movement — it has upset both major parties. The Democrats scream out that this is extreme conservatism at its worst, and that it’s archaic and divisive. The Republicans react as if their party has been hijacked, and Democrats are actually going to end up winning seats they wouldn’t have before because the more extreme candidates will struggle much more in a general election.

It’s good entertainment, to be sure.

Now, I don’t really have a problem with O’Donnell regarding her politics. Do they mesh with my own? Not so much. But, trust me, the world is a much better place with people having different opinions than my own. She believes what she believes, stays steadfast in those beliefs and is trying to put them to use. People can decide on their own if they wish to vote for her or not.

That’s what our system is supposed to be about.

But this election between O’Donnell and Chris Coons right now is focused on O’Donnell — not the issues facing Delawareans today. She recently aired a commercial that focused on O’Donnell denying she’s a witch, not offering insight into what she plans to do to fix the economy. We’ve heard about her views on teenagers and self-gratification, her seemingly-exaggerated academic credentials and problems in her personal finances over the years.

Is that part of the deal with elections? Sure. They’ve been digging up skeletons on candidates since the first election in Rome. But at some point it has to be about issues, right?

I have no problems with people voting for O’Donnell if they believe she is a person who can help fix what ails this nation. She might be. But at some point, she has to transform herself from a comical punching bag into a person with real ideas.

And she better start soon.