DeMint’s Witch?

No, of course not, but Republicans hoping for a GOP win in Delaware do now have to deal with this:

O’DONNELL: I dabbled into witchcraft — I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. … I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I’m not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do. […] One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn’t know it. I mean, there’s little blood there and stuff like that. … We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.

I suppose this could be the moment to post something terribly, terribly brows-furrowed about the rather interesting role that witchcraft and Satanism play in the modern American evangelical drama (small ‘e’ in O’Donnell’s case: she was certainly raised a Roman Catholic, and then I believe became an evangelical before eventually returning to Catholicism), but that is to make more out of this particular ‘confession’ than it (or her Democratic opponent) deserves.

I suspect that Ann Althouse’s response is (more or less) the correct one to take:

…Did O’Donnell ever practice witchcraft? I doubt it. Even in the out-of-context clip, I’m seeing a young woman trying to get the hipper kids to believe she isn’t really a complete square. In the story she tells, she went out with someone who, she thought, was into Satanism, and they had a picnic. A picnic! Even when she’s straining to sound cool, she’s square.

4. But she “dabbled into” witchcraft — doesn’t that mean she did some witchcraft things? Frankly, I don’t think she knows what “dabbled” means. The use of the wrong preposition is a hint. I think she means something more like she stumbled into witchcraft. She knew some people who did such things, and I’ll bet the point she was making was that she was able to be friends with them, that she hasn’t spent her whole life cocooned in squeaky clean conservative religion and she’s able to relate to a wide variety of people.

5. Even if she had participated in some witchcraft, she’d only be like thousands of other young people who dabble in such nonsense. Do you want to string them all up? It’s typical pop culture junk these days.

I wouldn’t be quite as quick as Professor Althouse to dismiss witchcraft as “typical pop culture junk”. It can be that, and it’s certainly nonsense, but the revival of interest in Wicca (and the like) is too interesting a phenomenon to be dismissed as just a mere fad. But so far as O’Donnell’s apparent “dabbling” in witchcraft is concerned, the good professor is right, move on, there’s nothing to see here.

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12 Responses to DeMint’s Witch?

  1. Susan says:

    Well, it’s certainly a convenient club with which her opponents can beat her. I agree that if she weren’t running for political office, who would care. I certainly wouldn’t. But the fact is that she’s the Tea Party candidate for a senatorial gig, and she’s not going to get a pass on this from the press or her political opponents. She already appears to be a flake, and this just enhances the aura of flakiness.

  2. John says:

    Maybe she was trying to cast a spell preventing people from masturbating.

    PS: I love a blog that puts up pictures of Alyson Hannigan.

  3. CONSVLTVS says:

    On substance, I agree that an experimental episode in youth does not have lasting significance. However, the political service this revelation does to her opponent is tremendous. Given the Leftist article of faith that “tolerance” is appropriate for alternative religions (not, of course, for Christianity, except those denominations that are self-emasculated and confessedly guilty), there will be some artfulness required to sling the mud without tarnishing their own brand. One way to do it might be to accuse her of hypocrisy. Another might be to charge her with flip-flopping (it worked against John Kerry). We’ll see in due course.

  4. Panglos says:

    What’s wrong with “dabble into”

    Given her evangilist bent her knowing association
    with the dark side would translate into direct involvement
    Yet she mitigated that with ” into” meaning it was a fleeting trespass

  5. Panglos says:

    (though thankfully she did turn into a Newt Gingrich)

  6. Onebyzero says:

    I think the left will have their laugh and drop the issue. I think the more interesting case will be the complete lack of addressing the issue by those on the right. I saw the clip played on one of the Sunday morning babble shows earlier today and that was what I saw.

    A pundit for the right had several batches of his pre-primary mocking words on the subject of O’Donnell fed back to him, and then the clip was played. His response to the clip was so vapid and dismissive I can’t recall a single word of it. He muttered a few words and then went on to say that now that she’d won the primary the GOP would fall into rank behind her and do everything in it’s power to get her into office.

    Were O’Donnell on the opposite side of the political fence, I would wager a good steak dinner that we’d still be hearing about the “godless left taking over of the country” this time next week. The “Obama pals around with terrorists” meme was built on much less than this.

    Never underestimate the average person’s ability not to see what is inconvenient to their established point of view, ever if it slaps them in the face. She equate masturbation with adultery and that good enough the the fundies in the tea party.

  7. Polichinello says:

    The full context of the quote reveals that she hung around with some wiccan wierdoes in college. She was more or less condemning the practice and citing her experiences as a 20-something to back up her views.

    Of course, she’s about dumb as a stump and utterly embarassing, but she’s not running for an executive position. She’s running to cast votes. There are nobodies on the other side of the aisle. If the D’s can have a dingbat like Kohl, life will go on with our dingbat. It’s certainly better than someone who did a lot more than “dabble” in marxism, which is what the alternative is.

  8. Either she’s taken the viewpoint that wicca is satanic or she doesn’t know the difference between satanism and witchcraft. A satanic altar and a wiccan altar are two very different things.

  9. montex says:

    Supposed Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi had “dabbled” in witchcraft, would the right-wing media “giver her a pass”? I just can’t imagine Fox, the station that ran the “Shirley Sherrod is a racist” story over and over and over until they were proven false, would be so kind to Clinton or Pelosi. In fact I am absolutely convinced that either side given the box of political gold that is an O’Connell would do everything they could to exploit the kookiness therein.

  10. Polichinello says:

    A satanic altar and a wiccan altar are two very different things.

    I’m sure future wars will be fought over this most crucial of distinctions. It’ll make the Arian controversy look like a pillow fight, to say nothing of Monotheletism.

  11. Polichinello says:

    In fact I am absolutely convinced that either side given the box of political gold that is an O’Connell would do everything they could to exploit the kookiness therein.

    Sure, but you can also overplay your hand, too, as the Right found out with Hillary(!). There’s a point at which pointing and laughing at someone for being a goofy teenager when they were a goofy teenager becomes a bit noxious.

  12. panglos says:

    What of Hillary’s seances with Eleanor Roosevelt?

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