O’Donnell Compares New Jobless Benefits to Pearl Harbor
Tea party figure calls movement ‘second American revolution’
Christine O'Donnell—the Delaware Republican whose U.S. Senate race made her a national figure in the tea party movement—called the extension of jobless benefits a "tragedy" on the level of other Dec. 7 tragedies like Pearl Harbor and the death of Elizabeth Edwards.
O'Donnell spoke Tuesday at a fundraiser for Northern Virginia tea party supporters. The event drew other politicians who saw key tea party support in November, including Oakton resident Keith Fimian, the 11th congressional district candidate who came within one percentage point of unseating incumbent Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly.
"Together we are strong, and it's vitally important to our nation that you remain engaged," Fimian said. "In our particular case, sometimes the events leave one's control. We did everything we thought we could do. We happened to come up short."
"Wait until next time," a guest shouted from the audience.
O'Donnell, the event's keynote speaker, called the tea party "the second American revolution." She said George Washington's strategy against British General Charles Cornwallis—simply to exhaust his enemy—is a commitment tea party supporters should share.
O'Donnell applauded President Obama's hours-old proposal to enact a two-year extension of Bush tax cuts, but called the 13-month extension of jobless benefits a "tragedy" similar to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Edwards' death.
"[President Obama's] announcement today for economic recovery was more of a potpourri of sound bytes," she said. "It's like he took a little bit of what each party wanted and put it together. It's not constructed. It's not a solid plan constructed on sound economic principles."
She later clarified that the tragedy was the huge increase in spending, she said, not the extension of the benefits themselves. The tragedy is how those benefits are funded, she said.
Last year, about 100 people attended the party's first banquet in Sterling, Va. But about 260 attended the 2010 event at the Harvest Moon Restaurant in Falls Church.
"What a difference a year makes," said Ronald Wilcox, master of the evening's ceremonies.
The event drew members of the Young Americans for Freedom, the Fairfax Tax Payers Alliance and the Alexandria, Arlington, Clifton, Fairfax 912, Fair Lakes, Fauquier County, Falls Church and Washington, D.C. tea parties.