Stu Bykofsky: Delaware's Chris and Chris Show: Hex Marx the spot

Posted: October 11, 2010

MOSTLY, WE know Delaware for tax-free shopping, the Blue Hens and EZ laws embracing corporations. Its official nickname is "The First State," but its user-friendly nickname is "Small Wonder."

This year, our little neighbor is a big wonder. In the race to fill what had been Joe "Philly Sports Fan" Biden's U.S. Senate seat, the candidates - both nicknamed Chris - have been labeled the Marxist and the witch.

The Marxist is the Democrat, Christopher Coons, New Castle County Executive. The witch is the Republican, tea party standard-bearer Christine O'Donnell, who has run twice before.

Fact-checking, I asked Ron Williams, Wilmington News Journal editorial-page columnist, if Coons had pushed a Marxist agenda as county exceutive.

"No, no, no," Williams chuckled, adding that Coons had done a "decent job," but noted his baggage. "He's raised taxes 54 percent in a little over two years" - $200 a year for most people, but taxophobic Delawareans didn't like it. He also froze salaries of some union employees. "He didn't have a choice," Williams said.

Do you remember what you were doing on May 23, 1985?

Chris Coons does, I'll bet. He must have been fighting off jibes from his classmates at Amherst College, who had just read his essay in the school newspaper headlined, "Chris Coons: The making of a bearded Marxist." A few lines lifted from that article by dishonest right-wingers created the "bearded Marxist" lie.

Those who call that essay a Red Letter are either dumb as a box of rocks or lying through their capped teeth. They likely won't tell you that Coons founded the Amherst College Republicans before he spent his junior year studying and volunteering in Kenya and did come back, yes, questioning both his college and his country.

He wrote, satirically, about his friends' view of him: "My friends now joke that something about Kenya, maybe the strange diet, maybe the tropical sun changed my personality; Africa to them seems a catalytic converter that takes in clean-shaven, clear-thinking Americans and sends back bearded Marxists." (Italics added by me.)

Coons is clean-shaven in the picture used with the essay. He remains clean-shaven today, and bald. He concluded the 1985 piece by writing, "I have spent my senior year re-examining my ideas and have returned to loving America," even with her faults. His resume since college (the "Marxist" holds a master's degree from the Yale Divinity School) shows him to be, basically, a do-gooder - and honorary commander of the 166th Wing of the Delaware Air National Guard.

Is the other, cuter Chris, Ms. O'Donnell, a witch? No - worse.

She's attractive and glib, but makes Sarah Palin seem like Madame Curie.

O'Donnell is 41, has a winning Pepsodent smile and seems to have made more money milking her conservative social campaigns than from a regular career. Her academic credentials were smudgy and, tellingly, she initially aspired to the theater at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Former campaign workers have accused her of illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses.

She has admitted to boozing and bedding boys in college before she - like Coons - heard a different trumpet. She turned in the opposite direction, toward the light of conservatism.

Years back, she blabbed against masturbation and evolution, and later, on Bill Maher's show, confessed that she had "dabbled" in witchcraft in high school. (Pagan Times at Moorestown High?) She laughed that off by saying that everyone had strange friends in high school.

[Editor's note: Stu confesses that he hung with the A/V squad.]

With a marketing background, O'Donnell understands that TV loves a pretty face with an unpredictable mouth, and I suspect that she freelanced that story to ignite leftist, atheist Maher. She seems to suffer from Attention Surplus Disorder, and will say anything to keep the spotlight on her.

I think that O'Donnell would rather have a TV reality show than a U.S. Senate seat. Her bad poll numbers suggest that Delawareans will make her available for next year's edition of "Dancing With the Stars."