Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell is being hailed as one of the surprise Tea Party winners in last night’s Republican primary races. She defeated the nine-term Republican Congressman Mike Castle to be her party’s Senate nominee. Castle was one of a handful of Republicans to vote for cap-and-trade. He had also received an F grade from the NRA on his gun-rights record, and was not pro-life. In terms the base would understand, he was a RINO. O’Donnell seemed to come out of nowhere with little money in the last weeks of the campaign.

The Weekly Standard‘s John McCormack has done some fine reporting on the Palin-backed O’Donnell, exposing her questionable lawsuit against the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and other financial dealings. But talk of potential financial wrong-doing has been confined to debates within the GOP, as modeled by Sean Hannity and Karl Rove. The left has instead decided to attack O’Donnell as the “anti-masturbation candidate”

Rachel Maddow greeted the O’Donnell victory by playing an obscure clip from a 1996 MTV program “Sex in the 90s.” The then 27-year old O’Donnell was working for a conservative Christian group lobbying against certain sex-education curricula. O’Donnell, being a conservative Catholic, objected to curricula that encouraged masturbation as an alternative to risky-sex. The show which jump cuts between political statements and personal ones, quotes O’Donnell saying “The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. You can’t masturbate without lust.” Maddow falsely claims that it was a campaign to prevent children from the sin that used to be called self-abuse when it was a campaign to prevent public schools from actively encouraging the same.

In any case, religious views on the self-pleasure have not been a theme of O’Donnell’s Seante run. She has pounded the usual Republicans-in-the-minority issues: fiscal restraint, family values, opposing the Obama agenda. The merits of these are political fodder. Her character as revealed in her lawsuits and financial dealings is properly a political issue. But liberals want to use her personal convictions about chastity to humiliate her.

Karl Rove and Andrew Pavelyev may be right that an O’Donnell nomination is a gift to Democrats who want to retain control of the Senate. But voters don’t want to be jerked around. If Democrats don’t want Christine O’Donnell catching them with their pants down, they are going to have to do more than just inanely giggle at her.