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Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Political Civil War Brewing

On the one hand, the Democrats are trying their best to suffer a devastating blow at the ballot box come November of 2010. After all, the deficits are at obscene levels. Unemployment will be at 10% and go higher. They can't figure out health care, climate change, and they are desperate to lose in Afghanistan. On the other hand, the Republicans are trying just as hard not to take this opening and run with it. When a Congressional race becomes the flashpoint for a political civil war within the party, you know there are problems.

Yet, that's what the party is on the verge of as a result of the special election in the 23rd District of New York. The seat was held by John Mchugh but he became the Army Secretary. It's a seat that's been Republican for well more than a century. So, it's a bit surprising that the Republican Party is backing Dede Scozzafava. Scozzafava is the preferred candidate of ACORN, the Working Families Party (ACORN's political arm in New York) and the SEIU. Scozzafava appears to be the perfect Democratic candidate but yet she's running as a Republican.

I didn't necessarily have a problem with the NRSC backing Charlie Crist. He's a successful and popular Governor in a purple state. He would most likely win whereas his opponent, Marco Rubio, would likely lose. So, when conservative purists screamed and moaned that a "moderate" was the preferred choice of the party, I was pragmatic. Here, backing the liberal seems suicidal.

The preferred choice of the purists is Doug Hoffman. He's now running under the Conservative Party ticket. He would, however, caucus with the Republicans. He's a much more consistent and reliable conservative.

Yet, the NRSC is supporting Scozzafava. What this is creating is even more tension between the establishment in the Republican party and the base. The establishment seems to forget that the Republicans lost in 2006 because the party dismissed the base and engaged in an orgy of spending. The base is looking for fiscal conservatives. That's Hoffman. Scozzafava is a liberal who bears no difference from most Democrats except that there is an R in back of her name.

It seems inexplicable. It's even more inexplicable that Newt Gingrich has endorsed Scozzafava. Gingrich has always been a reliable and consistent conservative. Yet, he's backing Scozzafava? Right now, this story is getting play on talk radio, the blogs, and among activists. So, it's certainly not a mainstream story. Yet, those are the people that will volunteer, donate, and of course come out to vote. The most active portion of the party feels as though D.C. still doesn't get it. The Tea Parties have recently turned on Republicans. That's not totally unsurprising and the Tea Parties have always stipulated that they aren't a lever of the Republican party. Yet, many of those that make up the Tea Parties are part of the Republican base. It's one thing to be a pragmatist and back the candidate with the best chance to win. That's what the NRSC did backing Crist. It's quite another to simply show contempt for your base and back a liberal in a district that's gone your way for more than a century. Doing that puts you one step closer to a political civil war.


GeronL said...

I don't agree about Rubio but thats a different thing. This thing in NY-23 is crazy, there wasn't even a primary. Another good reason for the conservatives to revolt.

Doug Hoffman should win this, he is by far the only conservative in the race.

If the Democrat wins it seems obvious the GOP will conclude, idiots, that the party is too conservative to win.

John said...

I think it's more a case where Republicans don't have to fight to win, instead they can sit back and allow the Democrats to lose. By taking a stand before elected in you run a real risk of losing on principle differences and bring unnecessary political heat towards yourself.

I'm sure in states where it's a close margin political punches will probably be thrown in the last few days to seal the deal.

Anonymous said...


Who cares what the party of McCain, Snowe, Collins, Graham, Voinovich, Murkowski, Castle (and formerly Specter) does anymore?

I'm looking for a PAC that supports ONLY solid conservatives. That is the only thing that will get me to once again break out my checkbook and with a vengeance. Until then, the GOP gets zilch from me; though, I will return their mailings (to use their postage) with a nastygram inside.

In my opinion, only masochists and suckers continue to donate money to that RINO-mill called the GOP.

Support your candidate directly & starve the GOP. It is the ONLY message they will understand.

Rob Johnston said...

I agree with Anonymous! If the RNC is going to support the likes of Scozzafava, then they get neither my money nor my vote.
I am ashamed to see Newt Gingrich go that way. Fighting a democrat (Owens) in office in a conservative district in the future, beats trying to unseat a RINO (Scozzafava)!
If Hoffman loses, and Owens wins, the RNC gets a lesson which should be obvious.


Mark D said...

The 23rd Congressional race will be won by Doug Hoffman. I am very proud that our Northern NY patriots and its united tea party members will send our country a solid message that conservative change is on the way to Washington! The grassroots and networking apparatus will overtake the established operations of both political parties. Just like the Reagan Revolution of the early eighties, Americans felt the powerful impact of the "Miracle on Ice" at Lake Placid. Against all odds and conventional wisdom, the US Hockey Team shocked the world at a tiny town in Northern NY state where Americans reunited and regain the importance of moment of being exceptional! Newt Gingrich, we love you, but you made a mistake and I urge all Republicans to unite behind Doug Hoffman. Afterall I'm a former farm kid from Evans Mills and former US Army Captain, 10th Mountain Division next to place I grew up. All the best Doug!

Mark D

Johanne said...

Way to go Mark, we need the conservative republican Doug Hoffman for the North Country.

My money went directly to his campaign not for the NRC to spend on liberals.

Anonymous said...

Dick Armey and FreedomWorks have weighed in:

The GOP establishment is making a big mistake by backing this liberal Republican.

Anonymous said...

The more conservatives like Hoffman that are elected, the better. It will kill the Republican Party for decades.

Anonymous said...

"Gingrich has always been a reliable and consistent conservative."

Bull Puckey! . . . Read Tom Coburn's "Breach of Trust" and learn that Gingrich, after being the chief architect of the "Contract with America," was also, along with Bob Dole, the intentional killer of it as well. As with many "Republicans" these days, Gingrich always campaigned as a "conservative," but made a hard left turn as soon as he was back in office.