Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging, Decision '08, Ethics, Government, Media, PJ Media, Politics — Rick Moran @ 8:14 am

My latest is up at Pajamas Media about the conservative insurgency in NY23 that appears about ready to succeed in handing Doug Hoffman an unexpected victory.

A sample:

What has happened in NY-23 is that the newly empowered conservative base decided the national party had gone a candidate too far in choosing liberal Republican Scozzafava to represent them and decided on their own to adopt third-party candidate Doug Hoffman, while telling the GOP establishment to take a hike.

Why the national party believed this colorless career politician who supports gay marriage and would have voted for the stimulus bill represented Republican principles, much less conservative ones, will remain a mystery. Dan Riehl has uncovered some information that former GOP Congressman Tom Reynolds may have played a large role in choosing Scozzafava, but that only muddies the waters even further. Didn’t those numbskulls at the RNC and the NRCC even bother to check this woman’s credentials before giving her stacks of cash donated by good conservatives?

It may be understandable that they would choose a pro-choice woman to run in New York state, although the man the special election is replacing who served eight terms representing that district, John McHugh, was pro-life down the line. But pro-gay marriage? Where did that come from? And it should go without saying that Scozzafava’s support for the stimulus bill would have made her a pariah in the House Republican caucus since no other GOP congressman supported it.

All of this was known to the national party before they shepherded her choice through the selection process (rammed it through might be a better way to describe what happened). Also known to the GOP elites was the wave of discontent building beyond the beltway via the tea parties and the spectacular success of Glenn Beck, who has ridden the wave to fame and fortune.

And yet, still believing they were in total control, they proceeded as if the protests at health care town halls, the 9/12 phenomenon, and the tremendous grassroots energy those events unleashed didn’t matter. Or perhaps they believed they would be able to co-opt and use all that enthusiasm for their own purposes so they could continue with business as usual. Whatever they were thinking, they blindly allowed an old crony (Reynolds used to run the NRCC), to have his way in choosing a candidate that even Nelson Rockefeller might have had to swallow hard to support.

Hoffman, by the way, is not much more conservative than Scozzafava if you examine their positions on the issues. Dede’s problem was that she served 10 years in the Assembly and had a string of votes that she could be attacked for. But Hoffman is no wild eyed “Stalinist” as Frank Rich seems to think:

The battle for upstate New York confirms just how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama. The movement’s undisputed leaders, Palin and Beck, neither of whom has what Palin once called the “actual responsibilities” of public office, would gladly see the Republican Party die on the cross of right-wing ideological purity. Over the short term, at least, their wish could come true.

The New York fracas was ignited by the routine decision of 11 local Republican county chairmen to anoint an assemblywoman, Dede Scozzafava, as their party’s nominee for the vacant seat. The 23rd is in safe Republican territory that hasn’t sent a Democrat to Congress in decades. And Scozzafava is a mainstream conservative by New York standards; one statistical measure found her voting record slightly to the right of her fellow Republicans in the Assembly. But she has occasionally strayed from orthodoxy on social issues (abortion, same-sex marriage) and endorsed the Obama stimulus package. To the right’s Jacobins, that’s cause to send her to the guillotine.

Speaking as one who has been sent to the guillotine myself by those same Jacobians, Rich is full of it. Scozzafava was foisted on the district by NY state GOP leaders and especially former Rep. Tom Reynolds (former head of the NRCC as well) who decided one of his proteges should be the nominee. And while there is certainly a lot of anger that the establishment wanted to cram a pro-gay marriage candidate down their throat (a position not even mainstream in the Democratic party), the real rebellion in NY23 centers on the perception that despite the previous month’s activism, the party and the establishment wasn’t listening or “getting it.”

And Dede’s endorsement of Porkulus when not one single GOP congressman voted for it says volumes as well. In short, this cram down by party elites at a time when tea party activists had singlehandedly delayed Obamacare and became the only true organized resistance to the president’s agenda, smacked of disrespect by the GOP leadership who were benefiting from their activism.

I have written extensively about the dangers of this populist wave, and how it could easily become, if not as radical as Rich believes in his overactive imagination, then certainly a detriment to conservatism and GOP hopes in 2010. But the race in NY23 shows that there’s nothing for it now, the base has been empowered and the wave is on the move. My fear is that all this enthusiasm and resentment, and fear will be channeled into unproductive avenues and result in a lost opportunity in 2010.

Andrew Sullivan:

No one knows what might happen now. For the insurgents, it means a scalp they will surely use to purge the GOP of any further dissidence. But the insurgents were also backed by the establishment, including Tim Pawlenty, who’s supposed to be the reasonable center.

What we’re seeing, I suspect, is an almost classic example of a political party becoming more ideological after its defeat at the polls. in order for that ideology to win, they will also have to portray the Obama administration as so far to the left that voters have no choice but to back the Poujadists waiting in the wings. And that, of course, is what they’re doing. There is a method to the Ailes-Drudge-Cheney-Rove denialism. They create reality, remember?

From the mindset of an ideologically purist base - where a moderate Republican in New York state is a “radical leftist” - this makes sense. But for all those outside the 20 percent self-identified Republican base, it looks like a mix of a purge and a clusterfuck. If Hoffman wins, and is then embraced by the GOP establishment, you have a recipe for a real nutroots take-over. This blood in the water will bring on more and more and deadlier and deadlier sharks.

Scozzafava was no “radical leftist” as I point out here. No one who gets the endorsement of the NRA can, by any stretch of the imagination, be termed a “radical leftist.” And someone who opposes cap and trade, Obamacare, and much of the Obama agenda cannot be considered much of a leftist. Her support of card check is a natural given the number of union voters in the district which speaks more of her bowing to practical political realities rather than any deep, leftist ideological commitment.

And the danger, as I have constantly harped upon, is that the calcification of views by the base on issues will become so excessively driven by ideology and partisanship, that unless a candidate is marching in nearly 100% lockstep with them, they will be branded “Marxists” by Beck and “liberals” or “radical leftists” by everyone else.

But as I point out in my PJM piece, Andrew is wrong to conclude that this presages some kind of mass takeover by the far right. The circumstances in NY23 created a perfect storm for the bast that is very unlikely to be repeated in other congressional districts. If the base puts up primary challengers to those they consider insufficiently pure, the normal equilibrium of politics will take over and incumbency, money, and name recognition will overwhelm just about any challenge to the supremacy of the party establishment. In other words, if the conservative base thinks that NY23 is some kind of harbinger for the future, they will be royally disappointed.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t cheer them on in NY23. An establishment that gets too comfortable is no good to anyone. And the message I like being sent from this race is that putting up good, reasonable conservatives like Hoffman for office is usually better than the alternative.


  1. Pajamas Media » ‘Unruly’ Conservatives Shock the GOP in NY-23 – A must read….

    Go read this.  It is an outstanding article by Rick Moran over at Rightwing Nuthouse.  It explains in great detail what happened in NY-23 and how it might affect the GOP in 2010. The wave that very well might overwhelm the Republican establis…

    Trackback by Are you Freaking Stupid? — 11/1/2009 @ 9:31 am

  2. I think one of the really interesting outcomes of all of this will be the response to Newt Gingrich’s support for Ms. Scozzafava. I believe his stepping forward and standing behind her will have a definite impact on his own political hopes.

    Comment by Ron Boto — 11/1/2009 @ 10:56 am

  3. No one who gets the endorsement of the NRA can, by any stretch of the imagination, be termed a “radical leftist.”

    Nor can anyone with ties to ACORN, or that is endorsed by Wade Rathke, of the SIEU and the Daily Kos, be much a conservative, either.

    The point wasn’t that she is, by any stretch of the imagination a conservative. The point is that it is exaggeration and gross hyperbole to refer to her as a “radical leftist.”


    Comment by Eric Florack — 11/1/2009 @ 11:45 am

  4. Some commentors on the leftist blogs refer to Owens as a conservative, so they think whether it is Owens or Hoffman who gets elected, it will be a loss for liberals.

    I doubt Owens is as conservative as they claim, but I do believe the Daily Kos endorsed Scozzafava because she was the most liberal candidate.

    Comment by Scott — 11/1/2009 @ 12:50 pm

  5. The thing that did in Sc. was her long association with government unions, both for her and her husband. Government unions have become absolutely toxic in expensive states like NY and CA, and even otherwise leftish people are turned off by them.

    Even the hoary “unions good, remember the 1920s” arguments no longer have much force for government unions, which have no purpose but to make government more expensive and less efficient.

    But my guess is if Sc. wasn’t so deeply plugged into the unions, she wouldn’t have been opposed so strongly.

    Comment by Foobarista — 11/1/2009 @ 1:55 pm

  6. The excerpt from Sullivan is beyond his usual diseased and deranged dish; nay, it is utterly incoherent. I mean, a mix of a purge and a clusterfuck? Holy shit. I think it is a pure and simple “no” not unlike what you described, and was executed logically and rationally. As for the massive conspiracy between Matt Drudge and Dick Cheney to “create reality,” that is howling madness for even Sullivan.

    Comment by obamathered — 11/1/2009 @ 2:21 pm

  7. Scozzafava endorsed Owens over Hoffman.

    Let’s just assume you’re right Rick — that this internal power struggle is good for keeping the Republican beast fit overall. In a hypothetical world, this can make sense.

    But that’s not what is happening here. Palin, Thompson, Pawlenty, Armey . . . they’re publicly trying to assert their control over the party as the shepherds of the TeaBaggers. This isn’t an internal contest — it’s a very, VERY public revolution. Owens wins, then Dems take a seat they haven’t held for a century, and the GOP is officially impotent. Hoffman wins, and the GOP is officially the Conservative Teabagging Party. I don’t see how the GOP comes out of this as anything but crippled (even moreso). The fact that the GOP is actually two warring parties is now writ large, making a shrunken party divide into two even smaller parties. Good thinking!

    Do the TeaBaggers really believe that they, by themselves, represent 50.1% of the population? If they don’t, are they just interested in “a beautiful death”? I don’t get the strategy here.

    1. Dede’s betrayal - and that’s what it is when you endorse your opponent at the time when it can do the absolute most damage to your own party - is the most despicable thing I’ve seen in politics in a long time. Party switchers are one thing - Specter, Jeffords, Gramm, Connally - this is routine in politics. But what Scozzafava did was beyond contempt and she will pay for it.

    2. Your analysis is 100% incorrect. There is no way what happened in NY23 can be grafted anywhere else in the country. Scozzafava was the handpicked candidate of the national GOP - she is being obscenely hypocritical when she bitches about outside parties influencing the race. She owes her candidacy to outside influences which makes her endorsement of Owens appear even more a personal vendetta.

    3. The fight going on now is between out of touch elites and regular republicans which include “tea baggers” but also main street GOP and fiscal conservatives. Stop reading liberal publications about the make up of the conservative movement and the GOP - I know far better than any lefty what’s up and will give a far more honest appraisal of what’s going on. People who talk about the tea baggers being “paranoid” smear the majority when the label actually applies to a minority. The job now is to marginalize the crazies while giving a strong voice to those who wish to reform the party by bringing it back to its true principles.

    It can be done and will be done. When, I can’t say. But it is incorrect and unfair to make this into a battle between the crazies and the rest of the party. That is a false analysis and only shows that those who make it are more interested in scoring partisan points than examining what is actually happening.


    Comment by busboy33 — 11/1/2009 @ 3:58 pm

  8. Nice analysis overall, but I think you’re incorrect that union influence pressured Scozzafava’s card check position. More likely her husband’s position as a union official is at the root of it.

    I was born and grew up in NY 23. Unions aren’t a huge factor in this largely rural, largely hardscrabble district. I think the “NY” tends to fool people. Central and Northern NY are far away in miles and ideology from the liberal breeding grounds in NYC. In that sense, Scozzafava’s positions ARE tending toward radical in comparison to the people of the 23rd.

    Comment by Bluto — 11/1/2009 @ 6:55 pm

  9. ed.
    The job now is to marginalize the crazies while giving a strong voice to those who wish to reform the party by bringing it back to its true principles.

    “Good luck with that.”
    ~Wolverine, X3

    Comment by Richard bottoms — 11/1/2009 @ 7:57 pm

  10. “No one who gets the endorsement of the NRA can, by any stretch of the imagination, be termed a “radical leftist.” ”

    Ahem, a correction: liberal Democrats, including pro-abortion, pandering big spending liberal Democrats, can get the NRA endorsement. Liberal Democrat Chet Edwards (D-TX) is one. For the GOP to nominate a candidate (Dede) who’s about as liberal as Chet Edwards, who’s in the 25% ACU/ 75% ADA range (not a ‘radical’ but a liberal), is a shameful exercise.

    Dede has proven every conservative critic of this bad nomination choice correct, and did so the moment she endorsed Owens. She had no party loyalty after all, and not a conservative bone in her body. She thinks liberal pandering is good politics. She was a bad candidate and in no way reflects the good principles this party stands for. Good riddance to rubbish like her from the GOP.

    The meme that a Hoffman win = ‘nutroots takeover’ is lame, even more hilarious is the comment that a conservative winning a district the Dems want to steal = ‘crippled GOP’. Hint: A Conservative win is a GOP win. Hoffman will fit the district just fine. The blowout of three victories for conservatives/Republicans on Tuesday (Hoffman, Christie, and McDonnell will all win) should be a shot across the bow of the powers in DC. The American people are NOT happy with what the Democrats are doing and the people WILL have the last word.

    No - you are not correcting me. “Liberal” is different than “radical leftist.” There is a difference and Scozzafava is not one of the latter and neither is Chet Edwards. It is wrong to call Scozzafava a “radical leftist” period.


    Comment by Travis Monitor — 11/1/2009 @ 11:24 pm

  11. Odd — seems to be working fine now. Well, let’s try this again then . . .

    “Dede’s betrayal - and that’s what it is when you endorse your opponent at the time when it can do the absolute most damage to your own party - is the most despicable thing I’ve seen in politics in a long time.”

    Yeah, imagine actively working to hurt your party’s chances of winning an election. That’s as despicable as fielding your own candidate to actively compete against your own party’s chosen candidate.
    No, wait . . . that’s good, right? We’ll get back to the “betrayal” in a moment.

    “People who talk about the tea baggers being ‘paranoid’ smear the majority when the label actually applies to a minority.”

    It appears that we’re using different words to refer to the same thing, then. I agree the paranoids are a minority of the GOP. I also think the TeaBaggers are that small minority. You obviously disagree. For you, the crazy paranoids are the BASE of the GOP:

    “The base doesn’t want to see anything done by Obama that would give him a success. Their worldview is so twisted by partisanship and ideology that the real disconnect occurs in viewing what the president is trying to do . . .
    Anyone who is familiar at all with commenters on the internet and especially, the words and thoughts expressed by Beck and Limbaugh knows that this is 100% true. The thing is, some of what they believe is correct; the mocking of their beliefs and values by elites and liberals is not imagined. Of course, part of the problem is that these beliefs and values are squeezed through a paranoid worldview which is so far beyond reality that it becomes easy to slight them.”
    Rick Moran, http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2009/10/17/the-different-reality-inhabited-by-the-conservative-base/

    So the base of the party are the crazy, out-of-touch paranoids? “Base” means the foundational core that the rest of the party is built upon, right? I thought the base of the GOP was fundamentally sound, and the crazy wingnutters were like a tumor. I must have got such a flawed positive view of the GOP from all those incorrect Leftie blogs. As you said, you know (better than everybody else), so I’ll just have to take your word that the GOP is inherently, fundamentally, insane.

    Just to doublecheck . . . this is the party you want to remain a part of, right?

    “There is no way what happened in NY23 can be grafted anywhere else in the country.”

    Since I don’t believe you are actually that staggeringly naive, I’ll just you wrote that while either in the grip of overwhelming emotion or overwhelming Scotch. Driving her out of the race was a “victory” for the forces of good . . . you think they’re going to pack up and stop? Now that they think they are driving the GOP bus, that they dictate what candidates get presented to the public?
    I will agree that there’s not much chance of a whack-a-doodle candidate being sucsessful in most (but not all) other races . . . but the insurgency isn’t going to try? Now that they are “winning”?
    Like I said — you’re not that naive. Time will tell.

    “Scozzafava was the handpicked candidate of the national GOP”

    So the local GOP officials wanted to run somebody else, and Washington D.C. called them and said “You are hereby ordered to run her”?
    I’m going to have to ask you for a cite on that little tidbit. I’m foolish to just believe what I read on Leftie Blogs, like PajamaMedia:
    “It disappointed me to hear the Club for Growth’s Andy Roth blame RNC Chairman Michael Steele and the D.C. Republicans for giving us a Dede Scozzafava. He knows better than that, and he shouldn’t play that game simply to get his message across. Scozzafava got the nod based upon a state and local decision.”
    Since you know better than anybody else, who did the local party officials want to run?

    “The job now is to marginalize the crazies while giving a strong voice to those who wish to reform the party by bringing it back to its true principles.”

    And were back to the crazies and Dede. If the crazies are the ones that have decided that the Party shall accede to their wishes in what candidates they run . . . then isn’t that what she is doing when she endorses Owen? Cauterizing the wound. Its better for the party to lose this election so the crazies don’t get drunk with power and demand the wheel. Without Hoffman, she would almost certainly have won. Now, it’s a toss-up. I know you think it’s going to be a Hoffman win, but others aren’t so sure (see Nate Silver).
    The crazies are willing to risk losing one of the dwindling GOP seats, willing to risk splitting the party, just to get their way. Regardless of whether that’s “right” or “wrong”, its not good for the GOP. The Watertown Times was scathing in its critique of Hoffman, since apparently all he could do was spout platitudes but didn’t seem to have much of an inkling about how the North Country functioned. I guess you know better than the locals.
    (As someone who lived in Watertown for years . . . I’m curious to know what do you think of the area? What’s your learned opinion on the ecconomics north of Pulaski? Aside from the 10th out of Fort Drum and some tourism in the Thousand Islands (beautiful in the summer, btw) what do you see as the pressing ecconomic concerns and issues for the good people there? I’m sure they’d love to be told what’s important to them).

    You disagree with me — fine and dandy. Both of our opinions aren’t going to matter one bit in this election. Time is going to prove one of us wrong. I guess we’ll see who it is.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/2/2009 @ 1:21 am

  12. Monday morning links…

    My trick or treaters said Thank you.
    Coleman waders 50-60% off
    Academic ranking of the world’s great universities
    "Roots" was a bogus book. Well, a work of fiction - with plagiarism.
    Should alimony be forever?
    When people get riche…

    Trackback by Maggie's Farm — 11/2/2009 @ 5:02 am

  13. Whenever you take the local bosses word fo what is best for the district and not getting the words of the people through a Primary process, then the NY-23 race is typical of what you get.

    To avoid the Ross Perot crisis of 1992, the GOP must ensure Conservative voices are heard loud and clear in the Primaries. Don’t turn those voices away from the Party just because GOP-elites feel there has to be a big-tent-itus litmius test at play in order to be competitive. Let the Districts choose their Reps, as they should.

    I garuntee you that there is not one conservative out there who wants to run as a third party candidate so long as he/she is given a creidble shot in a Primary to be the nominee. Remember - I said WANTS to run. If they feel the Conservative wing of the district is being shunted off, then they may feel there is no other choice than to run as a thrd party. In that case, the GOP loses.

    What we do not want to see is a GOP Party that emulates the Democrats of today. A majority party dominated by a hard left liberal wing. And the hard left’s response to the moderates in their party - Conform or die.

    Don’t get me wrong - I am not advocating the GOP turn into a hard core Right Wing Party. I am just saying that unless there is room in that big GOP tent for moderates and the right alike, then the Tea Party will devolve into another 1992 and the only winners there will be the Democrats.

    Comment by SShiell — 11/2/2009 @ 8:27 am

  14. Rick:

    You’re a member of a party that would never allow you to run for any office.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/2/2009 @ 9:12 am

  15. Michael Reynolds - Never assume. It tends to make you look like an ass. I would vote for Rick and so would many of his other readers. The thing of it is - he’s too SMART to fun for public office as are most people who could solve a lot of our problems. So we end up with someone like Barack Obama in the White House and the nation suffers for it! He’s far from the best we’ve ever had but also not nearly the worst, although given time, he may sink to that position.

    Comment by Gayle Miller — 11/2/2009 @ 10:32 am

  16. Gayle:

    Rick is an atheist. Rick is not hostile to gay marriage or to abortion. He frequently criticizes Republicans and openly despises Palin and Huckabee.

    So whether you would vote for him is not the point: the party does not tolerate such wide divergence from its teabagger party line. The odds of any state GOP anywhere, ever, nominating Rick Moran are zero. Your side does not tolerate heretics, as we’ve seen in NY 23.

    It’s about the party, not you. I didn’t say Rick couldn’t get votes from individuals, I said he couldn’t be nominated. In other words, you’re the one making a stupid assumption.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/2/2009 @ 10:45 am

  17. Better watch out Michael…Gayle is smarter than you are. She will inform us all of that in her next post. Again.

    Comment by Hugh Larious — 11/2/2009 @ 1:45 pm

  18. @SShiell:

    Do you want a Primary for all elections? Every single one, no matter how small? Or should the Party officials handle these details . . . as long as they make all the choices that you want?

    If you run a primary every single election, from President down to dogcatcher . . . kiss you party reserves goodbye.

    I’ll ask you too — where is this narrative that Hoffman was trying to work with the system and the officials shut him out coming from? If there are facts that support that, tell me and I’ll learn something. How was the system screwing him over? If it did . . . WHY did it screw him over?
    I don’t see any of that in the facts I’ve seen, so I have to reject that narrative without proof. Like I said, if I missed all this straighten my a$$ out — but I’m going to need some facts.

    “I garuntee you that there is not one conservative out there who wants to run as a third party candidate so long as he/she is given a creidble shot in a Primary to be the nominee.”

    I respectfully disagree. You mean that there isn’t one single conservative egomaniac out there, that’s more interested in power over the good of the party and the people? If so, I’m mightily impressed . . . but I’m also pretty skeptical.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/2/2009 @ 3:10 pm

  19. Rick is very perceptive about this issue. Dede is not all that different from a bunch of NY GOP elected officials in the period defined by Al D’Amato, George Pataki and Rudy Giuliani. She is a “bridge too far” for a district where being a conservative is a plus (she could ahve got away with being pro-choice or voting for the stimulus or pro-card check or for gay marriage — but not all of them!). If a Dede-like candidate were to run against John Hall who snapped up a heavily Republican district in the far north NYC suburbs due mainly to anti-war hysteria), he or she would fit right in — and a third-party alternative would not get far.

    The bigger issue is that the New York GOP is institutionally moribund, There is no reason that Republicans could not compete for any statewide office next year, and they really ought to take back three of four Congressional Districts. But the people running what’s left of the party (post-Pataki) are snooks; there are no fresh candidates; and no one wants to give money to a bunch of losers. “Tea-party” activist conservatives would do well to move in on local GOP organizations and take over. Whatever harm they might do as a result of being too right wing is surely no worse than what’s happening now — which is loss and decay.

    Comment by John Burke — 11/2/2009 @ 4:54 pm

  20. Dear Rick

    I am a Republican and have been since I registered to vote in 1992. I have a libertarian philosophy, but I do not like 3rd parties because their impact is not winning elections but driving one of the two major parties in their direction. When third parties do run they tend to hurt the Republican party more than the Dems (although that depends on what level ie 2006 MT Senate or 2000 WA Senate vs 2000 Presidential level). However, the reality is the tea party movement is real and disorganized because it is grassroots and is looking to be absorbed by a larger structure.

    My guess that since the Repubs are out of power they will harness this wave and try ride it as far as it goes. I am not sure how this marriage will work out beyond 2010 but it should be sufficient to serve as a platform for big Republican comeback. Now the governing impact will be interesting. Will the fact that the Chairman of the Republican party has tied the hands of the politicians to do anything related to enttilement reform cause trouble because of the tea party to reduce govt expenditures. I do not know but we will both there to watch it.

    Comment by Kevin Brown — 11/2/2009 @ 4:59 pm

  21. “I’m also pretty skeptical.”

    And you can color me not surprised. First, I’m not trying to tell you that every single election should have a primary - but c’mon - something at the National level for Congress? I would say that is far and away above the level of dog catcher, wouldn’t you?

    Second, I never said Hoffman claimed he had a beef. He never had a chance to have a beef with the system. The system chose for him and the district and therein lies the rub. Scozzafava’s selection by the GOP-elite did not sit well with the people in the district. So she got challenged, and lost, and it appears Hoffman may have set himself up to run the tables with the election. That in itself tells a tale, again whether you want to acknowldge it or not. (And from DEDE’s own actions since pulling out of the race, I would say that he has a point. But that comes in the realm of hindsight.)

    And you can disagree with me all you want - I don’t believe anybody of sound mind (I’ll give you that caviot) is going to hang it out there, with their own money and all, unless there is good cause to do so. Granted, there probably are some “single conservative egomaniac out there, that’s more interested in power over the good of the party and the people.” You are always going to find people out there looking out for his own power rather than that of the people. I suggest to you that there would have been considerably less of a backlash had a Primary process been observed and Hoffman may not have run if there had been such a process. (No proof, just my own observations)

    Comment by SShiell — 11/2/2009 @ 7:18 pm

  22. “something at the National level for Congress? I would say that is far and away above the level of dog catcher, wouldn’t you?”

    Agreed — but where is the line? State Assemblyman is far above Dogcatcher as well. It’s not National, but it’s the upper eschelon of State elections. Primary, or let the party decide? Mayor? again, far above dogcatcher, far below State Assemblyman, but the biggest post in the small pond of town politics. Primary, or let the party decide?

    My point is that there is a heck of alot of grey in between National Congressman and dogcatcher. Is the NY-23 situation the final outcome over building resentment with the candidate selection process . . . or is it anger at the candidate that was selected? If the local officials could have and did select Hoffman, would you be calling for primaries (against Hoffman), or would you argue that the party is doing its job?

    The argument I’m hearing against Scoza isn’t that the process is faulty, but that she is a hippie liberal socialist RINO. How she was selected doesn’t have any impact on that concern, does it? If she WAS chosen by primary, would all those calling her a disgusting travesty of the GOP support her then, or would we still be right back here, with a third party “purist” running against her?
    If the complaint is the lack of a primary, running as a third party fixes that how? By pulling the people that care about primaries (allegedly) out of the GOP ranks into the Con Party ranks, there’s nobody in the GOP trying to amend the rules to allow for primaries now. That’s not changing the nomination system . . . that’s killing the GOP for a new party, “Out with the Old, In with the True!”
    That’s the way it’s looking from here. I’m open to another way of looking at it . . . but I gotta say this seems pretty clear cut.

    “Second, I never said Hoffman claimed he had a beef.”

    True, and my bad for that.

    “Scozzafava’s selection by the GOP-elite did not sit well with the people in the district.”

    Respectfully, the local Republican Party officials in NY-23 hardly qualify as the “elite”, at least to me.
    If I understand what you are saying, the local Republican Party members became so enraged that the Party nominated Scozzafava (although she’s been working for them for years), that they . . . all decided to join the Conservative Party and nominate someone who lives outside the District?


    So the general members got together and had a meeting, and someone (just a regular Joe) said “hey, why don’t we ask that nice conservative Hoffman to run”? I find that idea stunningly hard to believe.

    You claim she was chosen by the elites. Rick claims she was selected by the outside forces. I thought she got the nod from the local party officials . . . the same as every Republican candidate has for decades. It’s not the system that is the problem, or the selection process . . . it’s her. Personally.

    I haven’t been able to find a single piece of information about her nomination that suggests there was ANYTHING objectionable about it, that she was installed from on-high, that the local party members gave a damn until Hoffman and Armey started making noise.

    Show me something different, and I’ll change my opinion.

    “Hoffman may have set himself up to run the tables with the election. That in itself tells a tale, again whether you want to acknowldge it or not.”

    Check my comments @7 and 11. I acknowledge it absolutely . . . I just think it’s the worst possible tale for the GOP.

    “I don’t believe anybody of sound mind (I’ll give you that caviot) is going to hang it out there, with their own money and all, unless there is good cause to do so.”

    What if it was with another’s money? Like, say, some PAC?
    Good cause — I agree they won’t do it without good cause. What is good cause? Righting a wrong? That’s a good cause. Gaining power and thereby enriching myself and my friends? Most politicians think that’s a pretty good cause too.
    To think that members of ANY political affiliation are altruistic, honest, reliable, trustworthy, and generally all-around Boy Scouts is nonsense.
    Why would they do it? Why does ANYBODY run for public office?

    Think about Hoffman. Why is he running?

    Because he is opposed to the candidate nomination process? Then why is he acting outside of the GOP? Whatever happens, he hasn’t changed the GOP practices . . . he’s just fought with them for power.
    To present an “honest conservative” face so the people have a real choice, and not a “Washington Insider Elite”? Yeah . . . that’s why he had Dick Armey at his side during the interview with the Watertown Times . . . so he could distance himself from the Beltway.
    Because he’s an “outsider”? I read his interview, watched the debate . . . he sounded like a regular old politician to me (lots of sound bites, no substance).

    “I suggest to you that there would have been considerably less of a backlash had a Primary process been observed and Hoffman may not have run if there had been such a process. (No proof, just my own observations)”

    Maybe. So that’s what made Malkin, Pawlenty, Limbaugh, Beck, Palin et.al jump into a local race — their outrage over the lack of a primary system in the nomination process? Then all the attacks on Dede personally, as a liberal RINO, are just purely coincidental. They would all be supporting Hoffman even if the GOP candidate was Reagan Himself . . . it’s the principle of the thing, you understand.
    I just don’t buy that. This is about being “pure” conservative. It just doesn’t make sense otherwise. Why the bloody hell would all those outsiders give a damn about a local election like this, if not to burnish their “I’m more conservative than you” credentials. If they were loyal GOP members, and just have a problem with the Primary system . . . why attack Dede personally? She’s still a GOP member, like them. She has been a GOP pol for years . . . they’ve never given a damn.
    This just doesn’t make sense as anything other than a purity test. The Primary issue is a cover so we can slag Dede for being a RINO. If it was about primaries, then the Scoza hatred wouldn’t be there.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/2/2009 @ 9:03 pm

  23. @Michael Reynolds…

    You might want to “ask the party” what to do, but I sure won’t.

    Doug Hoffman is pretty happy he didn’t either at this point.

    Comment by Jeff Barea — 11/2/2009 @ 11:00 pm

  24. @busboy33:

    Please remember the simple things we were taught in elementary school.

    One person, one vote.

    Let me challenge you think of it in a social science kind of way:

    One person, his own decision.

    I can even put this in a religious context:

    One person, free moral agency.

    Wait, there’s more!

    They all add up to one simple American concept:

    I get to decide who I want to vote for. Me. Just me.

    Comment by Jeff Barea — 11/2/2009 @ 11:05 pm

  25. @Jeff Barea:

    I agree with everything you said . . . but I don’t understand the relevance to the current conversation.

    So just everybody writes in whomever they want to vote for? That’s actually not an American concept, since we’re not a pure democracy.

    You get to decide whom to cast you vote for . . . yes. But that’s different than deciding who the candidates are.

    Vote for Hoffman, vote for Owens, heck, Scoza’s name is still on the ballot so vote for her if you like. You CAN’T vote for Sarah Palin. Sorry. Them’s the rules.

    The issue is, does the Party have to get YOUR approval for the candidates they advance? If you cared, why wern’t you down at the Party Headquarters advocating for your favorite? If you don’t like the candidate . . . then don’t vote for them. But you understand that EVERY candidate is opposed by somebody, right? This means that there is ALWAYS someone crying foul.

    Do the people have the right to follow this course of action? Yep. Absolutely. But it WILL cripple or destroy the GOP, and as Rick said the whole point of this game is to wield political power. This plan fails to accomplish that.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/3/2009 @ 3:30 am

  26. @busboy33

    “The issue is, does the Party have to get YOUR approval for the candidates they advance?”

    For those not from New York State. The GOP has less to do with democracy and more to do with control from top down.

    I used to laugh whenever I’d call the NYS GOP Chairman by his first name and be castigated since he required being called “The Chairman.”

    My answer to your question has always been, “Well, yes.” One person, one vote right?

    Comment by Jeff Barea — 11/3/2009 @ 6:31 pm

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