Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Decision '08, Politics, conservative reform — Rick Moran @ 4:25 pm

There is no way to adequately explain how royally delicious the irony that can be found in this post by Jon Walker at Firedoglake.

To those of us on both sides who look in askance at the excessively ideological fringes of both right and left, the echo that can be heard in Mr. Walker’s piece from conservatives is eerie:

Bill Owens is a conservative Democrat. He is arguably more conservative than the official Republican candidate was (Dede Scozzafava dropped out over the weekend). For example, his opposition to the public option puts him not only far to the right of the bulk of the Democratic party, but significantly to the right of the majority of Americans. He was selected because he fit the Rahm Emanuel philosophy that the only way for Democrats to win right-leaning districts is with conservative Democratic candidates.

The theory is that a center-right Democrat will win the entire Democratic base, most of the independents, and a few of the more liberal Republicans. That theory is getting blown out of the water in NY-23rd. Bill Owens’s remaining competition is the ultra-rightwing Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman. The vast majority of the district should be ideologically much closer Owens than Hoffman, yet Hoffman is leading in the polls.

If Hoffman wins it will be a big loss for the misguided ideal among some Democrats that the only way to win right-leaning districts is by diligently staking out bland center-right positions. Having a candidate that seems “real” and can really fire up the base is very important. People often vote because they feel elected officials are ignoring them and they want to send a message. Right now, there is a real populist rage out there directed at Washington in general.

Yep - even though the “vast majority” in the district should be supporting Owens because they are closer to his more moderate ideology, somehow, someone is playing a trick! Hoffman is leading in the polls? How is that possible?

Well, maybe the district is closer to Hoffman in their ideology than Owens. But that’s not possible because Hoffman is a radical, far right, loony tunes, ass-upside-down drooling righty.

Or, Mr. Walker has a hole in his head and his cranial matter has been leaking lo these many years.

Now read this from Mac Ranger:

The Republican Party wins ONLY when Conservatism is it’s core. Willy-Nilly RINOISM got us shalacked in 2006 and 2008. Trying to out liberal the liberals, quasi-Republicans made deals with the devil and got burned in the process.

Is that too remarkable for words? One state, two state, red state, blue state - it doesn’t matter. Those in thrall to ideology see things exactly the same only coming at the issue from opposite ends of the spectrum.

Politico had this piece of cheery news today; the True Blue Conservative Brigade will fan out across the country and attack those they see as too “moderate” to be Republicans - even incumbents!

Activists contend that the only way back to majority status is to embrace the conservative principles that the party jettisoned during the past decades once it became too enamored of power. To them, the issue is less about ideological purity than about the compromises they see the party’s Washington establishment making and what they contend is a lack of support for conservative candidates who are deemed unelectable by GOP solons.

“New York 23, on some scale, is the first battle of a larger internal Republican debate over how to define the party,” said former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, a conservative who is challenging Crist for the Senate nomination. “They want us to vote for their candidates, but they don’t want us to run for office.”

Imagine the cheering going on at the DNC upon reading this. Millions and millions of Republican dollars being spent to kill each other off. Brilliant! And then bloodied and nearly broken, some poor senator or congressman goes into a general election nearly broke and facing a well funded, attractive Democratic challenger. The result? Pelosi and Reid laugh all the way to January and the swearing in of even bigger Democratic majorities.

As I’ve repeatedly said, the circumstances in NY23 are unique and serve the valuable purpose of telling those mossbacks in Washington to recruit good conservatives who will remain that way once they get to Washington. But sharpening the long knives for incumbents? To what purpose? It’s not a question of “victory at all costs” but rather “Who’s side are you really on when these actions will help only the Democrats?”

Now Mr. Walker does not go so far as to advocate the targeting of Blue Dogs although that has been suggested numerous times on liberal blogs. But I’m afraid he is dead wrong about Doug Hoffman - who apparently committed the cardinal sin of supporting Glenn Beck’s “9 Principles and 12 Values” which include such radically right wing subversive notions as “1) America is Good.” And for good measure, Mr. Hoffman informed Glenn Beck on his show that he was his “mentor” - a very polite response from an affable, polite man.

Actually, Hoffman is a nice, pleasant, gray little man who’s about as radical as a chicken breast, and a lot less loony than some of his national supporters who want to imbue the nondescript Mr. Hoffman with qualities that would have made George Washington blush. I like the fellow - especially the fact that he is an accountant. Just think of a Congress full of accountants instead of lawyers.

Now that’s a conservatism I would pledge my undying devotion.

But note the chilling similarity in the thought processes between Mac Ranger and Jon Walker. The “key to victory” is ideological purity. Never mind that the district had little interest in voting for Scozzafava once they found out she was not much of a Republican - even for a reasonably moderate conservative district like NY23. And the voters up there are apparently ready to reject a moderately left Democrat like Owens.

Hoffman probably wins because he got a boost from conservative activists who trashed Scozzafava (sometimes unfairly. As I said in this post, she is far from being a “radical leftist”), and propelled the GOP candidate to the front by dint of sheer enthusiasm and successfully portraying him as the only “real” Republican in the race.

If he loses? Well then it’s back to the drawing board. Maybe they’ll be able to find someone even more conservative than Hoffman because, after all, the reason he will lose is because he “just wasn’t conservative enough.”

Unless the GOP is very, very careful, that may be an epithet on the tombstone of many an incumbent when all is said and done in 2010.


  1. Everyone agrees on the usual left/right categories of discussion in politics.
    But the Progressives, ~100 years ago, picked up the origin and shifted it significantly to the left. The States are diminished in political power in favor of the Imperial Fed.
    The results (in the first three links at the top of the post) really stink.
    Yet you seem to accept cheerfully the framing of the issue by the Progressives.
    Just curious: how broke will you have to become before you realize you’ve been rooked, duped, and sold down the river, sir?

    Comment by smitty — 11/3/2009 @ 5:08 pm

  2. Sorry but Scozzafava is a squishy Rockefeller RINO and glad she’s gone. Her failure to condemn the corrupt ACORNholes was enough for me. I’ll be even happier when the East Coast Bluebloods in the GOP are history.

    Bold colors over pale pastels…

    Comment by Gunny G — 11/3/2009 @ 5:37 pm

  3. Let’s see what happens, Rick. I don’t see ‘irony’. I see competition and disagreement. Mr. Hoffman will not win (if he does) because Ms. Scozzafava was sometimes unfairly trashed. Mr. Owens will not win (if he does) because of Pelosi and Reid laughter. Who nationally at least knows of Messrs. Walker and Ranger (unless it is a Chuck Norris fan)? Any ‘coming together’ of republicans through Ms. Scozzafava in a special election in this environment would have been a miracle. It would have been stupid, too. Good luck to the only choice: Mr. Hoffman.

    Comment by Charlie — 11/3/2009 @ 5:39 pm

  4. Absolutely, there’s irony. The purists on the left and right are yin and yang to one another.

    There’s a certain beauty — a symmetry — to the thought process. And as far as I’m concerned, I wish them all well. I hope the purists on both sides manage to form up two hard, shiny, pure little ideological knots.

    And then, when 20% or so are happy on the left, and another 20% or so are cozy on the right, the rest of us can form up a new party and finally govern the country.

    Comment by Polimom — 11/3/2009 @ 9:36 pm

  5. I don’t see it, Rick. Where is there is this huge urge to purge outside of meaningless blogoland? Republicans–and Independents–are energized and are ready to push back against the left-wing politics of this Administration. Christie certainly is moderate, but conservatives have cheered his victory. The irony is that the only seat that may go to the Democrats is NY23–because the New York GOP appartus orginally pushed a ridiculous candidate to the left of the Democrat. From what I see, Republicans are very united in trying to regain the House in 2010, and Independents seem ready to hand it to them.

    This wasn’t even the first shoe to drop tonight. That will come in 2010. I can be very objective on this point: if I were a Democratic MoC in a moderate to conservative district, I would be scared shitless tonight. Political fortunes can turn in a year, but 2010 is poised to be a very, very Republican year. Note “Republican,” not “conservative.”

    Comment by obamathered — 11/3/2009 @ 10:02 pm

  6. Thing is that the middle gets off the couch to vote, not to activate. The middle controls, but only in their mind, and the pull of the lever. When the activists sit it out, the other side wins. There is a nice symmetry to that.

    Comment by Online Public School Mom — 11/3/2009 @ 10:51 pm

  7. Dear conservative Taliban, thanks for the win in New York.

    Comment by Richard bottoms — 11/4/2009 @ 4:11 am

  8. With the Owen’s win it seems that Armey,Palin, and Beck should have realized the old adage, all politics are local. People don’t like outsiders telling them what to do, whether it be on the right or left. Its ironic that Owens is more conservative than Dede.Here’s how my Democratic Party wins elections in this political climate, be more centrist and become fiscal hawks, including runaway defense spending and endless wars.

    Comment by Joe — 11/4/2009 @ 6:04 am

  9. This is it in a bit:

    You are a voter in a congressional district bordering Canada in upstate New York that has gone reliably Republican since the 19th century. Your Republican congressman is picked to be Army secretary by the president and your county GOP committee taps a woman with moderate credentials in keeping with the district and deep local roots to run in a special election to succeed him.

    But it is 2009 and that woman is not right wing enough for the national GOP, which foists a carpetbagging Glenn Beck acolyte with no experience and even less sense on you, driving the woman from the race.

    Predictions that the right winger will win do not take into account that the people of the district are deeply insulted that their election has been hijacked by a bunch of uncouth loudmouths like Beck, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, who may speak for what is left of the national GOP but not the good burghers of NY-23. Against all odds, the Democrat wins.

    Meanwhile, back at the World Series . . .

    Comment by Shaun Mullen — 11/4/2009 @ 6:27 am

  10. Reagan launched a primary challenge against a sitting GOP president in 1976. William F Buckly strongly supported the destruction of Lowell Weicker’s congressional career. Were they wrong to do so? Why or why not were they extreme and what’s different about today’s angry right threatening the same?

    I think that most conservatives objectively examining the situation would be happy with bucpac and its torpedoing of Lowell Weicker in favor of Joe Lieberman all those years ago. Like Scozzafava, Weicker abandoned the GOP. He later served as governor as an independent.

    Rick, either you think that William F Buckley was wrong to support the Dem in that one isolated case (and Weicker was about as bad as liberal RINOs get) or you concede that sometimes, sharpening the long knives for incumbents is a legitimate strategy.

    Once you concede the legitimacy of the strategy, it’s only a tactical question of when it is appropriate to deploy it. I strongly suspect that the consensus answer is almost never. That this strategy of primary and general election challenges from the right is much better deployed as a threat, something like nuclear deterrence than ever actually launching an internecine war.

    Once you stop calling the mau mau brigade on the right morons and other unhelpful names, legitimize the tactic as something appropriate in extremis, you can get down to the brass tacks of examining GOP incumbents and finding out that, hey, their behavior by and large doesn’t merit going to the extreme solution you concede in theory is valid.

    Comment by TMLutas — 11/4/2009 @ 9:00 am

  11. Such intelligent libs!!! Keep telling yourself that you’re fiscal hawks..my that is a funny one. Hoffman was in the low teens 3 weeks ago. He finished with 46%. He just ran out of time. Had Dede left awhile ago, Hoffman wins. 6% of the people voted for a candidate not in the race, probably due to early voting.

    The message was sent and NY-23 will be back in Republican hands in a year. along with quite a few more House and Senate seats. Remember, 40% of this country is conservative vs. 20% lib. Obama shining the light on how Dems really run things is awakening the nation to just how kooky left the Dem party is now. How’s that nationalized health care going?

    Comment by Bruceinsocal — 11/4/2009 @ 9:39 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress