Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging, Decision '08, Decision 2010, Ethics, Politics — Rick Moran @ 10:38 am

I’m a little bemused this morning reading lefty blogs who are chortling over Doug Hoffman’s defeat last night. Isn’t that sort of like someone who’s been thrown in a sh*t pile and accidentally discovering a brass ring?

It isn’t just the raw results that should give Democrats a cold chill. The internals of the exit polls reveal several key demographic groups moving strongly back to the GOP including ex-urban whites, as well as suburban women. If that trend continues - and at the moment, that’s a big “if” - the GOP is back in the national ball game with several states that were trending blue like Virginia inching away from the Democrats and returning home.

Of course, the low turnout in these elections make it difficult to really pronounce such trends as harbingers of victory for Republicans in 2010. But moderates and Blue Dogs on the Hill think they’re real enough, which should, at the very least, complicate matters for Nancy Pelosi as she moves the health care reform bill to the floor. I don’t think the results changed anyone’s vote - and that’s the problem for Pelosi. She’s still short a couple of dozen votes for passage of a bill with a strong public option and what happened last night will just make her job of arm twisting Blue Dogs to jump on board that much more difficult.

Of all the results that came in last night, Republicans can take the most heart from the Virginia governor’s race. It’s not that McDonnell won - that was expected. But his margin of victory was astonishing considering that Obama took the state by 7% last November. Deeds finished 12 points behind Obama’s total and the other two statewide races saw similar massacres of the Democratic candidates. Again, it is perhaps folly to read too much into this race, but if you were to ask Axelrod (and if you were able to get an honest response from him), I think he would say that they were most disappointed in what happened statewide in Virginia.

New Jersey is an entirely different narrative. It is pretty clear that Obama’s presidency was a non-player in people’s decision for whom to vote. The issue was a scumbag governor - period - and the clear desire of New Jerseians to kick the bum out.

Nate Silver:

Obama approval was actually pretty strong in New Jersey, at 57 percent, but 27 percent of those who approved of Obama nevertheless voted for someone other than Corzine. This one really does appear to be mostly about Corzine being an unappealing candidate, as the Democrats look like they’ll lose just one or two seats in the state legislature in Trenton. Corzine compounded his problems by staying negative until the bitter end of the campaign rather than rounding out his portfolio after having closed the margin with Christie.

That’s pretty convincing evidence that, at least in the New Jersey governor’s race, “all politics are local” prevailed.

Not so in NY23. I am very disappointed that Doug Hoffman lost. As in any vote, it was a variety of factors that did Hoffman in. Was he “too conservative?” I doubt that. Hoffman wasn’t a bomb thrower nor is he a radical rightie. He was a nice little “gray man” as I called him yesterday, who didn’t impress the locals with his knowledge of local issues nor set them on fire with his personality. And I think the enthusiasm felt for him by national conservatives never translated into support on the ground in the district.

The Dede Factor probably had something to do with Hoffman’s loss. How much is hard to say. And don’t forget the machinations of the national GOP and state party bigwigs who foisted Scozzafava on the district in the first place. If Hoffman hadn’t been on the ballot, I am not convinced she would have won anyway. Owens centrism contrasted badly for the GOP with Scozzafava’s center left voting record as well as her open embrace of such positions as pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. That would have kept many conservatives at home last night watching “V” rather than heading to the polls to vote for the likes of Scozzafava. The notion that she would have won if Hoffman had stayed off the ballot is just not supportable by what we know.

From some New York commenters and correspondents, I am told that redistricting will probably make this a safe Democratic enclave by the 2010 race. We will see about that. It could be that come the mid terms, very few seats in the country would be “safe” for Democrats unless the unemployment rate comes down significantly, and a way is found to lower the deficit. In case you didn’t hear, voters are indeed angry. They appear angry at both parties, but Democrats come in for the lion’s share of the blame simply by virtue of them being the “ins” at the present time.

If I were a Democrat, I would be relieved that the night wasn’t as bad as it could have been. As a nominal Republican, I am pleased but very cautious. I see nothing from those results that shows me the voter is ready to embrace the GOP as an alternative to Obama and the Democrats. I think there was a lot of “holding of noses” by people in Virginia and New Jersey when going into the polling booth. I sense little enthusiasm for choosing Republicans over Democrats - something that can be changed only if the lessons from last night sink in with the mossbacks currently in charge of the party in Washington.

What are those lessons? Listen to conservatives. Not the ones calling for a purge of incumbents that don’t measure up to some idiotic notion of ideological purity. That way leads to madness and defeat:

But their success in Tuesday’s upstate New York special election, where grass-roots efforts pushed GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava to drop out of the race and helped Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman surge into the lead on the eve of Election Day, has generated more money and enthusiasm than organizers ever imagined.

Activists predict a wave that could roll from California to Kentucky to New Hampshire and that could leave even some GOP incumbents — Utah Sen. Bob Bennett is one — facing unexpectedly fierce challenges from their right flank.

“I would say it’s the tip of the spear,” said Dick Armey, the former GOP House majority leader who now serves as chairman of FreedomWorks, an organization that has been closely aligned with the tea party movement. “We are the biggest source of energy in American politics today.”

“What you’re going to see,” said Armey, “is moderates and conservatives across the country in primaries.”

Dick Armey is a fool. He knows full well that incumbents challenged in a primary are much more vulnerable to defeat in the general election than those who run virtually unopposed. And why the challenge? Does the member have ethics problems? If so, then by all means throw the rascal out.

The idea that an incumbent has “betrayed conservative principles” might be cause for removal but who are these national conservatives that they think they can dictate to locals and define “conservatism” for them? They may have their own ideas on how conservative their member is and to have someone else tell them they’re full of it - especially someone from outside the state or district - is a real recipe for a civil war.

I am coming around to the notion that the GOP has to blow their opportunity in both 2010 and 2012 for anything to change. Losing when you should have had a slam dunk win (as I think 2010 should be) might wake up a few people who need a kick in the ass. And that includes throwing out the deadwood in Washington as well as putting the radical righties in their place. Both groups are dragging the GOP down and, like a drunk who has hit rock bottom, will only reform when the alternative is more unpalatable.


Pete Wehner points to something I hadn’t considered:

Among the important by-products of this election is that it will encourage many impressive and capable Republicans from around the country to become candidates. They now believe, with justification, that 2010 looks to be a very good year for the GOP. If an individual ever wanted to toss his hat into the ring, this is the time to do it.

I wrote in both 2006 and 2008 about the way the Democrats far outperformed the GOP in candidate recruitment, and how that factor was one of the primary reasons for their success. There are several factors that go into recruiting a good candidate including having a strong base of support in some part of the district, some nominal name recognition, and, as always, an ability to self finance is seen as a huge plus.

I am willing to bet that Hoffman was not the best conservative candidate available in NY23, although not knowing anything about the district I can’t say for sure. But if the GOP can attract some up and comers, as well as a few old political hands who are known in the district who might be encouraged by what happened last night, more power to them.


  1. Rick -

    Sigh… You’re still under the delusion that the Tea-Party/Birthers/Beck/Palin/Limbaugh wing of the party is not driving the train.

    Do you honestly think that they’ll be happy with mainstream conservatives (limited government in all matters, fiscal and social)running for office? No. These conservatives want hard right candidates.

    I’m still trying hard to figure out how a seat [that was reliably GOP] switching to the Dems is a good thing, yet the boys at RedState keep telling me its true.

    Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi had 256 members in her caucus. Today she has 258. In a time when every vote counts, this could be huge.

    I feel ill.

    If the radicals are “driving the train” how did Dede slip through the cracks?

    No, the radicals are pressuring the engineer but at the moment, the establishment - which is considerably less conservative than most of us would like - is still driving the engine. All the radicals can do is make trouble. True, they have some members running scared because they supply a lot of money and volunteers for races. But the power - at the moment - resides with the elites. And they are part of the problem as well.

    The radicals are so dangerous because they can throw a monkey wrench into the machinery. If they mount challenges to those they consider too “moderate” the party loses because the waste of resources that could have been better spent in the general election goes to winning a bruising primary.

    The radicals can send messages - that’s about it. It is displaying a false consciousness if you pay attention to Democrats regarding who is “leading” the Republican party. It is the same folks who led the GOP in 2006 and 2008. The far right is pushing, and I will grant they’ve made some headway. But it’s far cry from them running the party.


    Comment by JerryS — 11/4/2009 @ 11:22 am

  2. Corzine deserved to lose. Hell, I probably would have voted against him just for being an arrogant Goldman Sachs douchebag.

    Virginia did what Viginia always does: picks the party that isn’t in the White House.

    Neither of those bother me. Main bothers me. It makes me ashamed of Mainers. I had always liked them after spending a couple of years among them.

    NY23 was the only federal level race of interest. Dems won a district they hadn’t held since the days when Ulysses S. Grant sold firewood. They won thanks to Sarah and the Teabaggers.

    The message sent was not, “Hey, I should run for Congress as a Republican!” The message sent was, “I can only run for Congress if I’m enough of a nut to appeal to Sarah Palin.”

    Suggestion: Stick with your day job.


    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/4/2009 @ 11:40 am

  3. Rick:

    Owens was a sacrificial lamb, a nobody sent in to take a dignified beating at the hands of whoever the GOP put up there. Scozzafava would have won in a walk. Once she was forced out Owens’ number went up. What does that tell you, speaking of ‘day jobs?’ It means reliable GOP voters switched parties rather than vote for a Teabagger. 5% still voted for Scoza apparently unable to force themselves to defect to the Democrats but still unable to gag down Hoffman. NY23 — Republican since before the invention of the internal combustion engine — chose to vote for a withdrawn GOP candidate or a Democrat rather than a Teabagger.

    The choice facing GOP candidates now is: oppose the baggers and lose in the primary or side with the Teabaggers and lose in the general. I don’t quite see where the rush of wanna-be victims, er, candidates, comes from.

    I know you’re trying to find a way to square the circle and make some kind of peace with these guys but it ain’t happening. You’re a Menshevik in a Bolshevik party. And I’ll repeat what I said before: you’re a member of a party that — solely because of your beliefs — would never nominate you for anything.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/4/2009 @ 11:57 am

  4. I think the election went well for ‘rational’ conservatives. NY23 sent a message that it’s not all about Palin etc. so in that sense I’m optimistic about 2010. That is if Glen Beck doesn’t stick to his third party nonsense.

    Comment by funny man — 11/4/2009 @ 12:00 pm

  5. What I’d like to know is, what policy mix are the Republicans going to come out with, and win with?

    Domestic policy only (foreign affairs don’t seem to be where the action is). I doubt the social issues (gay marriage, abortion) have much traction. So, what do the Republicans have to say about economic policy?

    I get the impression that what most have to say is, spend less and wait for the economy to recover on its own.

    Well - perhaps the question could be equally posed to the dems. They’ve spent $8 trillion and the economy is still in the crapper, banks are still at risk, the dollar is toilet paper, and the rest of the world is getting antsy funding our debt which is being jacked up beyond reason.

    Why not put a few of these programs on hold until the economy improves and the natural flow of tax money from more people working, more economic activity actually makes some of their agenda affordable? What’s wrong with that? They’ve already tried spending us out of the recession and it hasn’t worked. There are no arrows left in the quiver except another stim bill - good luck with that.

    The GOP? Good question. Cutting taxes in a recession is always a good idea but with the deficit the way it is, those cuts would have to be targeted and temporary. By targeted, I mean shoveling cash toward the productive sectors of the economy - small business expansion and creation - rather than raising their taxes to pay for health care reform that is madness to push at this time. And by temporary, I mean just that. Maybe 2-3 years.

    The fact is, we are in a pickle and perhaps the best we can do at this point is not cause any more harm. Health care reform does that - and more. But there is no magic bullet and if the GOP tries to sell one, it will be snake oil.


    Comment by Quiddity — 11/4/2009 @ 12:21 pm

  6. RM
    What is a nominal Republican?
    Ive asked it many times, what exactly is the burr up your rear end. State plainly what issues you take umbrage with the crazies on - same-sex, marriage, abortion, healthcare? Spit it out man. Your so hell bent on getting rid of some faction (substantial) of our party that you are turning into someone just like them- an idealogue and are hurting the party.
    Don’t get on your intelligensia high horse,arrogance never wins votes, this is politics not rocket science. From Reagan:
    “A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.”

    Comment by MooseH — 11/4/2009 @ 12:30 pm

  7. You don’t win by losing. Just as conservatives should embrace moderates in the Republican coalition, everyone should work together for victory in 2010, including you. The fringe that wants to primary moderates is tiny and insignificant. Hell, Armey isn’t even a Republican any longer. But sometimes even bomb throwers are right, and their outrage over Dede was, as you point out, justified. But they also saw the limits of bomb throwing, as you also pointed out.

    I think the following also should scare the Democrats:

    1. Obama has very limited influence left outside the black community–which is to say, he will have no coattails in 2010 and his previously strong odds to win re-election continue to diminish.

    2. As Wehner pointed out, GOP recruitment has been excellent and the more confident the party the better candidates it will attract.

    3. Democrats grossly misread their mandate, and the early stimulus and cap and trade votes already have consigned some in more conservative districts to ouster.

    4. The economic outrage is so wide that it spread over into Virginia’s House of Delegates races, and one and possibly two solidly Democratic southwest Virginia districts sent their first Republican to the state legislature ever.

    5. The White House and Congressional Dems apparently had internals that set their hair on fire. While speculative, the pre-emptive Senate announcement that health care would be kicked into next year was the result of what they saw before the first vote was cast.

    This is the first good day to be a confident Republican since 2005. It feels good.

    Comment by jackson1234 — 11/4/2009 @ 1:19 pm

  8. I have been to that part of New York a number of times (relatives by marriage.) If I were to characterize the voting patterns of that part of the state I would say they were Moynihan Democrats.

    I don’t think this race has any big national implications. I would suspect that there is probably a whisker of difference between Owens and Hoffman, except Hoffman was relatively unknown to the voters.

    Comment by Allen — 11/4/2009 @ 1:25 pm

  9. Michael Reynolds said:

    Neither of those bother me. Main bothers me. It makes me ashamed of Mainers.

    Couldn’t agree more. When I saw the photos of the Republicans rejoicing and praising god for what they’d just done, it made me nauseous.

    I was also amazed at how the bigotry was covered by the media. It was as though these two groups of people were having a rational discussion.

    Thanks GOP. The money you vomited into Maine for this election season worked. Thanks churches. Your army of idiot reverends and priests led a good fight to take away rights from people who genuinely love each other.

    Congratulation on your party, Republicans. I know how proud you are. Very Jesus-like. This should not be how humans are treated. Period.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 11/4/2009 @ 1:45 pm

  10. [...] Malkin Mark Steyn: Quietly musing Drew @Ace:Elections a little something for everyone Rick Moran: Die GOP, that ye may rise! Sundries Shack: V-and Voting Crittenden: He had a bad day… Just One Minute: End of Health [...]

    Pingback by NY-23, Free Speech & the Fog -UPDATED » The Anchoress | A First Things Blog — 11/4/2009 @ 2:08 pm

  11. “Neither of those bother me. Main bothers me. It makes me ashamed of Mainers.”

    If Maine bothers you better reach down and pull up your knickers. Maine is only the 31st attempt to get the voters to go along with same sex marriage. You got lots of other states out there to rail against besides just Maine.

    It don’t matter to me one way or another - I’m just saying . . .

    Comment by SShiell — 11/4/2009 @ 2:11 pm

  12. Nancy Pelosi has two more votes in the House, last time I checked governors don’t get to vote on legislation. The teabaggers gave us a win where it should have been a loss.

    More. Louder please.

    Moose & Squirrel, 2012

    Comment by Richard bottoms — 11/4/2009 @ 2:24 pm

  13. Hoffman seemed like a perfectly nice man, with good ideas but a completely lackluster presentation of himself. Watching paint dry was more interesting. Not a great candidate who still did pretty well, all things considered. Creigh Deeds was another blah candidate - the personality of a wet rag and he always looked on the verge of tears. Lousy campaign as well - went negative right out of the gate and that is a major turnoff to most voters. But worse candidates have won so prognostication says that Blue Dog Dems should be shaking in their BVDs right about now.

    Comment by Gayle Miller — 11/4/2009 @ 3:44 pm

  14. Does it occur to any of you that a vast majority of Americans just do not believe in so-called gay marriage? I know that many blacks are totally against it. Try to move past your xenophobic prejudices and indulge in some actual thinking!

    Comment by Gayle Miller — 11/4/2009 @ 3:46 pm

  15. Gayle:

    Does it occur to any of you that a vast majority of Americans just do not believe in so-called gay marriage? I know that many blacks are totally against it. Try to move past your xenophobic prejudices and indulge in some actual thinking!

    It also occurs to me that Serbs don’t like Bosnians, and Nazis don’t like Jews, and Klansmen don’t like blacks, and light-skinned Sudanese don’t like dark-skinned Sudanese but the fact that large numbers of people are bigoted, brain-dead morons does not make it right.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/4/2009 @ 4:08 pm

  16. Incidentally, “xenophobia” is a fear of foreigners, or of the outsider. Just FYI.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/4/2009 @ 4:09 pm

  17. @Allen:

    “I don’t think this race has any big national implications.”

    It certainly shouldn’t, that’s for sure. The Blues had the House enyways, so even though the balance of power tips incrementally toward the Dems, it doesn’t really change anything (nationally) at the end of the day.

    Sadly (for the GOP) though, I think it will. As Rick quoted Armey saying, this is “proof” that the “pure” conservatives have enough power to try and wrestle the conductor for control of the train . . . and they are eager for that. The fact that, after wrestling control they then crashed the train isn’t relevant to them. They aren’t interested in getting the train to a destination, they just want the conductor hat.

    Their nominal goal is to bring the GOP back to power. For that, they need to gain votes, and turn blue areas red. NY-23 (their first big public test of their influence) lost voters and lost a reliable seat. I know Rick isn’t sure Scoza would have won, but a district that has been GOP for almost 150 years in my mind can be categorized as “reliably red”.

    If they can’t win enough votes in a GOP district, how are they going to flip blue and neutral voters?

    The only way this makes sense is a a megloamaniacal power grab. As an honest attempt to win majority control, there just dosen’t seem to be credence to it. If it IS a powergrab, then it’s going to spread. And that is very, very bad for the GOP.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/4/2009 @ 4:14 pm

  18. The myth: Dede Scozzafava was foisted on the people of NY-23 by corrupt moderate Rinos;
    The reality: The voters of NY-23 have been voting moderate Republicans into office since before anyone here was born.

    So even after all the screaming and tons of outside agitation and campaigning, the voters of NY-23 elected a conservative Democrat to replace a liberal Republican.

    The takeaway lesson should be that it is not just the corrupt GOP hacks who are moderate Republicans; there are millions of rank and file who want no part of the Tea Party.

    And if they are cast out, they will do exactly what the Republicans in NY-23 did; vote in a Democrat who most closely matches their views.

    Comment by Reason60 — 11/4/2009 @ 4:14 pm

  19. Reason:

    That is the lesson. Chances that the Teabaggers will get it? Zero.

    Moderate GOP Illinois Senate candidate Mark Kirk has just been caught begging for Palin’s endorsement:


    Palin will continue to throw her weight around, the crazies will follow her, and the GOP will actually manage to screw up 2010. Moderate GOP candidates will run for cover and the downward spiral will continue.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/4/2009 @ 4:27 pm

  20. Busboy33,

    Where are folks getting the idea that these are “safe” republican Congressional districts? All of them, the 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th are primarily democrat districts. Over the last 100 years these districts have gone about 80% of the time for democrats in the House. The democrats have held about a 3 to 1 advantage over the republicans in the state legislature for a long time.

    Granted most of those districts went to the republicans under Reagan’s first term and stayed that way from anywhere from 10 to 20 years. So it’s somewhat recent, but they turned back for Clinton or prior to Bush’s second term.

    Comment by Allen — 11/4/2009 @ 4:47 pm

  21. @Allen:

    If I’m wrong correct me, but I was under the impression that the 23rd hadn’t elected a Democrat for that seat in well over a century.

    Is the balance 3/1 overall for the State? That sounds reasonable. Have other districts elected Dems? Sure. But has the 23rd voted that seat Blue in the past? I’ve seen numbers bandied about in the 140+ years range, and I haven’t seen anything challenging that figure.

    Like I said, if they have straighten me out. I’m not knowledgeable about historical House representation in the district (or pretty much anywhere else, for that matter). I’ve seen the “over a century” claim repeatedly, from multiple sources, and with nobody challenging it it seemed credible. I’m always open to learning new things.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/4/2009 @ 5:25 pm

  22. The three liberal trolls MR, Reason60 and busboy 33 on this website are funny. They come on this conservative site and tell us about same-sex phobia at this site.Funny because their boy, the anointed one is against same sex marriage as is a majority of blacks who are overwhelmingly democrats.Gentlemen time for you to leave and clean up your own house before lecturing us.Good riddence.

    Comment by MooseH — 11/4/2009 @ 5:39 pm

  23. Busboy33,

    The districts come and go based on the census the state house, and gerrymandering. Just in the 23rd District as constituted today: 210,000 registered (R) 160,000 registered (D). One might think it’s a shoein for the republican but when you break it down by counties, over time, more democrats get elected to the House regardless of which district that county might be in. Similarly in the 20th right next door when you breakdown the registered (R) vs. (D) it’s about the same. They have a similar history of voting.

    The real question, in my mind, is why can’t the GOP get registered republicans in those districts to vote for their candidates?

    Comment by Allen — 11/4/2009 @ 5:52 pm

  24. MooseH:

    You seem terribly afraid of being exposed to different points of view. Why is that?

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/4/2009 @ 6:08 pm

  25. busboy33 “If I’m wrong correct me, but I was under the impression that the 23rd hadn’t elected a Democrat for that seat in well over a century.”

    Democrat Michael R. McNulty represented NY-23 from 1989-1993. Your impression has now been corrected.

    Comment by SShiell — 11/4/2009 @ 7:20 pm

  26. SShiel -

    Not fully the truth. That district was in a different geographic area than the current area. So, the truth is that that AREA hasn’t been represented by a Democrat in 100 years.

    Tell the truth.

    Comment by JerryS — 11/4/2009 @ 7:36 pm

  27. @Sshiell:

    Gracias. I try to learn one new thing every day . . . and now I can enjoy devoting the rest of the day to letting my mind turn to tapioca.

    You’re also right. A brief bit of research reveals the 23rd was apparently loaded with heavy Dem areas before a re-district in the early 90s, which if I’m reading this data correctly moved the heavy blue areas into the 21st.

    I guess the “no blue in a century” is based on extremely creative interpretation of what constitutes the 23rd, but the fact seems to be that there have been dems elected to represent the 23rd fairly recently, and no ammount of creative interpretation changes that fact.

    Thanks to you both.


    Their boy? You’re funny.

    Lecturing for same-sex marriage — I have? Actually, I’ve posted repeated on this site stating my opposition to it. It was hidden in a code, so I’ll give you the cypher: look at the words I type. Start at the left, then read them sequentially going right.

    Obama’s against SS marriage — Whether he is or isn’t . . . goodie for him. I try to decide if I support someone based on the totality of their views. It is a little more difficult, since it requires actually thinking, but I’m funny like that.

    It’s nimrods like you that embarass the Republican party.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/4/2009 @ 7:39 pm

  28. How does my district get off the teabagger intervention list for 2010?

    We’ve got a Republican in office now, so the last thing we need are the tb’s showing up to assist with a ‘win’.

    Comment by Guesst — 11/4/2009 @ 8:54 pm

  29. Chuck:

    “Thanks GOP. The money you vomited into Maine for this election season worked. Thanks churches. Your army of idiot reverends and priests led a good fight to take away rights from people who genuinely love each other.”

    Given the voter breakdown in Maine is 54 percent Democratic/31 percent Republican, you might want to give a really big shout out to the Donks, Chuck. Without their active support to overturn this legislation and their encouragement from anti-gay marriage president Barack Obama, this could have passed. While at it, give a shout out to those right-wing bastions such as California.

    Comment by obamathered — 11/4/2009 @ 9:11 pm

  30. Thanks GOP. The money you vomited into Maine for this election season worked. Thanks churches. Your army of idiot reverends and priests led a good fight to take away rights from people who genuinely love each other.

    It doesn’t help the pro-gay marriage cause that the majority of the Dem leadership (including the President) is not behind them. Fact is, gays are going to have to keep on fighting for their civil rights with minimal political support from the party that is supposed to best represent an agenda for equality.

    Comment by Surabaya Stew — 11/4/2009 @ 11:16 pm

  31. obamathered said,

    Given the voter breakdown in Maine is 54 percent Democratic/31 percent Republican, you might want to give a really big shout out to the Donks, Chuck. Without their active support to overturn this legislation and their encouragement from anti-gay marriage president Barack Obama, this could have passed. While at it, give a shout out to those right-wing bastions such as California.

    Translation: “See, democrats can be bigot douchebags too!”

    Interesting way of making your point.

    Comment by Anonymous — 11/5/2009 @ 1:44 am

  32. Interestingly, while NY-23 was grabbing all the media attention, national endorsements and money, a Republican running on an anti-tax platform ousted the Democratic County Executive in NY’s Westchester County — NYC’s northern suburb where Democrats have a 2-to-1 registration margin and have won almost every race for every office in recent years. And Rob Astorino won with a 16-point margin! He’s not all that conservative — certainly no tea partier — but not Dede-style liberal, so I guess that makes him a moderate with a conservative bent on taxes.

    In any case, alongside Christie’s win in NJ, Astorino’s shows that GOPers can win in the supposedly “blue” northeast. They just need to be attractive candidates who “connect” (a cliche, but a useful one) with their voters and the issues troubling them.

    I’m not sure what Hoffman’s race tells us besides the obvious: that the Democrat beat him in a district where Obama also won last year. So doesn’t that make it a true swing district — regardless of the fact that a staunch Republican won the seat repeatedly in prior years? And Owens is a fairly moderate guy who may reflect the temper of the district pretty well.

    Also, Hoffman’s “outsider” status was a burden when seen by voters in combination with his apparent disinterest in critical local issues. The 23rd is a vast area that has struggled economically for years. Virtually every significant segment of the local economy depends on federal and state policies and budget outlays. So while the local folks may be at heart conservative, they may not have responded so well to all of the anti-government talk from the Club for Growth, Dick Armey and Sarah Palin.

    Finally, I have to say that I saw Hoffman a few times on Fox shows and he came across to me as a very dim bulb. I’ve posted more about these races on my blog at:


    Not incidentally, I think I’m right that the district reapportionment based on the 2010 census will not take place until 2012, so Owens will be running for a full term within the same borders next year. Post-reapportionment, if New York loses another Congressional seat as expected and with the state legislature under Democratic control, the new district almost certainly will be bigger geographically and might embrace more Democratic areas in the direction of Syracuse or Albany. But its’ also possible that lines will be drawn so as to make the district just south of the 23rd a safe Dem seat and roll all the more rural parts into one big likely GOP seat.

    Comment by John Burke — 11/5/2009 @ 1:45 am

  33. Anonymous: “Translation: “See, democrats can be bigot douchebags too!”
    Interesting way of making your point.”

    Translation: “Let’s avoid the unpleasant reality and establish a moral equivalency after someone claimed this was one-sided.”

    Comment by obamathered — 11/5/2009 @ 8:45 am

  34. obamatheread said:

    Translation: “Let’s avoid the unpleasant reality and establish a moral equivalency after someone claimed this was one-sided.”

    What exactly is the moral equivalency? Democrats can be bigots too? Like anyone is afraid to say this? Democrats who voted the same way are bigot douchebags. Nobody is hiding behind anything. The point is the majority in that vote were bigot douchebags. There just happens to be more Republican bigot douchebags than Democrat bigot douchebags.

    Your finger pointing justification of ‘they did it too’ is lame. Not because Democrats can be bigots too, but simply because I was talking about you at the time. Twisting, distracting, and finger pointing don’t serve well as denials of the facts, just denials of the reality that the party you associate with is full of people not worth associating with.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 11/5/2009 @ 10:09 am

  35. bb33
    “I’ve posted repeated on this site stating my opposition to it (same sex marriage).”

    Then go over to the liberal websites and convince them of your view and stop selling your BDS bs here.Afraid?
    Sounds as if you liberals are a fractured group and yours is the party that is in trouble (well educated CT gold coast went Republican). Amazing what less than a year brings.

    Comment by MooseH — 11/5/2009 @ 1:59 pm

  36. MooseH,
    are you now the officially elected gatekeeper. Can’t remember I voted. BTW, the crazies go to DailyKos or HA.

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

  37. @Moosey:

    I’m afraid being here . . . so I should go to a community that shares my views? If I was afraid of you, why be here in the first place?

    What makes you think I DON’T read and post on liberal blogs as well? Is it because reading different ideas is vewy scaaaawy to you? I understand you’re one of those absolutists, that can’t stand even to hear, let alone consider, anything that doesn’t 100% agree with what you already thought . . . but since I did make it through puberty without too much scarring I perfer to see things outside of my own little bubble.

    I’m not scared by other people ideas. I think its healthy to se what different people thing, and to engage with them. Clearly, you are, and I’m sorry your sense of self-worth is so pathetically small you feel like the only smart thing to do is sit in an echo chamber for some positive reinforcement.

    Ideas don’t scare me. Philosophies don’t scare me. Being wrong doesn’t scare me. Conservatives don’t scare me. You certainly don’t scare me.

    Clowns? They scare me.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/5/2009 @ 3:26 pm

  38. sorry . . . forgot to add (and you may want to put on some kind of helmet because this might just blow your mind) I disagree with alot of the stuff posted on liberal blogs as well.


    Comment by busboy33 — 11/5/2009 @ 3:27 pm

  39. MooseH:

    I think the best approach for you, since you are obviously terrified of being exposed to differing points of view, is to find a country where only one point of view is permitted. I think there’s a place for you in North Korea.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/5/2009 @ 9:56 pm

  40. busboy33 said:

    Clowns? They scare me.

    FINALLY! Something we can all agree on.

    I want to have a Right Wing Nuthouse meetup. All the alcohol is on me. Michael Reynolds, you’re in charge. Make sure Gayle shows up.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 11/5/2009 @ 10:05 pm

  41. Depending on the where and when, I’m certainly game. A bit concerned for my personal safety . . . but game.

    (I keed, I keed)

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/5/2009 @ 11:11 pm

  42. Would we have to go to Streator? There are much nicer bars in Chicgo.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/6/2009 @ 9:05 am

  43. Interesting so far.

    McDonnell win doesn’t mean much, so the Conventional Wisdom (?) goes.

    In 2008, 3 Rep congressional districts went Dem. McDonnell won those districts 55%, 60+% and 60+%.

    We’ll see how the “Conservatives” play their hand, in VA McDonnell is a strong conservative. The Washington Post solidified his right flank by their continual obsession of a 20+ year old thesis, so he went to the middle.

    The inter Party battle will be in the Primaries (Which NY-23 DID NOT have). Crist is likely toast, Rubio should win in Fla. California could prove interesting.

    Bottom Line…Remember Clinton’s line…”It’s the economy STUPID!”


    Comment by the Dragon — 11/6/2009 @ 10:05 am

  44. Christ may be the most acceptable high-profile Red to non-Reds left. I know the ultras are after his blood, but IMHO its a bad play. He’s got National potential to the majority of Americans, not just the true believers.
    Whether a Red can win in 2012 is going to depend on Obama. If he comes up with nothing after his 1st term, then the race is open. If he has a good 3 years, he might be a lock. But whether a serious try for the White House happens in 2012 or 2016, the GOP needs to make sure they have a viable candidate to field, and that means someone who isn’t just appealing to the Pure Crimson Brigade.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/6/2009 @ 4:27 pm

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