Monday, November 02, 2009

"Stalinists" for "McHugh's heir"?

Over the weekend, the Republican-endorsed candidate for the special election in New York's 23rd Congressional district Dede Scozzafava pulled out of the race. The race was provoked when GOP Rep. John McHugh was tapped by Pres. Obama to become Secretary of the Army.

Scozzzafava spent much of the campaign defending herself from a barrage of attacks by Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and other far right national media types who backed her Republican-running-as-a-Conservative opponent Doug Hoffman. For his part, Hoffman was widely accused of being a generic ideologue who knew very little about and talked very little of issues that affect the district. This was fueled by his decision to skip both public debates held during the campaign, the first of which he snubbed to get cozy with Beck on his show.

Hoffman and the national far right that backed and funded him weren't running against Scozzafava and Democrat Bill Owens, who most couldn't tell from Eve and Adam. These jihadists were crusading against infidel RINOs and against satanic Nancy Pelosi. Democrats were no doubt licking their chops at this GOP self-cannibalization, hoping the party will become even more marginalized than it is now.

As Adirondack Almanack pointed out, on the day of Scozzafava's withdrawal, Hoffman said warm and fuzzy things about the woman he spent months savaging. Hoffman had initially promised to accept the wishes of the GOP party bosses in the nominating process; then when they tapped Scozzafava to be the nominee, he renegged on that promise. That history didn't stop him from piously praising Scozzafava for putting the party ahead of her own personal interests.

But then the Republican Assemblywoman endorsed Owens as the best man to represent the district's interests. As the only candidate in the race who'd ever actually had the job of representing the interests of any voters, her opinion wasn't insiginificant.

Suddenly Hoffman decided that he and Dede were no longer BFF!!!... forever being an even shorter time in politics than in adolescence.

Reactions to the developments varied on ideological beliefs. The New York Times' Frank Rich described the national activists on Hoffman's behalf as "Stalinists." Anti-abortion blogger Bob Conner at Planet Albany says that the "pro-life" (read: anti-abortion) Hoffman is the real heir to John McHugh on abortion.

Hopefully the voters of the 23rd (which do not include Rich, Conner or myself) will finally be allowed to make up their own minds without further meddling from outsiders.

Update: Planet Albany's Conner reports that top Republicans in the state Assembly are backing Hoffman. Controlling a whopping 26.7% of the chamber's seats, Assembly Republicans are no doubt the model of 'ideological purity = electoral success' that Hoffman and his far right backers are seeking to emulate.


PlanetAlbany said...

As a far-right Stalinist jihadist always on the search for Satanic infidels, I note that Scozzafava is an Assembly Republican who was supported by her colleagues for Congress until she dropped out and backed the Democrat. That sure doesn't sound like a conference in lock-step to conservative ideological purity.

Brian said...

The Assembly Republicans typically elect ideologues as leaders. They can afford to do this because they are so marginalized that they will not be in any danger of even approaching a majority any time in the near future.

Senate Republicans, on the other hand, are actually competititive. That's why they elect those reviled moderates (Marino, Skelos, Bruno became one) because they know a Faso-style purist or Tedisco-style loudmouth would turn off enough voters to lose close races.

Just answer me this: who was the last ideological conservative to win a statewide election?

Brian said...

Assembly Republicans take rigid, ideological positions because they know they'll highly unlikely to have the responsibility to actually govern any time in the near or distant future (as a Green, I know something about that). They can worry about being "right" without having to worry about how to make their ideas work in the real world.