One of the reasons I don’t write much about politics anymore is that it is all so stupid, self-defeating, and venal—the latest example being the withdrawal of left-leaning so-called Republican Dede Scozzafava from the race in New York state’s 23rd Congressional district, and the reaction that followed.
There was no primary election that nominated Scozzafava. Rather, she was picked by the district’s Republican county chairmen, apparently on the basis that her name recognition as a state assemblywoman put her in better stead than her would-be opponents. Conveniently neglected were her pro-abortion and pro gay marriage stances, along with her endorsement by the left-wing New York Working Families party, and her positions which mostly put her as a mainstream if not liberal Democrat in actuality.
Amazingly, Scozzafava was picked for a district whose Republicans are far more conservative than she is. What would be the appeal? She was challenged by Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman, who attracted a tremendous amount of grassroots and national support, drawing in such as Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, and many others from around the country. At some point, former New York governor George Pataki endorsed Hoffman. Still, the likes of Newt Gingrich and John Boehner and much of the national Republican establishment supported Scozzafava. That is, until she dropped out.
Then, they all became born-again populists, and suddenly threw their support to Hoffman.
Meanwhile, the usual suspects, like Frank Rich, decried GOP Stalinism in the Scozzafava matter, while forgetting about his party’s treatment of the late Bob Casey. Casey was a pro-life governor of Pennsylvania, though a loyal Dem in all other regards, who was denied the opportunity of speaking at the 1992 Democratic convention. Eight years later, his son Bob, Jr.—showing none of his father’s backbone—urged Catholic voters to judge Barack Obama on “the whole of his record and political vision” (what record?) rather than concentrating on one topic such as abortion.
Ironically, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett—she who would lavish praise on ousted White House environmental adviser but also 9-11 truther and Marxist Van Jones—said that the rise of a Conservative Party challenger in a closely watched upstate New York House election shows that the Republican Party leadership is “becoming more and more extreme, and more and more marginalized.”
Of course, Rich and Jarrett understand that a political party does have to stand for something, and the Dems make no bones about being socialists. However, their brand of socialism also included the political means whereby the insiders enrich themselves with the grand schemes. Indeed, Jarrett herself is no stranger to this from her Chicago days, and Al Gore has unashamedly benefited with his carbon trading schemes.
As one of my friends noted years ago, he is too poor to be a socialist.
If the Republicans are to succeed, they have to be a definitive alternative to the Dems, and if this cannot include a “big tent,” so be it. John McCain tried the big tent strategy, with his almost sycophantic outreaches, and dampening of what he considered “radical” conservatism. That worked out well, didn’t it?
After claiming that she would not endorse anyone, Scozzafava endorsed her Dem opponent Bill Owens. Yes sir, Dede Scozzafava is just the kind of Republican we need more of. The locals in Watertown, NY are tired of the national attention, but this one is clearly an important contest, as Team R searches for its soul.