It’s a Grand Old Purging as moderate’s ouster spotlights Republican dysfunction
Since the GOP nominee dropped out of the race in New York's 23rd Congressional District amid pressure from conservative leaders, Dede Scozzafava has been swept into the national political conversation.
Gouverneur, N.Y. — Over Halloween weekend, Dede Scozzafava morphed from a rosy-cheeked Republican mom to a political figure of speech.
“My name’s a verb now,” she said.
A little-known state assemblywoman with moderate Republican views and a mouthful of a surname, Scozzafava’s bid for an open seat in New York’s 23rd Congressional District drew trash talk from conservative leaders hoping to purge her from the party, mash notes from White House-dispatched Democratic suitors that included Bill Clinton, and the unblinking gaze of political professionals fascinated by her role as the problem child for a dysfunctional Republican Party.
Even as she now hopes to return to her normal life of local politics, laundry and choir practice for next month’s big performance of Bach’s Christmas Cantatas, the political forces that swept her up have not entirely let her go. Last week, while watching a news show about the next sharply contested Senate Republican primary in Florida, her parents reported that one of the commentators asked whether the moderate was in peril of getting “Scozzafaved.”
Posted in National Politics, Sarah Palin - Private Citizen
Tagged ACORN, Andrew Cuomo, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Bill Owens, Charlie Crist, Chuck Schumer, Club for Growth, Dede Scozzafava, Dick Armey, Doug Hoffman, FreedomWorks, George Pataki, Glenn Beck, GOP, John M. McHugh, John McCain, June O'Neill, Marco Rubio, Michael Steele, New York 23rd, New York State Democratic Party, New York's 23rd Congressional District, Patrick Gaspard, Rahm Emanuel, Republican National Committee, Republican party, Ron McDougall, Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin New York 23rd, Sheldon Silver, Steve Israel, Vice President Biden, Weekly Standard
Wingnuts of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but election … after election … after election.
That’s the lesson from the far right’s stinging defeat in yet another Republican congressional district this week. Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman harangued GOP Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava into dropping out – hailed as a huge victory for Real Republicans – and then the clueless teabagger-cum-carpetbagger went on to lose the upstate New York seat to a little-known Democrat.
But it’s one we’ve seen from Republicans over and over again, thanks to the shadowy anti-tax group Club for Growth. Its first scalp was right here in Michigan – moderate former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-Battle Creek), who was ousted by preacher Tim Walberg in the 2006 primary.
For the extreme right, victory was sweet. And short-lived.
Posted in Op-Ed, Sarah Palin - Private Citizen
Tagged Arlen Specter, Barack Obama, Bill Owens, Blue Dog, Carly Fiorina, CFG, Charlie Crist, Chris Chocola, Club for Growth, conservatives, Dede Scozzafava, Dick Armey, Doug Hoffman, Erick Erickson, Glenn Beck, GOP, Heather Wilson, Joe Schwarz, Lincoln Chafee, Mark Kirk, Mark Schauer, Michael Steele, Pat Toomey, pro-lifers, Republican National Committee, Republicans In Name Only, Right to Life, RINO, Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Tea Partiers, Tea Party movement, Tim Pawlenty, Tim Walberg, Wayne Gilchrest
Conservative supporters of Sarah Palin carrying protest signs.
Once you whip up a mob, can you control it? That may be Sarah Palin‘s next problem.
Before the votes were counted Tuesday night, the former Republican vice presidential candidate was already something of a winner. Though her candidate in the special election for a House seat in upstate New York, Doug Hoffman, lost to Democrat Bill Owens — in an area that hasn’t sent a Democrat to the House since the 1800s — Palin, by intervening in the race, had established herself as a successful ideological power broker. At first, Hoffman was merely a third-party conservative candidate in New York’s 23rd congressional district. Yet when Palin backed him over the official Republican in the race, a moderate assemblywoman named Dede Scozzafava, she helped turn this contest into an intra-party clash, which ended with the right wing of her party chasing Scozzafava out of the contest and forcing the GOP establishment to swing behind Hoffman.
Posted in Sarah Palin - Private Citizen
Tagged Bill Owens, Charlie Crist, conservatives, Dede Scozzafava, Dick Armey, Doug Hoffman, Glenn Beck, Joe the Plumber, Joseph Wurzelbacher, Marco Rubio, Mark Kirk, Michele Bachman, neoconservatives, New York 23rd congressional district, Republicans, Republicans In Name Only, RINO, RINOs, Robert Bennett, Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin 2012 GOP presidential candidate, Sarah Palin New York 23rd, Tea Party, Tea Party movement
The GOP is in a tangled mess with the ultra-conservative fringe lead by Sarah Palin battling the more moderate centerists for control of the Republican Party.
Barack Obama‘s most devilish political move since the 2008 campaign was to appoint a Republican congressman from upstate New York as secretary of the Army. This week’s election to fill that vacant seat has set off nothing less than a riotous and bloody national G.O.P. civil war. No matter what the results in that race on Tuesday, the Republicans are the sure losers. This could be a gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats through 2010, and perhaps beyond.
The governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia were once billed as the marquee events of Election Day 2009 — a referendum on the Obama presidency and a possible Republican “comeback.” But preposterous as it sounds, the real action migrated to New York’s 23rd, a rural Congressional district abutting Canada. That this pastoral setting could become a G.O.P. killing field, attracting an all-star cast of combatants led by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, William Kristol and Newt Gingrich, is a premise out of a Depression-era screwball comedy. But such farces have become the norm for the conservative movement — whether the participants are dressing up in full “tea party” drag or not.
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.
Posted in Op-Ed, Sarah Palin - Private Citizen
Tagged Afghanistan, Arlen Specter, Barack Obama, Bill Kristol, Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie, Dede Scozzafava, Dick Armey, Doug Hoffman, Fox News, Fred Thompson, Glenn Beck, GOP, Hamid Karzai, John Birch Society, John Boehner, Kay Bailey Hutchison, McCain-Palin, Michael Steele, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Pavlovian, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Robert Casey, Sarah Palin, Steve Forbes, Tim Pawlenty, William Kristol