Tag Archives: Dick Armey

Scozzafava: Does Palin Even Know Who She’s Endorsing?

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.

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.”

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How Sarah Palin and Tea Partiers are blowing up the GOP (Videos)

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.

Brilliant strategy.

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.

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The Battle of NY-23 and Sarah Palin’s Purity Problem

Conservative supporters of Sarah Palin carrying protest signs.

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.

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The GOP Stalinists Invade Upstate New York

The GOP have gotten into a tangled mess with the ultra-conservative fringe battling the more moderate centerists for control of the Republican Party.

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.

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