Thursday, October 29, 2009

Great ad

This piece at the Politico warrants comment.

I've mentioned the race in NY-23 before, but for those who haven't followed it, this is a special electiont to fill a congressional vacancy created when Republican John McHugh accepted a position in the Obama administration. It's a predominantly Republican district, and there are three candidates running. The Republican Party put up NY Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, the Democrats are running Bill Owens, and the Conservative Party has Doug Hoffman on the ticket.

The interest stems from the fact that Scozzafava, the Republican, may be - in fact, probably is - the most liberal candidate in the race. And she's gotten support from the NRCC, and Newt Gingrich has come in and endorsed her. But she's not a conservative. Hoffman is, and the rank-and-file are upset with the GOP for putting Scozzafava up and supporting her. There's been a significant backlash against the party, and it's included the likes of Sarah Palin endorsing Hoffman.

Gingrich's position is that in some districts, you've got to accept candidates that don't agree with you on every position, because you need to actually win to get anything done. Believe me when I tell you that I'm sympathetic to that argument. I have, for example, defended, albeit tepidly, voting for Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins in Maine on the grounds that the alternatives isn't a conservative Republican - it's a more liberal Democrat.

But this is a Republican district, a fairly conservative district. Scozzafava supported the Obama stimulus, supports "card check," supports legal recognition of gay marriages. She's not a fiscal conservative. She's not a social conservative. As Mark Steyn noted, she's not even a RINO - she's a DIABLO (Democrat In All But Label Only).

And it looks, right now, as if she's going to finish 3rd. Conservatives have a better choice in Hoffman. Democrats have a Democrat to vote for in Owens.

So, back to the Politico story I linked at the top.
  • A third-party group associated with the Club for Growth (which has endorsed Hoffman) has put out an ad praising Scozzfava as the "progressive choice" in the race.

  • It's silly to call this a "Republican dirty trick." The nominal Republican in the race, the party choice and NRCC-supported candidate, is the "victim," not the perpetrator.

  • It's pretty lame to call it a "dirty trick" anyway, as the ad is entirely complimentary of Scozzafava and distorts none of her positions.

The NRCC has screwed up here. Badly. The Democrats have badly overreached, as has been made obvious by the success of the Tea Parties and town halls fighting Obamacare. But the Democrats are in power largely because the GOP failed miserably in doing the things that GOP voters wanted to see when they had control of the Congress. Things like controlling spending and reducing the size of government. The Democrats behavior has positioned the Republicans to re-take the Congress in a year, but the NRCC is, at least in this case, strongly encouraging voters to take the "a pox on both their houses" position.

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