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In NY, no room for GOP moderates

The Republican civil war in New York’s 23rd congressional district has been resolved in favor of the right-wing: The abrupt withdrawal on Halloween of assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, the Republican nominee and a moderate, leaves the third party Conservative, standing alone for Tuesday’s election.

Conservatives -- who had been bashing Scozzafava as if she were some sort of socialist -- were elated that Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, could now get full Republican Party support. Their war on moderates claimed its first scalp, and a very important one.

[UPDATE, 5:13 p.m.: Scozzafava today endorsed Democrat Owens, further raising the stakes in an already remarkable special election. She said Owens had “a sense of duty and integrity that will guide him beyond political partisanship” and predicted he would be “an independent voice devoted to doing what is right for New York.”

Her endorsement was clearly payback against a national Republican Right that is trying to roll over the preferences of the local party. The Watertown Daily Times quoted a Hoffman spokesman accusing Scozzafava of having “betrayed the GOP,” an interesting accusation from the camp of a candidate who spent the campaign attacking the official Republican candidate.

Who knows how many of her supporters Scozzafava can deliver to Hoffman, but her move will change the debate over the race. Now, it’s not just a story about a conservative rebellion, but also a tale about pushback from moderates. It turns out that especially in districts in the Northeast, Republican conservatives will pay a price when they go after the party’s middle-of-the-roaders. There are not that many of them left in the G.O.P. Is the right wing determined to drive the rest away?]

The conventional wisdom is that most of Scozzafava’s Republican supporters will fall into line behind Hoffman and that he will easily win the seat over Democrat Bill Owens. That’s the obvious bet in a district that has been, in its various forms, Republican since 1871. (There’s a nice quotation from a local councilman in Karl Vick and Philip Rucker’s story in The Post: the official jokes that the last non-Republican to hold the seat “was a Whig.”)

But there are some reasons to believe that Scozzafava’s remaining support – she was polling 20 percent in a Sienna College poll released Saturday – will not automatically transfer to the Conservative Hoffman.

One of the best analyses came from Nate Silver on his FiveThirtyEight blog. Silver cites the Sienna poll’s finding that Scozzafava supporters had a strongly view of President Obama -- by a 64 percent to 31 percent margin. They had an unfavorable view of both Hoffman and Owens, but with a slight advantage to Owens – 50 percent of Scozzafava backers had a negative view of Owens, but 57 percent has a negative view of Hoffman.

“It's not quite so clear how Hoffman stands to benefit from this,” Silver wirtes. “Although a majority of Scozzafava's supporters are Republican (about 62 percent, by my reckoning), it is safe to assume that they are mostly rather moderate Republicans, because almost all the conservative Republicans had already gone over to Hoffman.” (The italics are Silver’s.)

It’s also worth noting that Scozzafava’s name will still be on the Tuesday’s ballot and she has some loyal local supporters. She could tip the race away from Hoffman if she drew, say, five or 10 percent of the vote.

But even if the obvious bet proves right and Hoffman pulls out a victory, this may send Republicans exactly the wrong message – that they can and should drive out all moderate candidates. There were two striking quotations in the New York Times story on the Scozzafava withdrawal, one from Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who had backed Scozzafava (and has now switched to Hoffman).

I felt very deeply that when you have all 11 county chairmen voting for someone, that it wasn’t appropriate for me to come in and render my judgment,” Gingrich said. “I think we are going to get into a very difficult environment around the country if suddenly conservative leaders decide they are going to anoint people without regard to local primaries and local choices.

The other came from James Ellis, chairman of the Franklin County Republican Committee. “They’re trying to bang 435 elections across the United States into the same mold,” Ellis said “It’s a detriment to democracy.”

Hoffman’s success in driving Scozzafava from the race is being played as a “grass-roots” conservative rebellion in the district against the imposition of a moderate Republican nominee by party leaders. But the truth is that it was national money (notably from the conservative Club for Growth) and national muscle (from former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and Sarah Palin, among others) that prevented Scozzafava from ever having a chance. Gingrich was being the true conservative here, arguing that local party people ought to be able to choose candidates in their own jurisdictions, even if national conservatives don’t like how the locals choose. This is at least as much a victory for the inside-the-Beltway conservative machine as for grass roots conservatives.

The conservatives’ gambit may work in New York’s 23rd district. But it won’t fly in many other districts that cannot claim that their last non-Republican representative was a Whig.

UPDATE, 11:51 a.m.: I see this morning that Dan Balz, in his “The Take” column, stresses the role of grass root conservative activists in rallying to Hoffman and pushing Scozzafava out. He writes:

‘Tea party’ activists took up the cause for Hoffman. Prominent conservative radio talkers backed him, as did a host of grass-roots-oriented conservative organizations.

That’s true. But I would contend that without the big money from the national organizations running ads attacking her and without the big names coming out for Hoffman, Scozzafava would have been able to maintain her candidacy. Even Dan’s list suggests something more than a grass roots rebellion – “prominent conservative radio talkers” are not people on the ground in the 23d District, and national leadership and money have been essential to the rise of the tea party movement. Dan happens to be both one of my favorite people and one of my favorite political reporters. I suspect that there will be a big debate in the coming weeks over how much of what happened in the 23rd is about the grass roots, and how much is about nationally-imposed orthodoxy. For my part, as I noted above, I see this as “at least as much a victory for the inside-the-Beltway conservative machine as for grass roots conservatives.”

By E.J. Dionne  | November 1, 2009; 8:55 AM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments


Obama has scared the white supremacists and their 5th grade educated lemmings, witsless. They are "circling the wagons" against equality...


Posted by: demtse | November 1, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Dionne, you and Frank Rich nailed it!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/opinion/01rich.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

Posted by: angie12106 | November 1, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Democrats in power have absolutely no no idea how to use it, and Obama is nowhere on key issues - no leadership at all.

I too will vote republican. At least they get things done, although wrong mostly, they still get it done.

Never thought I'd say watching Obama operate (being mum on key issues and showing a complete lack of leadership) would make me wish Bush was back in power.

Power - use it or lose it.

Dems, you lost it. You are a spineless party. You may be right on issues, but spineless in governing.

Posted by: jfern03 | November 1, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

...a very good column. as an african-american republican with some sense (a moderate!), my party is hell-bent on driving me and other sane-thinking moderates into the arms of the dems or independents. my party is fast becoming a national party of sara palins, rush limbaugh, sean hannity and glen beck. none of those non-thinkers have the interest of the country in mind, and too many other republicans are following them willy-nilly over the edge of the common sense cliff. good luck america.

Posted by: ronpon | November 1, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

i can think of a lot of names to call Scozzafava's republican opponents, but for some reason, 'conservative' doesn't come to mind.

Posted by: jimfilyaw | November 1, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Watching the GOP self destruct as it voids its moderates is making the party into a fringe group.

Posted by: AlanBrowne | November 1, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

how sad that as a pundit, you have nothing to say about obama...
but you just keep attacking Republicans...
you are a one trick pony that one day will be put out to pasture...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 1, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Since there doesn't seem to be room anymore in the GOP for those of moderate and tolerant views, conservatives should celebrate each of every one of these regional victories - they are going to be increasingly few and far between.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | November 1, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

show me some moderates in the dem party. If there are any, they do not hold any sway in the parties politics. I cannot think of any in the dems leadership or committee chairs. So Mr. Dionne, the reps are not the only ones. Show me a moderate Democrat and I will show you a conservative. A moderate Republican is considered a Independent.

Posted by: dy19spider57 | November 1, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"I too will vote republican. At least they get things done, although wrong mostly, they still get it done."

---

And there, in black and white, is the lunacy of many in the American electorate. Doing things wrong is more highly valued than doing nothing at all. That explains much of the Republican agenda since the 1980s.

Posted by: castanea | November 1, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"show me some moderates in the dem party."

---

Uh, in the Senate, you've got Lieberman, Bayh, Spector, Nelson, and Conrad, just for starters.

Posted by: castanea | November 1, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Being a liberal, Dionne heartily approves of "moderate" Republicans, those that advocate federally-funded abortions, a stratospheric national debt and deficits that reach well into the trillions, a health care plan run by a federal government that can't operate a postal system and one that prosecutes CIA agents for doing their job. I approve of "moderate" Democrats but they are not running the US government at this time. Extremists are in control.

Posted by: mhr614 | November 1, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

It is the continuing Limbaughization of the once proud Republican Party. In the Republican presidential debates, everyone tried to out-conservative everyone else - I am more conservative; No, I am more conservative; No, I am the real conservative; ad nauseam. One often hears that McCain or Bush were not real conservatives, which is the ultimate conservative insult.

Let the Repubs eat their own. They deserve each other.

Posted by: Kaneohe | November 1, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Since when does objecting to half the human race being put in the unfortunate position of either being a vessel or being caged make one a moderate?

Posted by: tmit | November 1, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The only real question is how many illegitimate votes the conservatives will cast in favor of their nominee.

Hoffman isn't even a resident of the district.

Posted by: zackool | November 1, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

64% of dedes voters still back obama.not bad nunbers.this is a all republican district?great numbers for obama.

Posted by: donaldtucker | November 1, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"show me some moderates in the dem party."

---

Uh, in the Senate, you've got Lieberman, Bayh, Spector, Nelson, and Conrad, just for starters.

Posted by: castanea
_______________________

Yep, any they are constantly castigated by members of their own party.

How is this any different?????

Posted by: boosterprez | November 1, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I think Scozzafava's supporters should be encouraged to still vote for her as a show of support for a moderate republican party. If a moderate republican would take a stand against the Palin-like republicans I think they they might find there is an awful lot of people who agree with many of the fiscal platforms of the republican party, but can't stand the social policies and overarching religious elements. I think they'd pull in quite a few democrats as well. Voting for Scozzafava could be the catalyst for this movement.

Posted by: mccaules | November 1, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

There may be ebbs and flows but the United States of America is relentlessly moving in the liberal direction. For instance Rock-n-Roll was once the devil's music and now that beat comes from the most Evangelical Church. (Or is it still the devil's beat?)

Posted by: Emmetrope | November 1, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I think they they might find there is an awful lot of people who agree with many of the fiscal platforms of the republican party, but can't stand the social policies and overarching religious elements.
-----------------------------------------
Karl Rove's plan for Republican domination requires those he refers to as "The Nuts" to be in his tent. "The Nuts" can not play second fiddle because because they can not compromise their faith. If the Republicans want to retain "The Nuts" they must bow to them.

Posted by: Emmetrope | November 1, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

E.J., just to emphasize a point that's implicit in your post... The forces that drove out Scozzafava hardly constituted a "grass-roots" movement as people understand the meaning of the term. Nearly all of the money behind Hoffman came from out of state, and I believe that Hoffman himself doesn't live in the district and is largely unacquainted with its issues. So the conservative movement has overturned what was once one of the Republican and conservative articles of faith, namely a belief in decentralization and the power of local initiative.

The Club for Growth may get its way in this election, and I can't shed too many tears for a district that is so sheeplike as to be effectively a one-party district. Any political monoculture, Republican or Democrat, invites itself to be taken over by extremists. But the way that the conservative movement has morphed into a centrally-controlled agent of ideological enforcement is disgusting, un-conservative and un-American. I find it helpful to think of today's conservatives as Bolsheviks; regardless of the differences in political ideology, all of the conservative movement's thinking and tactics come straight out of the Communist playbook.

Posted by: DeadCenter | November 1, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"show me some moderates in the dem party."

---

Uh, in the Senate, you've got Lieberman, Bayh, Spector, Nelson, and Conrad, just for starters.

Posted by: castanea
_______________________

Yep, any they are constantly castigated by members of their own party.

How is this any different?????

_________________________

are you kidding me!?!! for one, they were duly elected by there local constituencies. you didn't see the obama campaign undermine their election by going in and throwing money and support to a Green Party candidate! Second, they are called blue dog dems and they are consistently INCLUDED in the debate in D.C. on important national issues (i.e. health care). third, i don't see any of the moderate blue dog democrats jumping ship to the Republican Party. Last, and most least, Obama reached out to Leiberman and prevented the Dems in the Senate from casting him out for his behavior during the 2008 campaign!! Face it the Democratic Party has a big tent and we don't purge our party of moderate voices.

Posted by: nvincen2_66 | November 1, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Jfern 03 says: I too will vote republican. At least they get things done, although wrong mostly, they still get it done.

How very republican of you, member, party of NO!

Posted by: dougharty | November 1, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Jfern 03 says: I too will vote republican. At least they get things done, although wrong mostly, they still get it done.

this is probably the most asinine statement every made by anyone in a political form like this. i am incredulous.

Posted by: nvincen2_66 | November 1, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

jfern03:
"I too will vote republican. At least they get things done, although wrong mostly, they still get it done."

This is pretty silly. It's like saying, "I went to the doctor because I had the flu, and he amputated my leg; but I'm going to keep going to him because at least he did something."

Posted by: presto668 | November 1, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Congressman Mel Watt (Democrat) guts the Federal Reserve Audit Bill co-sponsored by 300 House members. All this so he can get his pockets line by the big banks.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/congressman-watt-guts-bill-audit-fed

Read the comments. People are starting to suggest violence.

Posted by: grunk | November 1, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Congressman Watt gets 45% of his funds from the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) Sector.

http://blog.sunlightfoundation.com/2009/10/09/top-financial-services-committee-members-rely-heavily-on-finance-campaign-contributions/

Congressman Mel Watt is not only a corrupt politician, but he is a traitor to this country.

Don't ask for moderation when you don't criticize this treason.

Posted by: grunk | November 1, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Republican "moderate" in favor of killing babies and gays fornicating with legal protection??? If that is "moderate" what does a liberal Republican stand for?

Posted by: mascmen7 | November 1, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

It's clear this is not a party interested in governing for everyone. They want to represent the few, and make the many suck up to their angry extremist behavior. They've taken more than a few pages from the Taliban playbook.

Posted by: Nymous | November 1, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Mel Watt - The most corrupt politician in Washington.

Posted by: grunk | November 1, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

NY 23 sounds like Oklahoma... you have this 100point test to be a Republican and if you don't answer every questions correctly - blam!!!! you're branded a traitor, a liberal, a socialist.. anything but a Republican.

Even Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole popped an e-mail to everyone telling about his decision to ignore the Republican candidate and go for Hoffman.

He just lost my support.

That's why more and more of us are running as far away from the party as possible. These extremists have made rational discourse and differences of opinion on issues impossibe.

The Republican Party's motto is now "my way or the highway".

Good luck Palin, Beck, Hannity, Boehner et al - when your house of cards collapses Republicans will be left with nothing.

Posted by: stephenrhymer | November 1, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Congressman Mel Watt sells out the country's sovereignty for a few pieces of silver.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=atc2o1ijLRno

It isn't that just the republicans are corrput,

THEY ARE ALL CORRUPT - DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN.

Lose the left/right zealotry.

Posted by: grunk | November 1, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

sadly, the republican party no longer exists. It is now just the extremist party of teabaggers.
Loud, rude, bullying and obnoxious and racist.
Made up of mostly selfish white people who bow to the alter of Ayn Rand and her philosophy of selfishness and cruelty they cannot accept anyone who shows common sense or compassion.
They run around filled with conspiracy theories and paranoia about some evil government daring to help the people or making life better and see it as interfering in their lives, they see no problem with sticking their nose in and telling others how to live theirs. Or how to vote or what kind of candidate they can run.

Posted by: vwcat | November 1, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

mascmen7"
"Republican "moderate" in favor of killing babies and gays fornicating with legal protection??? If that is "moderate" what does a liberal Republican stand for?"

Yes, I can see how limited government intervention in people's personal lives would be anathema to the GOP's ideology.

Posted by: presto668 | November 1, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The bankers say jump, Mel Watt asks, "how high, boss?"

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=atc2o1ijLRno

Posted by: grunk | November 1, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my word. Scozzafava was hardly a Moderate Republican, and if tossed into the current Democrat mix she'd be barely distinguishable from the others.

Even Hoffman isn't particularly "conservative" by local standards in the Northern Virginia suburbs, but I guess he passes for such in New York (else why would the Conservative party nominate him).

To put it bluntly, when you are the party out of power the best quality your candidate can have for you is that he will vote with your party. Here the local jokers at the top of the Republican party in that district were thinking like the more important issue was to have a reliable vote in terms of organizing in the House of Representatives.

Sorry, that only counts when you are in a position to RULE the House ~ that is, that you have a majority.

Minority politics necessarily call for ideological consistency, and majority politics necessarily require an eye on party label (and the best practitioner of that principle over the last 6 years has been Rahm Emanuel ~ just to give credit where credit is due).

Rahm actually ran gun rights advocates as Democrats to get the numbers up sufficiently to put the arch-liberal Nancy Pelosi in the Speaker's chair. He would not have done that if he had not been close to a Democrat majority.

Newt Gingrich has been out of the House for a long time. He appears to be having difficulty getting over the very close margins the House operated under during most of his tenure. He thought we needed Scozzafava ~ but we don't. We need someone who'll vote pro-baby and anti-Democrat dammit!

Posted by: muawiyah | November 1, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"In NY, no room for GOP moderates"

Correction: "In NY 23rd, no room for GOP moderates"

Pulling another fast one on your simpleton liberal audience, Dionne?

Posted by: NoWeCant | November 1, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

DeadCenter ~ bet you've been wondering why your concern for residency in the district hasn't been picked up more powerfully by the Democrats ~

Duh ~ check Stenny Hoyer's record in that regard. The 2000 Census revealed that Stenny's district was MAJORITY AFRICAN-AMERICAN.

The local AA politicians paid him a visit and said, among other things "Brother, we are running someone who deserves this seat"

Stenny moved to a new district ~ physically ~ that was to be carved out for him "later" with appropriate vote totals, etc.

He didn't actually "move" before the election, but he had enough other supporters with similar problems in the House (both R and D) that he was allowed to slip by without a tight accounting.

More recently a particularly mouthy Democrat Congresscritter in Florida found himself being hoist up on account of his actually residing in Maryland ~ he's since found an apartment or something in Florida to "call home" although no one lives there. He'd earlier used his mother in law's basement.

You don't really have any friends in this issue regarding specific residency of any particular Congressmen, particularly if they're Democrats. I'm pretty sure the Democrats don't wish to complain about the Republicans over the issue of where Mr. Hoffman might really live.

Posted by: muawiyah | November 1, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

This opinion piece has little to do with reality. Reality is that Scozzafava is far to the left in her views, even among Democrats (Markos Moulitsas endorsed her!), and her voting record in the legislature supports that conclusion. Reality is that the local party bosses who chose her did so primarily for sexist reasons. Reality is that she would not have been chosen if an open primary had been held.

Reality is that Hoffman is a mainstream Republican, holding views on the major issues that almost everyone in the party holds. Reality is that his lead among independents is indicates that he is a centrist in his views. Reality is that the Republicans do not need more people in office who vote against the views of a majority of Americans: and Hoffman's views are consistent with those of the majority of Americans on most key issues.

Reality is that the author of this opinion piece is just repeating Washington cocktail party gossip, and does not seem to have made any effort to study the issues or to understand what most Americans outside Washington think.

Posted by: rfhirsch | November 1, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Great example of the powerlessness of local party leadership. The "tea parties" are not about local people making a change, they are about national party leaders running the party from the top.

What I see is a group of people whose ideology has failed them but who don't know how to change. They just become more strident and say "no" to everything without proposing anything. And, they squash any attempt to change the party by demonizing anyone who doesn't toe the party line.

Does anyone really still believe in a Republican big tent?

Posted by: amelia45 | November 1, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The typical rightwing course would have been to let the moderate republican get elected and then browbeat and threaten the moderate every time legislation came up for a vote.

Hubris is defined as excessive pride, arrogance and haughtiness that comes from the perception of being on top. Every definition of hubris is full of words like downfall and sayings like "Pride goes before the fall". As far as republicans are from the top these days, their behaviour can't be classical hubris. Maybe there's a form of arrogance that results from the MISTAKEN belief in supremacy or the unrealistic belief that 2010 will be better.

Posted by: fredfawcett | November 1, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Oboobma's spin machine is off the charts, furiously trying to bury the real story: Oboobma tried to flip the seat, but he will end up repudiated and humiliated.

Posted by: thebump | November 1, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Read this discussion between Dr. Lafayette Granger and Crazy W. Fox, a Native American Indian; a descendent of Crazy Horse.

Dr. Granger: I agree with the article. We can see that Romney, Hucklebee, and Gingrich made a big mistake by sticking with the loosing Republican candidate.

Crazy W. Fox: Yes. I agree. As I has told you for years the leaders of the Republican and Democrat Parties in Washing will vote for a dead dog is their parties tell them to. This is what is wrong in Washington and why we must replace every one of them. Hopefully, this will be the start of accomplishing that task. We need to send only Mr. Smiths to Washington. We need to limit their stay just like we have the president. We need to limit the time to run for office and limit the amount of money they can spend: this way common people with limited funds can run and win.

There is no difference in the Parties: They talk on different points but both Bush and Obama are controlled by the liberals in Washington. We must change every one of them, if we want to save America.

Posted by: BigW1937 | November 1, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Could use some copyediting or, at the very least, spellcheck, E.J.

But predictions are a fool's errand here, and you are correct to challenge the conventional Village wisdom (Balz and, to a greater extent though unmentioned, Cillizza) that Dede's suspension is an unmitigated win for Hoffman.

For one thing, Dede's husband endorsed Owens last night and Dede herself gave him unambiguous support this morning. To call this result one of grass-roots supremacy belies Balz's sources.

Keep thinking straight, E.J. We'll see what happens Tuesday, won't we?

Posted by: TeddySanFran | November 1, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

It thrills me to read the comments of the liberals and shows me that we are waking up the silent majority. We are not being fooled by the Parties.

We will take back our country from Newt, Harry, and Obama.

Both of the parties are destroying America, but we will never let it happen. So help us God.

The true American are awake!

You must choose. We will not allow you to sit on the fence any longer. You either love America or you do not. You either believe in Abortion or you do not. You either believe in the Constitution or you do not. We will stop Judges from changing the constitution.

Finally, ‘We call on all good men [women] to come to the aid or their country.’


Posted by: BigW1937 | November 1, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"Does anyone really still believe in a Republican big tent? Posted by: amelia45"

Yep! That big tent is out there in the field. But the REAL Republicans, the ones in power, are living in the mansion for the owners of that field.

Consider this: "Minority politics necessarily call for ideological consistency, and majority politics necessarily require an eye on party label Posted by: muawiyah "

That could ONLY make sense to a suicidal conservative.

When you lose an election you ought to see what it was that you didn't have that the voters wanted. Conservatives decide what it is that THEY want that they should try to sell to those voters. Instead of knowing where the electorate is and trying to see if they can actually go there, the Conservatives tell themselves thatthey were right and that the voters will come back if only the Conservatives are pure enough.

Then they purge the portion of the party trying to figure out where they went wrong to regain their ideological purity.

Purge the center of your party often enough and you have more enemies on your side of the middle than you have on the far side of the middle.

When you aren't even a majority on your own side of the line, just how is it you can expect to win an election?

What is curious, in all this, is it is the left that tries to remind the far right of these principles. The far right just keeps chanting, "Purify, purify."

Purify, purify. It gives us democrats lots of potential new voters.

Posted by: ceflynline | November 1, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

More wishful thinking from Dionne, who seems to get his weekly writing assignment directly from the DNC.

Let's be honest. The "republican" who dropped out was in fact a democrat in all but name. Who would she like voters to support since she has dropped out of the race? The democrat.

The real story is the dramatic shift in electorate preferences in Virginia and Pennsylvania, where moderates and independents are abandoning the democratic party. The real story is Corzine fighting for his life in New Jersey.

The core values of eliminating unnecessary taxes, limited government, and encouraging jobs is what people care about. Voters are restive about the state of our economy. The vast majority of people (with the possible exception of "progressives") simply don't care very much about the culture war issues, and are not going to base their votes solely on the candidates' views on abortion, religion, gay rights, etc.

I think that the voters of the precinct in New York are simply reflecting a broader voter discontent with giving undue emphasis to culture war issues over what really matters.

Posted by: tacheronb | November 1, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Let all the rightwingers have the old confederacy and Alaska, we'll take the rest. Dust off the stars and bars and run it up the flagpole. Wait just ten years and then compare the two societies. There's no doubt in my mind which place I'd rather end up.

Just imagine an America without "them" screwing everything up. Imagine what a great society we'd have without the constant obstruction and hatred. We'd have reforms that meant something. We'd have the REAL America.

While the republican nation would most likely be a police state with the deck stacked in favor of the wealthy, today's republicans seem like that's what they're looking for. I'm sure that most of the angry rightwingers would be happy to put up with the pollution and low wages and endless wars, it's what they say they want. They could have expensive medical care and expensive health insurence companies. They could keep the pre-existing condition rules too. No Socialist Public Option to steal your freedom. They could get rid of Medical Marijuana and have Medical Chewing Tobacco instead. Heaven on earth.

Posted by: fredfawcett | November 1, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Gee celfinline (sp?), the disagreement of republicans over how much emphasis to give to social issues in campaigns seems like small potatoes compared to the pressure being applied to Blue Dog democrats about runaway spending proposals.

Posted by: tacheronb | November 1, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Dede is no moderate.

Dede Scozzafava, the ex-Republican nominee is an extremely liberal republican and the most liberal candidate" in the 23rd congressional district race.

Posted by: geo82170 | November 1, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how this is good for the conservative movement. I mean, yes, there's a good chance Hoffman is going to win, but all that means is that the Dems will have lost a district that they have had no luck in for years. They would have preferred a win, to be sure, but it's not a huge loss.

But for the GOP, this is a sign it's moving very far to the right, and if you're a moderate, you're not welcome. Well, unfortunately, most Americans are moderates. There may be more conservatives than liberals, but moderates are the more important group. This does nothing to endear the GOP to them.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | November 1, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Scozzafava is not a fiscal conservative. If moderation is to become a tax and spend liberal then we as taxpayers will always lose the battle to keep more of our income. We don't need people like Obama who uses our tax dollars as a personal slush fund to dole out to left wing supporters, lobbists, and dependency addicts.

Posted by: quillerm | November 1, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"I too will vote republican. At least they get things done, although wrong mostly, they still get it done." - jfern03

That may be the single dumbest thing I have read all year. Doing things wrong is not something that should be supported by voters, or at least by voters with more than two synapses..

Posted by: DaveR1 | November 1, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

No more RINO's or Quislings. Dodo just endorsed the Democrat, Owens.

Some Republican.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | November 1, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Seems like you need to pass a litmus test to become an elected Republican candidate.

Posted by: ATLGuy | November 1, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The new Republican Party is planning something to be going so draconian.

Their behavior is dangerous.

If they get into power.

We will be in a brutal world war

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | November 1, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Dede today did the only sensible thing - she's endorsing the Democrat in the race. To do otherwise is to sell out her own principles, and she has the courage and chutzpah to say "G'bye" to those in her party who kick out anyone who goes against their exclusive orthodoxy. She could have been a "party-saver", but the GOP, unfortunately for them, have no wise men left with ideas to figure this out. Too late. Her party should be ashamed of their disgraceful behavior toward her and others like her.

Posted by: jbleenyc | November 1, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

When the Republican leadership's role in 9/11 emerges, including all they did, and did not do, it may well be the end of that party in this nation.

Posted by: secretscribe | November 1, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Let's be clear, George W. Bush permanently crippled the Republican Party.

The majority of Repubs now are crazies who will drive out anyone who is still sane.

Meanwhile the Democrats will keep winning elections and trying to save the country from Republican incompetence and insanity.

Posted by: ottoparts | November 1, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Why are you so concerned about what happens to republicans? Apparently, you have nothing to say about Obama, so you spend all your time attacking republicans. Do you not have any interest in this administration?

Posted by: tcdif | November 1, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

There are no moderate Republicants (sic); they are dems running as RINOs; e.g., Scozzafava, Bloomberg, Schwarzenegger, McCain, Newt, Hagel et al. The dems don't care a wit about 'moderate' Republicants as long as they can count on their votes; e.g., Snowe, Collins et al. Way to Dede!! Take Newt and McCain with you.

Posted by: BeanerECMO | November 1, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne -
I appreciate the interesting task you have as a DemoFlack at WaPo promoting the D agenda as if it were the only perspective and the only answer. Dede's campaign crumbled because she did not offer voters in the district a real choice... except between a liberal D and a liberal R.
The political process can be ungainly and awkward at times, but as long as it serves the public need to have substantive and meaningful choices when we enter the voting booth, we're all better off. It's a fundamental part of the democratic process.
When the process only serves one group or one approach, there will be push-back. In this case, no matter how exercised some folks were are about promoting the liberal view as the best and only way to see things, the voters would have none of it unless they could exercise their right to vote between real, discrete choices. It's as simple as that, although for some on the board, nothing is simple enough. And that's disappointing on many levels.

Posted by: dbsinOakRidge | November 1, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The banksters are so far up Democrat congressman Mel Watt's butt is he should be a Bank of America ATM machine.

Mel Watt - traitor to the country

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=atc2o1ijLRno

Posted by: grunk | November 1, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Scozzafava is NOT a "moderate". Anyone who tells you that is lying to you. She takes all the positions that an Obama Democrat takes - she is for "card check", cap n' trade, and Obamacare. What we had here is Obama Democrats with both tickets (R and D) to guarantee that they win no matter what. The rebellion by real Republicans put a stop to this charade. You may ask why did the GOP party bosses pick Scozzafava? I don't know, but I assume she is good at the "personal" side of politics - that is trading favors. You don't do 5 terms in the state assembly and get picked by party bosses for higher office without being good at this sort of thing. I assume that she was picked so that she will owe the party bosses something, and in Congress she would be able to deliver. Hoffman is the kind of guy who would win in a GOP primary, but is probably also the kind of guy who would rub the bosses the wrong way, and be unlikely to deliver on the things that they really want (specific pork or favors from Obama). And consider that yes, as an (R) member of Congress, Scozzafava would be in a position to get special favors from the Administration if she supported Obama on key issues.

Posted by: andrewp111 | November 1, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

So, the Fox News, Limbaugh, Palin crowd are nuts... But, it's obvious to this reader that you don't much read comments in our own newspaper. Obama's lemmings are every but as fanatical, hate filled, just plain crazy, as any tea bagger out there. The Democratic party managed to get infiltrated by the Brady Bunch, Gay Rights twits, assorted feminists, public employees and single issue idiots that took leave of their senses a long tie ago. I offer this bit of good news, though... the average voter has been looking and paying attention and both parties have the survivability of a fruit fly. We WILL have a third party, only the name needs to be decided.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 1, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

The Republican base is eager to define anyone to the left of Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh as a Democrat. They seem to be succeeding in that. What will they do then?

Posted by: jnfr | November 1, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness:
"No more RINO's or Quislings."

Every time a Republican fails to march in lockstep with what the fringe wants, they get labeled a RINO.

I would like someone to please define for me a Real Republican. And give an example.

Posted by: presto668 | November 1, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

If moderate Republican means compromising basic conservative principles to accommodate loss os constitutional freedoms, you are correct.

Dr. Phillips

Posted by: ctw46 | November 1, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know the Conservative Party's symbol? I'm guessing it is a torch and pitchfork...

Posted by: Goombay | November 1, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

By the latest Gallup poll 40% consider themselves conservative, 36% moderate and 20% liberal. Scozzafava was not a moderate, she was a very liberal Republican, and does not stand for the values and ideals of the conservatives, and proved by the fact she just endorsed the Democratic candidtate. The Republican party will win huge by supporting the 40% majority base and pulling from the 36% moderate with their traditional conservative values. Contrary to the title of this article there is plenty of room for moderates who favor traditional values, but liberal Rinos like Scozzafava make poor candidates.

Posted by: JGates1 | November 1, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Is the GOP imploding as the America hating Limbaugh Sycophants drive all the real conservatives out of the Republican party?

Posted by: walker1 | November 1, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline ~ typical of virtually all modern Democrats you missed the key point and that is that with "ideological consistency" the Republicans as a minority can create a "VISION" that may be advanced for the purpose of leading the people to the correct outcomes, that is, the election of Republicans to Congress.

The Democrats, not having any understanding of what leadership is about are at present ideologically confused, and as a majority in Congress, they are pursuing quite ephemeral solutions to nonproblems.

For instance, for a mere $30 billion every single person in this country who is now uninsured or "under" insured can be insured with a top quality medical insurance plan.

Unfortunately you people reject the idea that we can keep the system we have and insure everyone for a pittance.

Instead you want to Sovietize the whole medical industry, disestablish nonprofit hospitals and insurance companies, and spend $2 trillion bucks screwing everything up.

You simply cannot be rational people to get engaged in such nonsense.

At the moment Republicans must work from the premise that they are a minority party in Congress and seek victory as a cohesive voting block that occasionally picks up some Democrats who are off the bottle and the crackpipe for the day.

This will help us obtain more seats in the next election, and even more later on. Once we are in an unassailable majority position, then we can "fudge things" and toss a bone to your more rational Democrats from time to time.

If you want to stay in Congress and run the place you should start purging the Blue Dogs now, not later, because that'll be too late. Even if we don't convert them, we'll subvert them and take their districts away with REAL Conservatives who vote consistently with a bright vision for our future.

Posted by: muawiyah | November 1, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

As a moderate, I still take issue with you, Mr. Dionne: The pot calling the kettle black. I suppose Pelosi and her far-out left-wing loonies in San Francisco who comprise, perhaps, 15% of the Dem. Party, are going very quickly over the cliff. We wil see, come this Tuesday, just how N.J. and VA voters feel about Obama and his cohorts and their "vision" for our country. And, when 2010 rolls around, I venture a guess that if he and his minions keep on deliberately bankrupting our country, which is their aim, just how many "loonies" are left.

Posted by: marine2211 | November 1, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

With Conservatives being excluded from running in the GOP by extremists and America hating Limbaugh sycophants, can conservatives be once more fooled into voting for McDonnell?

With the GOP no longer the voice of conservatives, what hope do conservatives have for a real concervative candidate?

With only the 20% rump identifying them selves as Republican, has the Democratic Party become the true home of real conservative voters?

Posted by: walker1 | November 1, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

"show me some moderates in the dem party."

---

Uh, in the Senate, you've got Lieberman, Bayh, Spector, Nelson, and Conrad, just for starters.

====================
Lieberman is not a dem, he is a Independent, Spector is a turn coat that wants to get re-elected, Conrad is not a moderate and Nelson is not a party leader. Please site more, the ones you mentioned do not qualify.

Posted by: dy19spider57 | November 1, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Is the GOP now just a fringe party?

Can independents ever hope to have a voice in the GOP when it has now started excluding conservatives from running?

Is the decling 20% signs of a deeper rot in the Republican party?

Posted by: walker1 | November 1, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

You can blame their downfall on Bush, Conservatives or whomever. The simple truth is that pure GREED is and has been the leading cause of the Republican's downward spiral.
Look at Palin. She now wants to be paid more per hour in speaking fees than the President makes in a year. This is for speaking at REPUBLICAN events. THAT SIR is GREED!

Posted by: JoeNTx | November 1, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

With a Declining 20% do you think the republican party is now just those who can be fooled all the time?

Do you realy think independents will be fooled by the NeoConMen again?

With the America hating Limbaugh sycophants now in charge of deciding the Republican party candidates and excluding conservatives from running, do you think the GOP has lost its real conservative base?

Posted by: walker1 | November 1, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

"Scozzafava today endorsed Democrat Owens,..."

Ouch that's gotta hurt!

*snicker*

Posted by: washpost18 | November 1, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse


The national Republican "leadership" has morphed into clones of the angry, lying, hateful Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity crowd. As they further marginalize themselves, more moderates and independents will vote for Democratic Party candidates, just as Scozzafava (a Republican) has endorsed Owens, the Democratic candidate in the NY -23 race. Unfortunately, when the rabid right loses elections, they resort to mob rule and treason.

What we're really seeing is a battle between We The People and the greedy corporations that have run American politics for the past eight years, the same corporations that pay millions to Limbaugh and cohorts to scare and divide the American people.

Posted by: bamccampbell | November 1, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

What extreme left wing E.J. calls moderate is a pro gay marriage, pro abortion, pro big government "stimulus". I mean Scozzafava was actually to the left of the guy running on the Democratic ticket. That tells you something right there. Also, if NY 23 was so "moderate" then Scozzafava shouldn't have any problems with a conservative canidate like Hoffman. Do you really think that if Hoffman hadn't entered the race that his conservative supporters would have voted for a left winger like Scozzafava? I doubt it. Funny thing is Hoffman is the one with all the momentum going into the final two days and he might just pull it out. A conservative gets elected in a "moderate" district. Maybe E.J.s head will explode.

Posted by: RobT1 | November 1, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

EJ, you are so utterly full of crap. Scozzafava isn't a moderate, she's a liberal. Pro-Abortion, pro-gay marriage, big government advocate and to top it off she was endorsed by ACORN. What in your little brainwashed liberal mind makes you think she is a moderate?

Posted by: Howsthathopeandchangeworkingforyou | November 1, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

The most recent public opinion polling data showed the Republican Party with support of 40% of the national electorate with 20% identifying themselves as Republicans with another 20% of Independent voters leaning towards the GOP...

Without the Hispanic and now Independent voters, it will be interesting to see how the GOP fares at the national level as 20 percentiles.

Posted by: Citi_Street | November 1, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

oh my, does Dionne chat up Frank Rich before he writes this drivel?

Old Dede is not a "moderate" Republcian.
As a supporter of Obama's so-called "stimulus," cap-and-trade, and card check, she might qualify as a "moderate" Democrat.
But then how do you classify her support for abortion when there are 40 Democrats, led by Bart Stupak (MI) pledged to block the health care bill in the House unless it prohibits federal funding for abortion?
Is Nancy Pelosi anxious for a vote on gay marriage before the 2010 elections? Don't think so....

This is all about the economy, a middle of the road, moderate, conservative Democrat, traditional Republican issue.
Spending was stupid under Bush and has accelerated under Obama to an unacceptable level. It has hit critical mass and this is a backlash.
Labels are now meaningless. Unless someone is fiscally responsible, they are in the crosshairs.

Posted by: parkbench | November 2, 2009 2:02 AM | Report abuse

I think you have a typo: "Who knows how many of her supporters Scozzafava can deliver to Hoffman..." I think you mean to say "to Owens", right? ;-)

Otherwise good column on why the Republican party is going extinct in the Northeast.

There was a time decades ago when this region was the stronghold of the Republican Party. Although I was nominally a Northeastern Democrat, I would regularly cross party lines to vote for "Yankee Republicans", including my longtime congressman.

Those days are long gone. The GOP has long since been hijacked by the hard-core religious right and the neoconservatives, who use "wedge" social issues to drive their own ruinously expensive agenda for military aggression.

It was once (long ago) a party of fiscal responsibility and social moderation. Now it is the party of fiscal recklessness, pre-emptive wars, and thinly veiled hatred toward blacks, gays, Hispanics and immigrants. Its agenda is now defined by three things: radical social conservatism (particularly the recriminalization of abortion), further enrichment of the already very rich, and the destruction of our first African-American president.

Joseph Goebbels must be smiling in his grave to see how today's GOP (and its media allies) have mastered his propoganda techniques: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

What amazes me the most about today's Republican Party is how they manage to get poorly educated, low-income working whites (particularly in the South) to consistently vote against their own economic self-interest, e.g. tax cuts for the super-rich. Another case in point: Healthcare. Many of these people are uninsured or underinsured, and universal healthcare would be the best thing that could happen to them.

It's a shame about Scozzafava, who seems to the kind of (extinct) Yankee Republican I used to vote for. But speaking for myself, I am so sickened by today's GOP that I will absolutely not under any circumstances vote for *anyone* who is a Republican.

To Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and any other "Yankee Republicans" left in Washington, be warned: The party you once knew is extinct, those who have taken it over are committed to your eviction, and former cross-overs like me will no longer vote for *anyone* who calls themself a Republican.

Posted by: PaulG2 | November 2, 2009 4:13 AM | Report abuse

"Quick" Take, Dionne?

Save it for your column, diarrhea mouth...

Posted by: secretaryofspite | November 2, 2009 6:09 AM | Report abuse

The silence is deafening.

Where are the republicans that admit they spent like drunken sailors? (apologies to drunken sailors).

Where are the republicans/conservatives that will admit that tax cuts and the claim of small government can be and have been prostituted, and they need another gimmick to get votes?

While they're buying votes with tax cuts, they are not paying bills. None of us could get by with that. While they're preaching smaller government, they're dictating huge tax cuts for corporations that bleed us dry.

I only got one vote. But I donate funds, and I work in campaigns, and republicans that think they're going to get government in my bedroom, while they pretend they want less intrusive government ain't gettin it. Can't be both, and someone needs to point out the hypocrisy.

Local republican county chairs made their choice in New York, and outsiders intervened - republicans have declared war on fellow republicans.

We got important work to be done to rescue this country. We can't even get the republicans to admit the shape its in or lift a finger to help....now they're out claiming they want less spending and smaller government, when they haven't paid a dime on the trillions they owe already.

deadbeats....and medlers and racist haters - all that left of that party.

Posted by: dutchess2 | November 2, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Yah, vhat ahr doze shtupid local's sinking dey ahr do-ink, any-vay? Dis Scozzafava vas nevah cleared vit der Oberfuhrer Limbaugh! Dey sink dey can jus's follow dere own minds? Yah, vell, dey vill see vhat happens ven you don't fah-low orders! Dese so-called Republicans zeem verry un-reliable, vee vill not foh-get dis.....Unteramericahns!

Posted by: interactenglish | November 2, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Its funny to read another NY-23 article spouting nonsense: "civil war" Republicans reject a "moderate".

Dede, the self-confessed "lifelong republican", just endorsed a liberal Democrat Owens who shares her views on abortion, gay marriage, and Big Labor.

Dede is a LIBERAL ! yes we know it is an ugly word never used in any New York Times or Washington Post articles about the NY-23 election. But it is the truth and she just confirmed for all doubters. Dede, the LIBERAL just endorsed another LIBERAL. Sort of like Colin Powell.

Posted by: pvilso24 | November 2, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Fact...Scozzafava is left of center and is not a conservative.
Fact...most liberals responding here are so far left they can't even see Scozzafava for what she is.
Fact...Conservatives want a conservative approach in government, not a moderate approach which is what McCain and others offer.
Fact...Moderate Democrats have little power or input in the current government, the liberals hold the power and are setting the agenda.

If the Conservatives go down in flames, then so be it. It is accurate to say that Conservatives get things done while Liberals dither and disguise things. The Republicans that run away from the conservative approach will run directly into the arms of liberalism. But I really think when the dust settles Tuesday that very few Republicans will have run.

At least Conservatives have real values while Liberals have no foundation except that of being gutless and hysterical.

Posted by: talkswithowls | November 2, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

EJ, there a re a number of mainstream journalists like Dan Balz at the Washington Post and others at Politico, who have become, for lack of a better word, entranced with what they gullibly believe is a grassroots movement on the right.

Every survey I have seen points to a broad public disapproval of these tea party and town hall protestors. The prime movers behind this so-called movement are not held in high regard by the public. So how in God's name do these otherwise respectable and intelligent journalists see this as some significant "movement"?

Look. This has all the earmarks of another so called movement that gullible media types feel into believeing were part of a revolution--the 60s peace movement. Yet, all it succeeded in doing was propelling Richard Nixon into office and ending up crating a countermovement of conservatives that ultimately took over government for the better part of 40 years.

Don't any of you guys ever read history books?

Posted by: jaxas | November 2, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

EJ,

New York's 23rd District election tomorrow is about neither abortion nor gay marriage. Doug Hoffman and his "tea baggers" represent a warning to all those liberals, blue dogs,and pseudo-conservatives who would now seek to ruin our money supply with their reckless spending programs.

A pox on both Democrat and Republican houses alike. Here's to Doug Hoffman and many more just like him in both parties.

Posted by: pgould1 | November 2, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

muiwiyah: you go right ahead and keep thinking that way, my dear. Keep insulting, keep driving moderates outta the party, oh and definitely keep spouting off about "purifiying". That word goes over very well with minorities, NOT! You are a classic example of what will drive voters away from the GOP/Conservative movement. You will always have your "base", (it would surprise you I'm sure, but 'the base' translated into Arabic is 'al qaeda'), and it will be all one colour, and not representitive of America. Other world conservative parties are shaking their heads at what's happening in America. While GOPers in the US were voting NO to the stimulus, conservative governments like here in Canada were putting forth budgets that were REALISTIC inlight of the global economic crisis--stimulus dollars for jobs and unemployment insurance, etc. Lucky for us, our banking system is set up so that banks don't fail or crash, something called rules and regulations. Oh, and we take care of the least among us,(isn't that in the Bible that conservatives seem to think their own?) with social programs and universal healthcare, not perfect but definitely preferable to your system. Get a grip, GOP, you are fast becoming seen world wide as a group fast approaching the lunatic fringe title.

Posted by: katem1 | November 2, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to know how this is different than what the Dems did to Lieberman in CT?? Don't remember E.J. going nuts then about the Dem party spliting!!! The fact that Scozzafava is endorceing the Democrat now tell's me she was not even a "moderate" Republican so Repubs there are better off with out her. It only matter who wins.. if Hoffman wins.. then it's good for Republicans.

Posted by: sovine08 | November 2, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

talkswithowls - you said "It is accurate to say that Conservatives get things done while Liberals dither and disguise things."

hmmmm? Like what?

Are you referring to things like rushing to invade Iraq?
Declaring "mission accomplished" in Afghanistan before the fact?
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (which is yet another ripoff and boon for the insurance industry)?
No Child Left Behind (ditto...unfunded and simply a boon for charter schools)?

You so-called conservatives would do your party a service if you would go back to people like Goldwater and Eisenhower to define your ideals. Rather, you listen to entertainers on the radio and lobbyists like Dick Armey. Currently, your party has only one objective -- to win elections.

Posted by: joy2 | November 2, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

You should say that there is no room in NY for RINO's. I know....you despise conservatives with a passion and love radical leftists with equal passion. But we, conservatives are really getting tired of being ignored. There are moderates...and there are RINO's. Good riddance for the RINO in NY-23.

Posted by: honorswar26 | November 2, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

You're a fool. Of course there is room in the NY GOP for moderates. Gov. George Pataki . Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Dede Scozzafava is a LIBERAL, not a moderate. She supports card check. She supported the big spending economic stimulus bill. She opposes tax cuts. And those are just the FISCAL issues she is out of step with the GOP on.

Posted by: JTR555 | November 2, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

katem1...Don't let the loud minority give you the wrong impression.
Just remember who WON the election one year ago. That demonstrates that the MAJORITY of us in the U.S.A. are reasonable, rational, intelligent citizens who care about our country and each other.

Posted by: joy2 | November 2, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I think it's hilarious to watch the GOP destroy itself from within. Liberals owe the Fringe Right a great debt of gratitude.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | November 2, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The silence is deafening.
Where are the republicans that admit they spent like drunken sailors? (apologies to drunken sailors).
Where are the republicans/conservatives that will admit that tax cuts and the claim of small government can be and have been prostituted, and they need another gimmick to get votes?
While they're buying votes with tax cuts, they are not paying bills. None of us could get by with that. While they're preaching smaller government, they're dictating huge tax cuts for corporations that bleed us dry.
I only got one vote. But I donate funds, and I work in campaigns, and republicans that think they're going to get government in my bedroom, while they pretend they want less intrusive government ain't gettin it. Can't be both, and someone needs to point out the hypocrisy.
Local republican county chairs made their choice in New York, and outsiders intervened - republicans have declared war on fellow republicans.
We got important work to be done to rescue this country. We can't even get the republicans to admit the shape its in or lift a finger to help....now they're out claiming they want less spending and smaller government, when they haven't paid a dime on the trillions they owe already.
deadbeats....and medlers and racist haters - all that left of that party.
Posted by: dutchess2 | November 2, 2009 7:53 AM

-------

You listening Dutchess2?

Is that your perfume or do I smell a commie?

The principles of the Constitution have long been lost by the Democratic Party, in the last few years the cancer spread to the Republican Party.

I threw away my Kool-Aid cup with the elephant on it long ago I didn’t leave the party, the party left me. Out of control spending, the Wall Street Bailouts big business, banks and Auto Industry, gave us more out of control spending along with more and bigger government hell-bent on wanting to take away more of my rights.

So up yours, Democrats and Republicans, you’re both socialist scumbags.

I plan to quit this economy in a few years and live a nice conservative lifestyle by going self-sufficient, see how much federal tax dollars you’ll get out of my wallet. I will have the last laugh. I call it the ultimate protest.

The deadbeats, meddlers, and racist…please…. your ignorance and sterotyping is showing.

Posted by: txnintn | November 2, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

What you really mean to say is that there is no room for liberals masquerading as Republicans. Goodbye and good riddance to the treasonous Scozzafava.

Posted by: fenoy | November 2, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jfern03 | November 1, 2009 9:51 AM
“I too will vote republican. At least they get things done, although wrong mostly, they still get it done.
Never thought I'd say watching Obama operate (being mum on key issues and showing a complete lack of leadership) would make me wish Bush was back in power.
Power - use it or lose it.
Dems, you lost it. You are a spineless party. You may be right on issues, but spineless in governing.”

You are repeating way to many talking points.

Vote republican because “they get things done, although wrong mostly, they still get it done.”

Get what done?? $10+ Trillion Dollar debt?? 6176 soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq? Lie to Americans to invade a country for oil? Tank the financial sector? Outsource American jobs?
Yup! Mostly wrong!

Posted by: knjincvc | November 2, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: grunk | November 1, 2009 12:00 PM
Congressman Mel Watt (Congressman from Bank of America, Democrat, NC's 12 district) guts the Federal Reserve Audit Bill co-sponsored by 300 House members. All this so he can get his pockets line by the big banks.

WOW! Now that is "ONE" powerful congressman to over-ride 300 other members.
How do you think that happened?

Hey grunk, how about doing some investigation instead of posting talking points. What are the facts? Or is that to much to ask!

Posted by: knjincvc | November 2, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I think it is now safe to say that by supporting Hoffman rather than Scozzafa Palin, Limbaugh, Levin and others prevented a race between two democrats. By supporting Owens all Scozzafa did was "come out" as the democrat she really is. Moderate republican my &*%$. Good riddance. And don't come back!!!!

Posted by: tmonahan1 | November 2, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

how sad that as a pundit, you have nothing to say about obama...
but you just keep attacking Republicans...
you are a one trick pony that one day will be put out to pasture...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 1, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse
==========
Dwight I think this post aply applies to krauthammer , Kristol, Gerson, sammulson, Hiatt, etc....

Posted by: wise_pharaoh1 | November 2, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

rfhirsh said,"Reality is that the Republicans do not need more people in office who vote against the views of a majority of Americans: and Hoffman's views are consistent with those of the majority of Americans on most key issues."

And just which key issues are those that the majority of Americans favors that led to the Democrats taking the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate last Novemeber.

A great many people are upset with the Democrats now because they can't seem to get their act together to create the changes in policies people were encouraged to expect in the last campaign. That hardly says they want Bush/Rovism back.

Posted by: mickle1 | November 2, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

It just goes to show you that the NeoCon fringe loonies are in control of the Republican party.

Be careful folks, if you don't believe in the whole NeoCon platform, you'll be next to get stabbed in the back.


Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | November 2, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

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