Hoffman loses NY-23 – What does this mean?
Who knows. I am afraid it means a diminished voice for conservatives in the GOP. I wasn’t following the race itself just the drama surrounding the GOP / Hoffman fight and I thought that way to much was being made of it, for precisely this reason. Now the party can point to this race and say conservatives can’t win. I know that both the NJ and VA governors races were won by conservatives, but the drama surrounding this race wasn’t there. I also know that Scozzafava served as a spoiler at the last minute still carrying 5% of the vote – which people assume would have gone to Hoffman; I’m not sure about that. If she was as liberal as claimed (and I never looked at her record) then why wouldn’t that 5% gone to Owens and given him an 8 point margin of victory instead of 3? I believe 8 pts is what Obama carried the district by.
I could be wrong though. Maybe the GOP will look at this and say wow conservatives really mobilized behind this guy we need to take this into account. I doubt it however.
Here is what I know for sure. The GOP is now another vote away from being able to exercise any sort of influence on legislation in the House of Representatives. So the question now is was it worth it?
Counting on a victory yesterday Bill Quick wrote –
This was a seat hand-picked by Barack Obama for which to do battle, because he thought he could flip it. So: Meaning One – a big loss for Barry and Rahm, and a spike in the lead wheel of the “Obabma Juggernaut.”
This was a race in which the establishment wing of the GOP chose to do battle with its insurgent conservative wing to the bitter end. So: Meaning Two – the conservatives take a big win, and further demonstrate how to “reconcile” the Tea Partiers with the GOP establishment – the establishment needs to move sharply conservative in order to get their votes.
This was a race in which the anointed GOP candidate stood revealed as a hollow, treacherous shell, a Democrat In All But Label Only (DIABLO), yet of a type sadly familiar to conservatives disappointed and betrayed yet again. Meaning Three: The strategy of supporting such candidates has taken a major blow.
Nothing has energized the conservative base like this race. It is tangible evidence that they can buck the mushy-moderate DIABLOs of the national party and win. They’ve had a taste now. Meaning: They’ll want more, and that terrifies the GOP establishment, especially now that they know how to go about getting it.
What will his reassessment be, or is what he wrote still basically true? I wish I had answers here.
Ace thinks that this race was helpful –
Although we lost, I repeat my previous statement that this was cost-free and therefore helpful move. It’s “teaching the GOP a lesson” in a smart way, in a single election (for a term that will last only one year), that will send a short sharp shock that while we may accept RINOs where we absolutely have to, we damnsure won’t be accepting them where we can win with a conservative candidate.
We’re not just going to support liberals just to win; what is the point of “winning” then?
And the GOP can see there will be bloody revolts if this happens again. And that there will, in fact, be money for a more conservative candidate, too.
Maybe I am being unduly pessimistic.
Robert Stacy McCain is also positive –
If the Republican bosses think they’re going to pick another candidate in NY23 for 2010, they’d better think again. The grassroots conservatives — the Tea Party people, the pro-lifers, the Club for Growth, Fred and Jeri Thompson, Sarah Palin — who backed Doug Hoffman aren’t going to forget his courageous example.
So it’s 3 to 1 against me. (I am assuming that Daily Pundit will come to the same conclusion as Ace and McCain.) Hope their right. I guess we will see in about 4 months when the run-up for next years mid-term elections really starts.
Roger L. Simon basically says Social Conservatism is a loser
Well… I might as well say it… social conservatism. America is a fiscally conservative country – now perhaps more than ever, and with much justification – but not a socially conservative one. No, I don’t mean to say it’s socially liberal. It’s not. It’s socially laissez-faire (just as its mostly fiscally laissez-faire). Whether we’re pro-choice, pro-life or whatever we are, most of us want the government out of our bedrooms, just as we want it out of our wallets.
Hoffman’s capital-C Conservative campaign, however, tried to separate itself from the majority parties by making a big deal of the social issues. He was all upset that Scozzafava was pro-gay marriage, seemingly as upset as he was with her support for the stimulus plan. He projected the image of a bluenose in a world that increasingly doesn’t want to hear about these things. Hoffman’s is a selective vision of the nanny state – you can nanny about some things but not about others. I suspect America deeply dislikes nannying about anything.
There is, of course, a message in this for the Republican Party going forward. You can choose to emphasize the social issues or not. Today may show the former is a losing proposition.
That is going to cost him.