UPDATE #4: What is the world record for breaking campaign promises ? Answer: one hour.
Amazing. Next year should be interesting in NY 23. Of course the district is destined to be broken up after the next census so that makes it OK to play the voters for rubes.
UPDATE #3: Newt, give it up.
UPDATE #2: It now seems that Newt Gingrich, who has opposed Hoffman has been passing along misinformation and may have been lied to.
UPDATE: More from NRO on the debate within the party.
I’ve been interested in the tea party movement since last March. We had a tea party demonstration in Mission Viejo on April 15 and I posted about it. My impression all along has been that this is a libertarian movement and the social conservatives who attend are mostly there about taxes and deficits.
I have also been very interested in Sarah Palin, although I was disappointed by her weaknesses in interviews last year. Some of that was poor preparation and some was the suddenness of her ascent to the national stage. I have read a good deal about Margaret Thatcher and learned that, once she became part of Ted Heath’s government, she embarked on a crash course of coaching on issues. She was not the Iron Lady immediately. I’ve also been interested in some tendencies on the part of Sarah Palin toward libertarian positions on issues. She was demonized by the media last year as a fundamentalist but some of her actions as governor were misrepresented.
Now, we have a stark challenge to the Republican establishment. The old guard party moguls chose a candidate in the New York 23rd Congressional district who embodies most of the concerns we have had about the deterioration of the Republican Party. Michelle Malkin can certainly be over the top but the issues she raises are real.
Scozzafava is an abortion rights advocate who favors gay marriage.
These are not the hot button issues for me that they are for Michelle. Still, most Republicans are on the other side.
It would be one thing if Scozzafava balanced that social liberalism with fiscal conservatism. But as a state assemblywoman, she voted for massive tax increases, Democratic budgets and a $180 million state bank bailout. She also supported the trillion-dollar federal stimulus package — which every House Republican voted against.
This is more serious. The House Republicans were unanimous. Would she have been the symbolic yes vote for Obama ?
More troubling, Scozzafava in past elections has embraced the ballot line of the Working Families Party — a socialist outfit whose political DNA is intertwined with scandal-ridden ACORN. ACORN and the WFP have shared office space in New York City, Arkansas and Illinois.
ACORN head Bertha Lewis, a close Scozzafava friend and political supporter, wears a second hat as vice chairman of the WFP. The WFP has been listed in ACORN documents dating back to 2000 as an “affiliate.”
This is a lot more serious. ACORN and WFP are socialist organizations riddled with fraud and foot soldiers of the Democratic party. Others have pointed out that the NY Republican Party is different, as in far to the left of the national party. Still, why should we have Republicans like this to confuse the message to the voters?
Scozzafava isn’t even a very good candidate.
Scozzafava’s problems as a candidate aren’t limited to ideology. She simply rubs people the wrong way. The Siena poll reported that–by a 16-point margin–voters who had seen her commercials found that the ads made “them less likely to support her.” “Let me tell you something,” Scozzafava says at the conclusion of her seven-minute speech at the Elks Lodge. “The best revenge in all of this–because it’s been ugly and nasty, my family has been personally attacked, I’ve been attacked, there’s been lies–that the best revenge in the end is to win.”
I experienced firsthand Scozza-fava’s politics of personal revenge at the Elks Lodge event. After I persisted in asking her questions about card-check, taxpayer-funding of abortion, and whether her pledge not to raise taxes meant she’d vote against any health care bill that raised taxes, her husband–a local union boss–called the police.
Then something startling happened. A guy named Doug Hoffman appeared and got the nomination of the NY Conservative Party. The Conservative Party has been the statewide reaction to the left of center GOP in New York for years. They even elected a Senator, James Buckley, brother of William F. Hoffman began to attract support. I sent an e-mail to Instapundit suggesting this was not a bad thing. He posted it. What I said was:
Glenn, the Republicans are upset at the tea partiers in NY 23 for backing Hoffman but that will be a nice test. The election is only for one year so little is lost if the Democrat wins a split race. But, if Hoffman wins, they will have to start to take the movement seriously instead of trying to co-opt them. First, I think the tea parties are libertarian, not “right wing.” That’s what I’ve seen in Mission Viejo, where we have turned out 500+ on each occasion.
This will be a very important race, more so than Virginia or New Jersey which are old line pols running on both sides.
I do wish Hoffman’s donation software was better. I tried to give him money and couldn’t.
I was able to donate later on a second try. Now, what is happening ?
Sarah Palin endorsed him.
Minnesota governor and potential GOP presidential candidate Pawlenty seems to be dithering. That won’t help.
He says he will “probably” endorse Hoffman. Governor, we don’t need more presidential dithering. Personally, I think Hoffman will win. What does that mean ?
I think it means that the tea party movement is not a Republican phenomenon. Republicans can join but they have to adopt some principles, a rare event in the past decade. We probably don’t have a worse political class now than in past eras. The difference is that Congress has far more power over our economy than ever before, with the exception of war time.
When asked about this confrontation with the GOP, Dana remarked that Tea Partiers were not going to be co-opt by the Republican Party, but were rather in the process of taking it over. Bill Hennessy praised Ed Martin (R), who is running to unseat Russ Carnahan (D-MO) in MO-03, for taking a stand in support of Doug Hoffman. Bill called on other Missouri Republicans to do the same. Paul Curtman, who is running for state rep in Missouri’s 105th, was there to support conservatism and Doug Hoffman.
Which is the tail and which is the dog? I am convinced the tea party movement is a resurgence of the Perot phenomenon of 1992. I’m not the only one.
In 1992, the incumbent president, George H.W. Bush, was a disappointment to his party’s base and a pariah to the Democrats. Government seemed to have lost its grip. The deficit became a massive issue, a symbol of out-of-control government. The hangover of Cold War sacrifices, the S&L bailout, runaway crime, huge trade deficits, the long-term trend of manufacturing decline and, of course, the recession contributed to the sense that America desperately needed to get its house in order.
Ross Perot, a quirky Texas billionaire, tapped into that anxiety perfectly. Western, pro-business, no-nonsense, pro-choice and pro-gun, culturally conservative but with little interest in culture-war issues, he managed to thread the needle between both parties. He also benefited enormously from the fact that his independent bid for the presidency was seen by the press as an indictment of both the incumbent Republican and the “Reagan deficits” that Democrats and the media had been denouncing for years. At one point, Perot led in the polls, and if he hadn’t dropped out and then rejoined, he might have done even better than his historic 19 percent of the popular vote.
I was ready to vote for Perot until he imploded in a series of weird complaints about threats to his family.
The tea-party protesters are in large part the heirs of Perotism, and they are being subjected to the same insults. Liberal commentators are deaf to the tea partyers’ disdain for both political parties, preferring to cast the protesters as a deranged band of birthers and racists or hired guns of a Republican “AstroTurf” campaign.
Meanwhile, as National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru has argued, the Democrats have convinced themselves that the moral of Clinton’s failed health care push is not that he was wrong to try, but that he was wrong not to cram it through against popular opposition.
President Obama promised a “new era of fiscal responsibility,” but he’s governing as if exploding the size of government is what Americans want, polls be damned. The Democrats’ budget games and giveaways amount to poking the angry Perotista beast with a stick.
If the GOP can convincingly align with and exploit the growing Perotista discontent, it very well might ride to victory on a tsunami the Democrats can’t even see.
Yes, but can the party that nominated Dede Scozzafava figure that out ? Minnesota seemed to figure it out with Michelle Bachman.