I’m of a split mind on this race and what it portends. Once a third-party (Conservative Party no less) entered the race and actually got enough traction to boot Scozzafava, the GOP candidate with New York state moderate Republican bona fides, I immediate thought this is beginning of the end of the GOP. The three-legged stool has been broken for a while and the 2008 election cycle busted it for good. The question has been how will the GOP regroup. The response so far has been a reduction to a theocratic, angry, white rump of a party with around a quarter of of the voting population willing to admit to even being a member of the Republican Party.
My second mind on this race is I see some sanity from different pundits around the blogosphere who argue not to make too much out of an off-year election in a tiny district.
The issue, now that the election is done, and has been won by a Democrat for the first time in more than 150 years. It’s just one vote in the House, but the national GOP leaders — and sadly that group doesn’t really contain any office holders and is largely comprised of entertainers — happily lost a Republican vote that was going to be a little squishy (and thus a RINO) for a Democratic vote that potentially will never cross the aisle.
The end result is the Democratic leadership has little to fear from a new Conservative Party leaving the GOP and a lot to gain from just that occurrence. The entertainers-in-chiefs leading the current GOP have been proven to be quite toothless in swinging elections and the angry rump of the GOP has been shown they can be quite effective in ridding the party of those less-than-pure RINOs. This group will trade ideology for elections any day believing that as the GOP becomes more “pure” — that is, pure to their thinking — it’ll start winning elections again.
This does not make for a winning combination. It’s telling the big GOP wins yesterday in governor elections did not come from the frothy edge of the right. Sadly for the GOP the frothy edge of the right owns the national spotlight, and as long as entertainers set the Republican standards that will remain the status quo. Money for the entertainers, Democrats in elected office.
I’ve been pretty tough on the GOP over the last couple of weeks and it’s disappointing. With Obama’s election and the Democratic clean-sweep of November I was looking forward to pushing back against the new establishment and challengeing areas where I didn’t like the direction they were taking the nation. And don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to touch on — right now some of the more insidious provisions stuck in the stimulus package come to mind.
The problem is the GOP is acting so stupidly and pathetically as a minority party, it’s impossible for me to stay off the topic. Right now for me the GOP is a festering wound with a scab I can’t help but pick at repeatedly. And I’ll have to admit there’s some morbid fascination watching a political party completely implode. I don’t wish this for the Republican Party, but I’m not kidding when I write it could be coming to an effective end as a national political force.
When you have party mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh wishing for insta-failure for Obama’s administration instead of hoping America gets back on economic track and becomes the great nation it has always been once again; when you have minority whip Eric Cantor reliving those glory years of Gingrichism instead of working within the current political climate to improve our nation; when you have has-been punchline Ken Starr making pronouncements about Obmama’s potential Supreme Court nominee fights; and when you have the far-right bloc of the party trying to oust the three Senators who voted for the stimulus package for being RINOs, you don’t have any hope for a ruling coalition.
Until the freaky fringe of the GOP who’ve convinced themselves they are the party understand all the RINO (Republican In Name Only) rhetoric is doing nothing but bouncing around a tired little echo-chamber bar room at last call — except when the message does get loose and serves to scare off potential GOP voters — sober up and face reality, there is no coalition.
I think this group can be blamed for shattering the three-legged stool. RINO this, RINO that. I get the feeling these folks wouldn’t recognize a Reagan Republican if they were bit on the ass. As a matter of fact Reagan’s policies and politics would render “the icon” a RINO in the minds of these incurious parrots.
Here’s a nice takedown from a cool site, The Unreligious Right:
John Hawkins, who blogs at Right Wing News, has a new column up at Townhall entitled “Five Hard Truths for RINOS.” As a pro-choice Republican who supports some sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants, gay marriage, and has other heretical positions, I qualify as a RINO when viewed by hardcore conservatives. Here’s my RINO response to Hawkins’ five points.
Be sure to hit the link for the whole bit. It’s worth it.
I’m talking splintered. Sarah Palin busted the three-legged stool and apparently the “faithful” got all the shrapnel and are now cranky. And more than a little dumb.
How else do you explain this comment at Power Line about David Frum, a man whose conservative bona fides are unimpeachable?
Frum is indeed a “third-way” conservative, which is to say, a little conservative here, a little progressive there.
Screw him and the RINO he rode in on.