Scozzafava Quits Race; Conservatives Send Message to GOP

BlogHer Original Post

 Dede Scozzafava, the ACORN-backed, WFP-supported Republican nominee to Re. McHugh in New York's 23rd District, suspended her campaign today amid high negative numbers and lagging support. This race was the bellwether race, a civil war between conservatives and the Democrat-lite within the Republican party. I've been following the announcement and fallout all morning over at Dump Dedethe website I created as a catalog of news on the race - and also as a way to encourage the GOP to serve country over self. I think it was a gracious move for Scozzafava, though it is telling that she didn't endorse Hoffman on her way out.

A couple of weeks ago Neil Cavuto asked me about the contention between tea partiers and the GOP due to some of my earlier sentiments. My response was that the GOP had developed a habit of not offering a clear choice in many elections, and that's what elections are all about, right? Choice? I pointed to the contentious race in New York's 23rd district where the GOP were actually campaigning against conservative candidate Doug Hoffman, who had been rejected by the GOP elite in New York. Days later I held a press conference with Bill Hennessy on behalf of various tea parties across the country to tell the GOP to "put up or shut up" and endorse conservatism. We took some serious heat from the GOP for it, tooSeveral Missouri candidates did so and as conservatives across the country revolted, more and more conservatives within the GOP stood to be counted.

The GOP in New York's 23rd District were not giving their constituents a choice. There was no primary. Scozzafava was chosen in a backroom by a small group of people. It's well-documents that she was backed by ACORN, the Working Families Party, and different with the GOP platform on numerous issues. She was dropping dramatically in the polls, which confirmed that it was a tw0-person race between Democrat Bill Owens and conservative candidate Doug Hoffman. Said the New York Daily News:

Today's hotly anticipated Siena poll confirms the race for the seat vacated by former Rep. John McHugh in NY-23 has become a too-close-to-call fight between Democratic nominee Bill Owens and Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman, who are tied at 36-35.

The Washington Post said the same.

Scozzafava made Olympia Snowe look like Sarah Palin. There's no blame due her for being liberal; the blame goes to the GOP for bungling the race and selecting a candidate that hordes came out against during her campaign. Blame is also shared with those whose apathy enabled the GOP to do what it did.

A round-up:

Betsy's Page:

It seems that Dede Scozzafava, the RINO candidate whom for some reason the local GOP had chosen as their candidate in the special election in NY-23, has dropped out. Within a month, the grassroots support for the Conservative candidate, Doug Hoffman, has been steadily climbing while she's been falling like a stone. It was becoming a two-man race between Hoffman and the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens, with Scozzafava serving as a spoiler to the third-party candidate. She read the tea leaves in her sinking poll number and dropped out.

Sister Toldjah:

She must have finally seen the writing on the wall with both her falling poll numbers and thegroundswell of support for Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. Those same numbers indicate what may be a tight election on Tuesdsay between him and the Democrat in the race, Bill Owens, who will be joined by VP Joe Biden on Monday in a last ditch effort to drum up more support. Considering Biden’s high unfavorability ratings, it remains to be seen what – if any – positive impact will come from his visit. As for any ‘official’ support for Hoffman from the GOP establishment, well, they’re not supporting him – never have. In fact, they’ve pulled out of the NY-23 race altogether.

I addressed some moderate and party loyalist remarks over at Dump Dede:

- Party loyalists in the #ny23 stream are admonishing conservatives for not being big tent. Let me remind them that it has been the tea partiers, conservatives, et al. who have consistently attracted people of all religions, races, age, and both sexes who believe in limited government. It has been the tea party movement that has let the way in netroots with the RNC chairman JUST NOW starting his own blog (though he did call it “What Up” at first). Newt Gingrich and company’s limited view of narrow, Democrat-lite ideals are the antithesis of the big tent philosophy that they claim to support.

- I see some liberals and certain moderates and their Razzie-esque support of Scozzafava as some sort of women’s rights leader, Tweets such as “the GOP and big tent need more of her.” These were the same people who dumped all over Sarah Palin, the same people who dump on Michelle Bachmann, so no, “women’s rights” isn’t something that you can cherry pick and decide to support based upon whether or not you like the woman in question. Liberals don’t have a patent on women’s rights. No one does. To that extent, those saying that Scozzafava is a woman and should be supported because there is a lack of estrogen in the GOP, well, again, Sarah PalinMichelle Bachmann anyone? Why are they unworthy of support – they’re women. Supporting a woman simply because she’s a woman – and allowing her sex to overshadow her credentials or lack thereof – is sexist in and of itself because it says that women aren’t capable of meeting a higher bar of expectations. I believe that women can meet those expectations which is why I like my candidates conservative and if they also happen to be women, even better.

This marks a huge turning point in conservatism and the tea party movement. We tea partiers and 912ers were called crazy – I even watched as certain left members of the GOP employed the leftist tactics of August and tried to neutralize the tea party threat by dredging up the old angry mob charge – but look at what has been accomplished.

Glenn Reynolds has a timely piece on how the follow-through is the most important thing in this election.

Newt Gingrich blasted conservatives for dividing the party when, in fact, it was the tone-deaf, out-of-touch GOP elite who bungled the party by choosing a liberal instead of a conservative to run on the GOP ticket in a Republican district. Gingrich is brunching on crow this morning.

Now the GOP is backpedaling fast. Unless they demonstrate a serious return to their platform, there will be more NY 23s all over the country. If they are genuine, they will be treated as the prodigal son. I'm sure they're sore enough as it is, having spend $900,000 on Scozzafava's campaign thus far. I hope that while we all embark on a victory lap that my fellow conservatives remember their grace.

The questions that remain, which I'll be following:

Will big labor go whole hog for Bill Owens? Predictably yes, but how will Hoffman counter?

How long will some in the left continue with the ridiculous charge that the tea party movement is an arm of the GOP?

What will this mean for the New Jersey race?

Will the NRA now back Hoffman?

I'll follow as they develop. 



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