Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fringe Party's Star, Hoffman, Loses! Where's all the Big Talk Now?

It was a big story, about a movement to purge moderate Republicans, and replace them with true conservative anti-government believers. Dick Armey suddenly looked like he would be the next leader of the "new' conservativism, promising to take his purging formula nationwide.

The Daily Beast's Max Blumenthal wrote this summation regarding Tuesday night's biggest conservative defeat, the one the major media suddenly stopped covering.

"Sarah Palin and the Tea Party crowd drove the moderate from the race, but Doug Hoffman still lost the New York House seat.

On a night when conservatives expected a landmark victory in New York’s 23rd congressional district, the movement’s anointed candidate, Doug Hoffman, instead went down in a startling defeat to Democrat Bill Owens. The official Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, had dropped out days before and thrown her support to Owens after the conservative movement backed Hoffman in a campaign to destroy her, attacking her as a closet socialist with a cynical, hidden agenda—the same terms they have used to demonize President Barack Obama.

Hoffman’s rejection by rank-and-file voters in a solidly Republican district dampened the conservatives’ mood on an otherwise upbeat night and raised serious questions about the movement’s attempt to purge moderates from party ranks. Now, many of Hoffman’s right-wing cheerleaders are struggling to explain their dubious gambit, while others fear repercussions for their zealotry.

As Hoffman surged in the polls, right-wing bloggers worked themselves into an ecstatic lather. Jonah Goldberg wrote in the National Review that Hoffman’s victory, together with gubernatorial victories in New Jersey and Virginia, would prove that those who urged restoring the big tent philosophy of the GOP were “incandescently wrong.”

By imposing themselves on a parochial-minded electorate, however, the outside conservative who seemed to have lifted Hoffman’s chances had in fact set the stage for his demise. When the Watertown Daily-Times endorsed Owens, its editors predicted that “Northern New York will suffer” if Hoffman fulfilled his anti-government campaign promises.

Thus the right-wing teabaggers pouring into New York’s 23rd were perceived as carpetbaggers."

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