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Scozzafava surrenders

Posted by Richard on November 1, 2009

Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate in the NY-23 special Congressional election, has suspended her campaign and freed those who endorsed and supported her "to transfer their support as they see fit to do so." This is tremendous news. It clears the way for Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate and a free-market conservative supported by the Club for Growth, to potentially hand the statists of both major parties a stunning defeat. Hoffman has led in most recent polls, and is neck and neck with Democrat Bill Owens (and "surging") in the latest Daily Kos poll.

Scozzafava, who's been in third place for a while now, is so liberal the liberal Owens has attacked her for her tax hiking record. There was no primary for this vacancy election, and Scozzafava (great name, BTW; even fun to type) was selected by three local Republican leaders, reportedly at the behest of the RNCC and its beltway-mentality party hacks. My guess is they saw "NY" and assumed the GOP needed a liberal candidate to be "in tune" with the electorate (wrong; the district is upstate and moderately conservative).

If Hoffman pulls off a win, this will be a tremendous boost for the grass-roots pro-freedom tea party movement, which has been instrumental in the Hoffman campaign. And it's a wake-up call to people like Newt Gingrich (who should know better) and the GOP's unprincipled, visionless, corrupted-with-power Washington elite who think the "little people" in the party should just shut up and do what their leaders tell them.

UPDATE (11/2/09): Surprise, surprise, surprise! The liberal pseudo-Republican Scozzafava has endorsed the liberal Democrat Owens. Speaking of wake-up calls for the party's inept leadership. Investor's Business Daily :

… Republican success has always had to do with ideas and principles, not "pragmatism."

That's why the Gerald Fords and the Bob Doles were losers, while the Ronald Reagans and the George W. Bushes were winners. It's why backslapping old Bob Michel was a permanent House Minority Leader who could never become speaker of the House, while firebrand Newt Gingrich was propelled to third in line to the presidency by nationalizing the 1994 congressional elections.

Unfortunately, one of the people forgetting that lesson is Gingrich himself. First, the former speaker endorsed Scozzafava. When she withdrew late last week, Gingrich endorsed Hoffman but in a back-handed sort of way, warning that local party hacks should be allowed to nominate liberal Democratic clones.

But the reason Hoffman was able to end Scozzafava's candidacy is that the people in NY-23 preferred a Reaganite citizen politician to a party machinist doing an impersonation of liberal Sen. Olympia Snowe, the Maine Republican.

Now that Scozzafava has, in an act of incalculable pettiness, endorsed the Democrat in the race, Bill Owens, Gingrich looks like a professor at the Mister Magoo school of political science.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Hoffman, because if he wins, it may mark the beginning of something important. Maybe this time, we don't need a Gingrich to lead the way. Maybe this time, change will come from the bottom up instead of the top down. And thus be more lasting.

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