November 4, 2009

NY-23 post-mortem

Filed under: General politics — Alexander Omega @ 1:31 pm

Seems to me there are three lessons for the GOP to be drawn from their loss in NY-23.

1. Get it right the first time. Party elites tried to foist a leftist candidate on the base. When the base rebelled and Scuzzyfavor proved a fool to boot, they doubled down. If they’d backed Hoffman from the beginning and spent the $1m they gave to Scuzz on his campaign (instead of mostly against him), they’d have won.

2. Candidates matter. Scuzzyfavor proved she was obviously not a good candidate by any stretch. However, I’d been hearing that Hoffman wasn’t a great candidate either. Soft-spoken, ineloquent, not much of a campaigner. It seemed in the end that voters liked the idea of Hoffman more than Hoffman himself. They’re still a little too smitten with used car salesman types to reliably vote for normal guys. Also, it probably didn’t help that he actually lives slightly outside the district in question after 2001 gerrymandering.

3. DIABLOs are not blindly loyal to the party. Why then should conservative Republicans be? For years, the GOP has told conservatives to back for centrist and leftist Republicans out of loyalty. Thus, they received Bushes, Doles, and McCains. As this election proves, that’s a losing strategy. Obviously, there was the Scuzzy backstabbing. More than that, though, it appears a number of non-conservative GOPers voted for Owens over Hoffman. If DIABLOs don’t buy into party unity, exactly why should conservatives?

In short, what the GOP needs to become is a decisively, unapologetically conservative party. Trying to be a “me, too” party only delivers victory to the Dems.


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