Tuesday, November 3, 2009


What a strange fucking election.

It seemed all too appropriate that such a strange race be capped off by Hoffman's weird "Acorn slashed my tires!" gaffe.

There's just no way anyone can convince me this race was a net win for tea baggers, conservatives, moderates in the GOP and pretty much anyone who's not a Democrat.

Even though there were probably a dozen pivotal moments throughout the race -- and certainly more that may never be made public -- for my money, the most important moment was one that never happened:
At a brief campaign appearance here last night, I asked NY-23 Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman to confirm whether he’d spoken with Dede Scozzafava after she abandoned her Republican bid, and before she’d been courted by Democrats to endorse Democratic candidate Bill Owens.

“No, I hadn’t had an opportunity to talk to her,” said Hoffman. “Of course I would have liked for her to endorse me, but hey, we’re going to win without her.”
That arrogant lack of consideration probably cost Doug Hoffman a seat in Congress.

Here were just some very interesting details in Politico's article on the "winning" of Scozzafava's endorsement by the White House a few days ago.

First, the Dems didn't know Scozzafava's was going to end her campaign.

Second, when the news dropped, the Dems immediately sent Steve Israel up to the district for a face-to-face meeting. Also, New York "Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the most powerful figures in the state, and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo" also placed phone calls. Scozzafava also spoke with Sen. Chuck Schumer and former NYDP chair June O'Neil.

So here's the question: How the hell did she have time to speak with no less than five prominent Democrats?

I know the snide answer from conservatives is going to be "Because she always was one," but that doesn't excuse a utter lack of awareness on the Hoffman campaign's part. There should have been a ton of hand holding by the GOP after what was clearly a very emotional resignation speech. It gives the impression that she was just left on the side of the road after -- to use a cliche conservatives love to deploy these days -- being thrown under the proverbial bus by the pitchforks and torches crowd that bullied her out of the race.

Don't you think someone would have thought to do a little bit of comforting until election day, if for no other reason than to run interference against what were almost assuredly going to be Democratic entreaties for her to endorse Owens?

As soon as Hoffman heard the news that Scozzafava was leaving the race, she should have been the very first person he called. He didn't have to "make a deal" or any of that nonsense -- all he had to do was say thank you, reassure her that her voice was important, and offer her a seat at the table for at least the four days that followed. He didn't and came back to bite him in the ass.

Thanks for playing.

MORE: The Recess Supervisor has more.

EVEN MORE: Here's Erickson's take-away lesson from NY-23:
First, the GOP now must recognize it will either lose without conservatives or will win with conservatives. In 2008, many conservatives sat home instead of voting for John McCain. Now, in NY-23, conservatives rallied and destroyed the Republican candidate the establishment chose.

(emphasis added)
Except in NY-23, the GOP lost with a conservative. There's no other way to read that line than being utterly wrong. Erickson is claiming that a Democratic win last night was actually a win for the GOP -- not conservatives, mind you, but the GOP -- which is manifestly incorrect. The only winner last night were Democrats.

I'm hestitant to say that moderate Republicans dodged a bullet by not having a Hoffman victory open up the flood gates to an unruly mob of third party tea baggers, but clearly his lose isn't going to deter any them from trumpeting their own greatness.

This will likely only get worse.

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