National conservatives continue to push hard for the defeat of Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. Despite the frantic efforts of the local GOP and Scozzafava’s endorsement by Newt Gingrich, Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman (pictured) has received the support of the rightwing press and the Club for Growth, and now former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey is expected to come up from Texas and campaign for him. (Scozzafava has milder views on abortion rights, gay marriage, and such like than conservatives can countenance.)
The Weekly Standard‘s John McCormack claims that, after he followed her into a parking lot with questions she apparently did not wish to answer, Scozzafava called the police on him. “Maybe we do things a little differently here,” he says the officer who approached him told him, “but you know, persistence in that area, you scared the candidate a little bit.” “Radical leftist Dede Scozzafava can’t stand the heat,” cries Michelle Malkin. No arrests are reported…
“Hoffman Bid in NY-23 Becomes National Conservative Crusade,” proclaims John Gizzi in Human Events. He says “late support for Hoffman is coming from coast to coast,” and the race is “shaping up as a defining moment for the modern conservative movement.”
At last tally, Democrat Bill Owens, who must be loving this, has taken the lead in the race with 33 percent; Scozzafava has 29 and Hoffman 23. While his opponents culture-war, Owens stumps for more jobs in his district and a fair shake for dairy farmers.
Do conservatives have visions of James Buckley dancing in their heads, or are they content to slap down Republicans who don’t conform to their vision even if they elect a Democrat in the process? While insisting, as they must, that “Hoffman appears to have the energy from the grassroots to pull off a win,” the American Spectator is more convincing when it calls Hoffman “conservative’s best chance to send a national message to the Republican Party that they are a force to be reckoned with.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 20, 2009