Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Divided and Conquer?

As many of us have seen in the last week or so there is a hotly contested political fight in New York Congressional District 23 between the Democratic candidate, the Republican candidate and a Conservative Party candidate. Many have claimed this is a preview of what the 2012 election will be like, and if so I don't see why any Conservatives would be celebrating. I did some research and normally the Conservative Party of New York doesn't field candidates and instead throws its support behind either the Republican or Democrat, but not this time. Dede Scozzafava, the Republican nominee, is apparently not conservative enough for not only the conservatives in the NY-23 but also prominent Republicans across the nation including Fred Thompson, Sarah Palin, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and others. The only real prominent support from the Republican party Scozzafava is getting is from Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. This rift between the party establishment and its more conservative elements is very telling.

So why don't they think Scozzafava is the right person for the job? Because while she is endorsed by the NRA, she also is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage and is supported by local "Leftist" groups such as the Working Families Party and New York State United Teachers. So instead these prominent Republicans are supporting Doug Hoffman, who is very conservative and seems only to want to talk about the national issues and not local issues which he apparently knows little about. In a recent interview with a local newspaper, Hoffman was asked about local issues and problems and couldn't answer any of them! Now while having opinions on national issues is good there is big difference between Senators and Representatives. Senators represent the entire state and therefore are expected to to represent the entire state's interests in the Congress. Representatives on the other hand are elected by smaller districts and therefore are expected to represent their District's interests in Congress first, national interests second. So the idea of a candidate for Congress who knows little or nothing about the district he is trying to win over is just simply ludicrous. This point is reinforced by Newt Gingrich who believes the local Republican party leadership is the ones who should making the decision on who to run since they know the local interests and electorate best, I couldn't agree more.

The Larger issue with this situation is that in all likelihood the infighting of the Republicans is likely going to give the Democrat (Owens) a good chance of winning. And then where would that leave the Republican Party? It leaves many of its members confused and conflicted as to where the direction of the party is. What is says to me is that come 2012 the Republican party will have to choose whether they will be the party of Conservatives or the Party of Moderates and that choice is probably going to be very messy and more importantly..counter-productive. Divided and Conquer? Guess what, You're doing it wrong!

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