I, like many conservatives, am anxiously awaiting the election results for NY-23. Democrats are saying the republican party is shunning moderates at their own peril, and some republicans are concerned that running a conservative like Hoffman as opposed to a moderate like Scozzafava will cost them seats. That theory of 'who cares how fiscally responsible they are as long as they have an 'R' after their name' has led the party to the minority they have today. And yes, I understand the idea that upstate NY conservatives are more liberal than most, Mr. Gingrich.
Just like in 2006 and 2008, Americans are being told that true conservatives cannot win; that moderates are the only way Republicans can win elections and take over a majority again. By the way, it's mainly democrats saying this, and, after all, they only want to help republicans win elections, right?
Is it just me or is there a whiff of desperation is those adamant cries of 'conservatism is dead'? Methinks thou doth protest too much...
I think the main issue that all conservatives, be they moderate or strict, are truly conservative about is taxation, spending, and the role of the federal government in our everyday lives. THAT is what this election is all about. And democrats know it.
What bothered me about Dede Scozzafava wasn't her pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage stance, it was the fact that she supported the stimulus bill. That denotes fiscal irresponsibility, in my view, and I think there are a lot of conservatives who would agree with me.
No matter what Joe Biden says, you just can't spend yourself out of bankruptcy.
But this is an election with specific issues that people are voting on, not just general party ideology. Doug Hoffman is up in the polls because his main platform is lower taxes, smaller government, and fiscal responsibility - things that are desperately needed right now. Happily, they are also the things that both hard-core and moderate conservatives can agree on whole-heartedly.
What got us into trouble over the past few election cycles was the profligate spending, taxing and rapid growth of the federal beast by republicans as well as democrats. Sure, those types of republicans might appeal to more left-leaning voters, but it also alienates them from their traditional base, so there is more of a cancelling out or even a net loss than a net gain in overall voters. No matter what the liberals might say (loudly, shrilly and a bit desperately, in my humble opinion) about this being an overwhelmingly liberal country, this Gallup poll shows just how wrong they are.
Democrats, with their earmarks and perks and special interests catering were making great strides in seducing the electorate with their overwhelming largess, to the detriment of the country as a whole. The democrat theory of governance is simple - throw money at the problem and eventually people will stop complaining about it. It seems the republicans have adopted that 'path of least resistance' ideology in an attempt at wooing voters with promises of perks and fiscal rewards, and that is one of the main reasons the country is at the brink of financial ruin.
Democrats want to paint republicans into one far-right leaning corner so they can trap them in the guise of 'old-fashionedness' - or the new buzz-word 'status quo', if you prefer - but moderate republicans chafe at that description. They also chafe at fiscal irresponsibility, and that is the heart of the matter. Once our economic house is in order, other conservative issues like abortion and gay marriage can be addressed.
I personally feel, much like Ronald Reagan, that we can all fit under the tent, as long as it is strongly held up by the support poles of low taxation, fiscal responsibility, and limited government. Without those things, the tent collapses, as the 2006 and 2008 elections illustrated.
So when the democrats warn that we will alienate moderates with the hard-core tea party rhetoric, they are completely missing the point. But what else is new when it comes to democrats understanding the Tea Party phenomenon? The tea parties were about reckless spending, taxation that has surpassed high and is now approaching the astronomically confiscatory stage, the massive expansion of the federal government, and profligate special interest payoffs.
Any republican who believes the democratic theory of alienation of moderates is first of all taking advice from their adversaries, which is just not a wise move no matter how you slice it, and second is showing how tone-deaf and out-of-touch they really are.
UPDATE: Dede Scozzafava has just confirmed what most conservatives who are backing Hoffman were saying by endorsing Democrat candidate Bill Owens. There was a lot of talk of her being far more democrat leaning than she was letting on, including speculation that she might change parties as well as her apparent connections to ACORN, and this certainly does nothing to change that opinion. At least her campaign manager is still a conservative and has endorsed Hoffman. It will be interesting to see what effect her endorsement has on the race, if any. 60% of her supporters identify themselves as conservatives and are most likely going to break in Hoffman's favor, but, because Owens and Hoffman are polling so closely (36-35% respectively), it is still anyone's game.