The Republican Party is now at a point of no return.
Either it accepts what the tea-party conservatives did to Dede Scozzafava in upstate New York and thus become the National Conservative Party, or it, through its “leadership,” condemns those Republicans, like Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty and Fred Thompson, who openly and defiantly campaigned against the GOP candidate, and ultimately forced her to quit.
However, it sure doesn’t look like the party is poised to even put up a fight against the tawdry teapartiers, who demand absolute fealty to their particularly doctrinaire version of conservatism. Such fealty does not allow for even the slightest deviation from the “principles” of the extremists, let alone the relatively wide divergence represented by Ms. Scozzafava.
Here is what the New York Times reported today regarding the Republican moderate’s departure from the NY 23 race:
The Republican National Committee, which had strongly backed Ms. Scozzafava’s candidacy, issued a statement applauding her decision and announcing it was now supporting Mr. Hoffman.
“Effective immediately, the R.N.C. will endorse and support the Conservative candidate in the race, Doug Hoffman,” the party’s national chairman, Michael Steele, said. “Doug’s campaign will receive the financial backing of the R.N.C. and get-out-the-vote efforts to defeat Bill Owens on Tuesday.”
So, it doesn’t appear Michael Steele has any fight in him to maintain some semblance of control over the party he ostensibly heads, and it is quite likely the newly emboldened conservative revolutionaries will run with their success to other parts of the country, demanding obeisance to their philosophy, and commanding Republican attention by their strident, town-hall trained voices.
Oddly, the good news in all of this was expressed by Newt Gingrich, who had supported Scozzafava:
“This makes life more complicated from the standpoint of this: If we get into a cycle where every time one side loses, they run a third-party candidate, we’ll make Pelosi speaker for life and guarantee Obama’s re-election,” said Mr. Gingrich, who had endorsed Ms. Scozzafava.
“I felt very deeply that when you have all 11 county chairman voting for someone, that it wasn’t appropriate for me to come in and render my judgment,” he said. “I think we are going to get into a very difficult environment around the country if suddenly conservative leaders decide they are going to anoint people without regard to local primaries and local choices.”
Gingrich always has a way of finding the silver lining in any ominous dark cloud, doesn’t he?