October 26, 2009

False Realism - A Message to the GOP

Dear GOP,

You claim to be the big boys in the room - the mature, calculating ones. Please act that way. Accept the reality on the ground. You need conservatives -- in NY-23 and elsewhere.

By now, the party should have realized that the conservative base is a parameter, not a variable to be manipulated or tweaked. They're here to stay. If you flip them off, they'll flip you off. Call it immature, unreasonable – whatever floats your boat – but acknowledge that it is real and enduring. Conservatives will not put up with ultra-liberal Republicans.

You seem to not appreciate the dividing line between moderate and liberal. For instance, Moderate Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach has an ACU rating just a tick over 60, and we're cool with him. Heck, he's running for statewide office in PA, and if this Bonusgate thing gets out of hand for Corbett he may have a shot. Liberal Senators Snowe and Collins (who frankly get quite a bit of leeway) have ACU ratings just under 50. Specter's ACU rating as of 2008 was a dismal 44.47. Linc Chafee's life number? 34 and change.

Do you see the a pattern here? If you shove somebody down our throats who is with us less than half the time we have serious problems.

The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor. - Ronald Reagan

If only we had more candidates with whom we agreed 80% of the time! As an empirical and practical matter, conservatives are basically OK with 60%, particularly in swing districts. 50% gets us irritated. Below that and the party is really asking for trouble.

Now, as Scozzafava has no Congressional voting record and thus no ACU figure, a little guess work is called for. But from where most conservatives see it, she's well below 50%. She's Arlen Specter in drag. That's a problem.

Is Hoffman a great fit for the district? Maybe not. But you probably should have thought of that earlier. Who is the Conservative party supposed to put up? A moderate? No, it’s on you – the party, the big boys, the ones with supposed power and insight – to put forth acceptable candidates.

When I see people like Newt Gingrich saying “You can’t have a purely right-wing majority” to justify his endorsement of Scozzafava, he’s engaged in a false realism about electoral politics. His statement is surely true, but his application of it is horribly flawed.

Get real. Grow up. Be strategic. Cut your losses. Dump Dede.

That is, dump her if you're more interested in winning the seat than teaching conservatives a lesson about insurgency. You're supposed to be all about winning, right?

Posted by: JoeCollins at 12:40 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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