Unless you're a political junkie, you've probably never heard of Dede Scozzafava, Bill Owens or Doug Hoffman. You probably have no idea what part of the state New York's 23rd congressional district is in. But since NY-23 is one of a handful of special elections on Tuesday that will serve as a referendum on Barack Obama's presidency so far, it's a story to keep an eye on. It's a traditionally Republican congressional district, although one that went for Barack Obama in 2008.
President Obama tapped the district's Republican congressman, John McHugh, to serve as Secretary of the Army, which opened up the seat for the special election. The law in New York is that local party bosses get to select the candidates in special elections like this one; there's no primary system or anything like that. The Democrats chose a liberal, Bill Owens. The Republicans also chose a liberal, Dede Scozzafava, whose positions on most issues would be at odds with most people who call themselves Republicans.
One peculiarity of New York politics is that there are a lot of different parties that have candidates on the ballot; sometimes, candidates run as members of more than one party. In any case, the Conservative party chose a Tea Party activist named Doug Hoffman, a fiscal conservative with an accounting background. God only knows that they could use an accountant in Washington!
Well, numerous Republican luminaries, starting with Sarah Palin, endorsed Hoffman over Scozzafava, saying that she was too liberal. Other Republicans, like Newt Gingrich, said that party loyalty was more important than ideology and threw their support behind Scozzafava.
The end result was that Scozzafava ended up running a distant third in the polls, with Hoffman and Owen running neck-and-neck. And so, on Saturday, Scozzafava apparently did the honorable thing and suspended her campaign, seemingly so that the Republican/conservative vote wouldn't be split and throw the election to the Democrat. Because, you know, Republican contributors had given her campaign some $900,000 and it wouldn't be right to help out their political opponents, right?
But yesterday, Scozzafava shattered any illusion of honor, and threw her support behind the Democrat! This was the biggest case of someone being a turncoat in New York since Benedict Arnold tried to betray West Point to the British. Scozzafava couldn't have been a bigger RINO (Republican In Name Only) if she'd had a horn growing out of her forehead!
She proved by her dishonorable action that people like Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, etc., were exactly right about what kind of congressperson she would have been: Another liberal useful idiot that would go along with Obama's schemes to turn the country into a socialist paradise. Well, Dede, don't the the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya on the way out. Good riddance to you!
And not to be gratuitously insulting, but I saw a picture of her on the sidebar of another blog, just over a picture of Hillary Clinton, who looked absolutely svelte by comparison. I think there's a new Cankle Queen in town!
The good news is that Doug Hoffman should get most of the Republican vote and hopefully will win NY-23 handily on Tuesday. Then the voters in that district will get the responsible representation that they deserve.