Wednesday, November 04, 2009

New York CD 23: A Microcosm of What the Future Holds for the GOP?

I never really thought that Bill Owens, the Congressman-elect from New York’s conservative CD 23, would be able to pull it off in an upset against teabagger Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate who was endorsed by teabaggers and non-teabaggers alike from one end of the country to the other.

I really thought that when the GOP threw its own candidate under the bus and jumped on the Conservative Party bandwagon, they would ultimately be successful.

Mainly because I am ignorant of how voters vote in CD 23.

They tell me tonight that CD 23 voters really care about local issues, and that while 45% of voters who showed up to the polls yesterday voted a straight “traditional family values ticket” – voted for the guy who doesn’t even live in the district and is demonstrably ignorant of district issues – 55% of these voters who turned had other ideas.

Like the 6% of hard line Republicans who either had no idea that Dede Scozzafava withdrew from the race, didn’t care, or wouldn’t vote for a Democrat or anyone else if H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks froze over.

Like the 49% of Democrats, Republicans and Independents who ignored the fact that the GOP endorsed a rightwing teabagger who makes it his business to criticize the Republican Party, and voted for, and elected a Democrat. A feat that has not been accomplished since before the country knew who Abraham Lincoln was.

Is this the shape of things to come for the GOP? Will the GOP continue to marginalize and oust the moderates among them in favor of the “true conservative”? All of this in complete ignorance of the fact that most voters don’t follow the rants of Glenn Beck or the Facebook posts of Sarah Palin?

This is the way it is beginning to look to me. And the outcome last night in CD 23 might be repeated again and again as voters stream away from a party in its drunken lurch to the right. Drunken, yes, because obviously these people are acting without any kind of reservations at all.

It seems so unfair. I wanted to win on the issues and on people seeing reason after 8 years of the worst government ever to run this country.

It’s no fun winning like this. Winning while watching the teabaggers ruin what is left of the Grand Old Party.

It is fun, though, having a new Democratic congressman in DC this weekend to vote for a public option laden House healthcare reform bill. Now that is satisfaction. Guaranteed.

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