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I view this as a populist revolt against the power elite in Washington that’s seen as a conspiracy between govt, big business, labor leaders (at the expense of union members) that enriches itself at the expense of people working for a living. The saw their local party nominate what they considered a Pelosi friendly candidate who would not have won in a primary over Hoffman, who would have won and ran as member of the Conservative party. With Scorzzafava not only dropping out but supporting the Democrat after a meeting with Pelosi representatives and presumably cutting some kind of deal, and Hoffman moving into the lead in some polls, the national conspiracy suspicions appear to have been confirmed, which should further support this ‘national uprising.’
Last I saw what’s called the Tea Party (anti tax) movement is about 20% Democrat, 30% independent, and 50% Republican. And it looks like they reject all party leadership (including the Newt, see below) and seem unresponsive to leadership in general. There are a few organizers who work from the bottom up to organize turn outs, an effort they proudly refer to as akin to ‘herding cats.’
The national media, for the most part, is dismissive, insulting, and in general does not get it and misrepresents what’s happening. All of which increases the support and participation of this rising revolt.
Sarah Palin, for example, commands 45% of voters in national polls (last I checked). The media, which is necessarily composed of ‘intellectuals,’ attacked her (and President Bush) largely on the grounds of not being smart enough to deserve any votes, contrasting her with the highly intelligent and well spoken President Obama. However, this is also perceived as bullying by the large segment of the population who either share some of her views, or simply don’t like bullying in general, and particularly from the media. When the ‘intellectuals’ in leadership positions act like this and see their power threatened by what they make clear they consider ‘inferiors’ they can quickly get in a battle they can’t win and can take all of us to a very bad place.
The Plum LineGreg Sargent’s blog
Sign of the times. Newt Gingrich, himself long considered a leader of the GOPâ€™s conservative wing, is now condemning conservative leaders for driving moderate GOPer Dede Scozzafava out of the race for NY-23, warning that if national conservatives keep bigfooting local races the GOP will continue to wander the wilderness around the country:
â€œThis 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, weâ€™ll make Pelosi speaker for life and guarantee Obamaâ€™s re-election,â€ said Mr. Gingrich, who had endorsed Ms. Scozzafavaâ€¦
â€œI 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.â€
Gingrich had endorsed Scozzafava, so this was in some ways to be expected. But itâ€™s interesting that someone once considered a spokesman for the fire-breathing right is now condemning conservative leaders for mounting ideological purges.
And right on cue, DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse sends over a statement using Scozzafavaâ€™s decision to drop from the race to elevate Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, who endorsed conservative Doug Hoffman, as the face of the harsh, uncompromising opposition:
What this says â€” emphatically â€” is that the true leaders of the Republican Party like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Tim Pawlenty have said to all moderates and independents â€” when it comes to being part of our party you need not apply. The only acceptable Republicans these days are those who subscribe to division, obstruction and a rigid far right wing ideology.
The NRCC and the House GOP leadership, meanwhile, put out a joint statement backing the conservative: â€œWe look forward to welcoming Doug Hoffman into the House Republican Conference as we work together for the good of our nation.â€