Mark Steyn offers some observations of the NY-23 race:
Newt really needs to re-think his support for Dede Scozzafava. This isn't RINO but DIABOLO - Democrat In All But Official Label Only. It's not one of those "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" bi-swinger deals - not when you're pro-"stimulus", pro-cash-for-clunkers. And the reductive argument that her sole redeeming value - a willingness to vote for John Boehner as Speaker - is reason enough to support her is silly in a special election. If he's ever Speaker, Boehner won't be till January 2011, and it's 12 months premature for Newt to be telling voters they need to suck it up and accept that a handful of Jim-Jeffords-in-embryo-form are necessary for the Republican tide.
He makes an interesting point. It does seem that Scozzafava's "sole redeeming value" is her willingness to vote for John Boehner as speaker, but there is so much more at stake than that. And as Steyn points out, that wouldn't even occur until 2011 at best. And what guarantee does anyone have that she would still vote for Boehner when the time came? The rumor mill has offered the possibility that she might change parties. Arlen Specter redux.
Steyn goes on to raise a competence issue with Scozzafava as well:
At this stage in the nation's affairs, Washington doesn't need another incoherent buffoon insulated by a phalanx of thin-skinned twerps already guarding her like a 30-year incumbent for whom routine questions are an outrageous form of lèse-majesté.
After the weird incident with John McCormack this week, Michelle Malkin points out that we can also add "liar" to the list of Scozzafava's credentials.
Hoffman can win this race. But, as Steyn points out, if he doesn't then a large part of the blame falls to the crap weasels at the NRCC who endorsed Scozzafava and decided she was the Republican that could win. In a traditionally conservative and Republican district, why in the world would they think such a thing?
Robert Stacy McCain profiles the NY-23 race here, and quotes Hoffman's media coordinator Rob Ryan's response to the Scozzafava/McCormack incident as saying "The only thing the police need to investigate in this race is if Dede Scozzafava is impersonating a Republican."
Ryan also says that this race will be a real bellwether for the Republican party, something Steyn notes as well. How big a tent does the Republican party want to pitch? According to Steyn, if Hoffman loses and the seat falls to a Democrat, largely due to the NRCC's misguided endorsement, "it will be a cautionary tale for party leaders who, as in NY-23, make choices that confirm everything a disgruntled base thinks of them. "
More on this race at Memeorandum.
(Cross posted at And So it Goes in Shreveport)