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View Diary: NY-23: Gaming it out (151 comments)

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  •  Right back atcha... (2+ / 0-)
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    Odysseus, BruinKid

    ...both in the disagreement and in the tips for civil arguements.

    And if Hoffman finishes last, that also sends a message to the GOP that moderate Republicans are more appealing, and pushing them to the left, no matter how small, helps us push the Overton window back even more from the brink.

    The thing is...they won't learn this lesson from a single special election.  They'll only learn it from more electoral landslides.

    This is in a district that's been red for over a CENTURY.  It's probably one of the very few districts that might actually elect a crazy right winger like Hoffman.  But if he gets close, it might tease the GOP into running more of these guys in districts that are not so red.  This means in 2010 or (more likely) 2012, they'll run a bunch of them and get slaughtered.

    And I think you overestimate the electoral viability of tea bagging candidates.  They might primary out a few dozen Republicans that would otherwise win - and if Dems can eek out half of those, that just marginalizes the right's power in Congress even more.

    More concentrated, sure.  But proceedural issues can only annoy when you're down so much.

    And at that point, even if the Republicans slight tack left, the fringe will never go back to them...and it will be nearly impossible for Republicans to be viable without them.  They'll be forced to merge with Blue Dogs to become Dem-lite if they ever want to hold office again.  Then the Congress becomes Liberal/Progressives on the left, BlueDog/Centrists on the right.  Not perfect, but better than right now.

    The tea baggers are a rubber band on the Overton window...building up potential energy to catapult it to the left.

    •  Perhaps... (2+ / 0-)

      I would have an easier time agreeing with you if our country actually had an unbiased media that didn't always try to frame things through a right-wing frame, and assume that both sides of an issue were always equally valid.  Never underestimate how the media can still influence large portions of the electorate (remember, the vast majority of them still don't read blogs regularly to get the substance behind the spin).

      In a lot of those districts you mention, the problem is that Democrats would also need to have an actually viable candidate there to pick up the pieces should a teabagger win.  And don't assume we can do that.  Quite a few of those places will nominate a conservadem who's so wishy-washy on the issues, it'll be a challenge to convince the few liberals there to actually show up to the polls to stop the teabagger from winning the general election.

      I think obviously the teabaggers wouldn't learn from a Hoffman loss, but the "thinking" Republicans like Newt Gingrich (I know, I know) will, and they'll try their best to shun the teabag crowd, infuriating them more, and intensifying the GOP civil war.

      Another issue is that the media WILL use this, fairly or not, as a referendum on Obama.  If Hoffman actually WINS this thing, unless we keep the New Jersey Governor's seat, watch Obama's numbers take a dive the week after the elections after 24-7 coverage on how Obama is "losing control".  It will happen, and if it doesn't, I'll come back and eat crow.  Of course, I'm praying this scenario doesn't unfold.

      •  Hmmmmm... (1+ / 0-)
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        BruinKid

        Well, I certainly agree with you about the state our country's media.  They happily search for a reason to bring the administration down, except FOX news...who just makes up news to try and bring the administration down.  On the flip side of that, I think we are making progress on breaking the media's stranglehold of information.  Both by promoting blogs as direct news outlets and by influencing traditional media with blogs as well.

        We have a head start in the new media world, and the Republican's authoritarian mindset isn't built for the internet.  As long as we don't slow down, truth based news will continue to make gains.

        Quite a few of those places will nominate a conservadem who's so wishy-washy on the issues, it'll be a challenge to convince the few liberals there to actually show up to the polls to stop the teabagger from winning the general election.

        I don't disagree with that, per say, but I never thought we'd win those districts with liberals.  We won't win NY-23 with a liberal Democrat for a long time.  But if we get a blue dog into these types of districts, then Republicans have to spend time, money, and other resources trying to win them back.  This makes previously purple districts fall off the radar, and thus become much easier to hold onto.  If it's easy to hold onto as a Democrat, blue dogs begin to lose political cover for being so conservative, which opens the door for primary challengers.

        I think obviously the teabaggers wouldn't learn from a Hoffman loss, but the "thinking" Republicans like Newt Gingrich (I know, I know) will, and they'll try their best to shun the teabag crowd, infuriating them more, and intensifying the GOP civil war.

        I guess this is sort of a subjective thing, so I don't want to say you are wrong.  You could very well be right.

        My personal view is that the best way to intensify the GOP infighting would be to give the tea baggers a psychological boost, and thus convincing them that they actually have some sort of electoral viability (they don't).  This will lead to more primary challenges and 3rd party runs against GOP candidates by the tea baggers.  I want them fighting on the ballots.  I want them splitting votes.  And I want them blaming each other for the losses.

        If the line begins to blur about who is the "spoiler" between the two, that's when it gets really nasty.

      •  PS - I called it... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and sure enough, only a few hours after I typed the above response, I see this update on TPM:

        Is The GOPer the Spoiler in NY-23?
        With the surge in support for Doug Hoffman in NY-23 and the news that outside groups have dumped $3 million into the race, could it now be that Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava is the spoiler and spoiling it for Dem Bill Owens?
        --Josh Marshall

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