The brilliant Roy Edroso of alicublog regularly does the dirty work that most of us shun: he actually reads the wingnutosphere. I mean the whole damn thing, including all the nutcases you've probably never heard of, but who collectively have a definite and measurable influence over events.
Don't believe me? Just read Edroso's latest masterpiece at The Village Voice.
This is the real story of NY-23. Everything you've heard about wingnut intolerance of dissent and minor ideological wavering is 100% correct. These people really do not tolerate any straying, not even an itty-bitty bit. They make our own condemnations of Joe Lieberman look lenient by comparison.
RedState started the ball rolling back in September:
Still bigger guns came after Scozzafava: not only was she "pro-gay marriage" and "pro-abortion," said Erick Erickson of RedState; she was also "pro-big government ACORN." In her Assembly campaigns, he revealed, "Scozzafava has repeatedly been backed by ACORN in state legislative elections in New York," and "maintains a voting record the Working Families Party, ACORN's political arm, supports." (WFP actually backed Owens in this race, but Erickson and his colleagues ignored this; it wasn't Owens they were after.)
My emphasis. Please don't underestimate the importance of ACORN to these people. It is a bogeyman for wingnuts, far beyond what most of us imagine, probably some combination of childhood monsters, daddy spankings, Karl Marx and black people.
Michelle Malkin, who is nuts, was quick to pick up on it:
Big-time rightblogger Michelle Malkin began what became her regular pounding of Scozzafava as an "ACORN-Friendly, Big Labor-Backing, Tax-and-Spend Radical in GOP Clothing." Malkin mentioned "radical abortion and gay marriage policies," but leaned on the ACORN connection, a proven outrage generator among her flock. "Scozzafava now claims she would have voted to de-fund ACORN," said Malkin, but she was yet cozy with "another inextricably linked ACORN and WFP affiliate... Big Labor."
Do you see a trend yet?
Scozzafava did her best to reassure the nutjobs:
She signed the tax pledge -- but it did her no good ("Scozzafava is willing to sign any pledge and do anything to get elected," said M.R. Newman of RedState, who further claimed, "If she was principled in her moderacy, I could at least respect that"). She publicly opposed cap-and-trade -- but some rightbloggers claimed she actually supported it, and others dismissed it as a ruse... She won the endorsement of the NRA -- rightbloggers ignored it....
Alas, reaffirming her support for 99% of the Republican agenda wasn't enough. Finally, no less a Republican eminence than Newt Gingrich entered the fray, formally endorsing Scozzafava. Did the author of the Contract With America, and lead impeacher of Bill Clinton, have any sway with the kooks? Of course not:
"Perhaps it is time to go your own way," Malkin told Gingrich, "with Al Sharpton and Nancy Pelosi."
Yes, Newt fucking Gingrich is now in league with Al Sharpton and Nancy Pelosi. For an approximate corollary, imagine us putting Alan Grayson in cahoots with Rush Limbaugh, simply because he's pledged to vote for the House healthcare bill, even though it's not everything we want.
But Malkin wasn't done:
"Radical leftist Dede Scozzafava can't stand the heat," said Malkin.
Yes, a Republican endorsed by the NRA is now a "radical leftist". The purest purity commenter among us could never hope to compete with this. This is purity that should be envied by chemists.
Finally, Scozzafava bowed out. But were the wingnuts mollified? Um...:
Conspiracy theories were floated. "No word yet on what sort of payoff Scozzafava will get for her whoring herself out to the American Marxist Left," said the Jawa Report. "What Kind of Job Did the White House Promise Scozzafava?" asked Top Conservatives on Twitter.
Wow. Give it up for the wingnuts: they know how to purge like motherfuckers.
Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. This is purity, the real thing. If I had gold this pure, I wouldn't be writing this right now.