Rogue Stars Rising

posted at 12:15 pm on October 25, 2009 by Doctor Zero

Two stories are unfolding out in the 23rd Congressional District of New York. In the foreground, we have the three-way contest between hapless Republican Dede Scozzafava, upstart Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, and some generic Democrat whose name no one can remember. This race is a microcosm of our strange politics, which have become like a speeding car with jammed door locks, cut brake lines, a dead steering wheel, and air vents that pump nitrous oxide. Everyone is dimly aware the country is heading for the edge of a cliff, but no one can muster the energy to search for alternatives.

The President took time away from his losing wars against Fox News, the Taliban, and economic reality to endorse the Democrat, who would doubtless prove a useful ally in the only war Obama is winning: the war on the American middle class. He probably should have endorsed Scozzafava instead. She’d only be marginally less useful to him – does anyone see her leaping to the well of Congress and declaring her iron-willed opposition to ObamaCare in all its forms? Does anyone have difficulty imagining her sudden decision to support a bill that will address her “concerns” while guaranteeing “affordable access to insurance” for the twenty, thirty, or forty-seven million Americans, legal and otherwise, who will surely die without a government health plan?

At least Obama would have been doing something interesting and unpredictable by endorsing Scozzafava. She clearly shares his views on the use of state power to suppress annoying journalists. Instead, he flew into the district to cough up some more empty rhetoric nobody will remember tomorrow, on behalf of a candidate no one cares about, but who stands a good chance of winning by default.

The other story, playing out in the background, is the second act of one political saga beginning, even as another draws to a close. The rising star of Sarah Palin passes over the melancholy ruins of Newt Gingrich, who spent the last of his credibility endorsing Scozzafava. The Republican Party of Gingrich dies, unloved and irrelevant. Something else is replacing it. The new opposition party is not guaranteed of victory – such guarantees are issued to no one. Palin may never choose to campaign for an office beneath its banner, but she’s an integral part of its identity. She’ll certainly never be a governor, or anyone’s vice presidential candidate, again. For the Republicans, it will never be 1996 or 2006 again. There’s no more room for school-lunch debacles, government shutdown miscalculations, Trent Lott, George Allen, Mark Foley… or Newt Gingrich.

It pains me to say this about Gingrich. He accomplished some amazing things, in the mid-90s. He’s a smart man who has offered some interesting ideas, in his second life as a conservative intellectual. The problem is that Newt is a political tactician, and in the final stages of a losing war against collectivist ruin, the time has come to focus on grand strategy, rather than tactics. The second decade of this century will be an existential war for the American soul, not a police action.

Gingrich is always thinking about the tactics of the moment, trying to win on points that will never be awarded fairly. He spent far too much of his time as Speaker of the House shouting in vain for media referees to throw penalty flags that remained stuffed in their pockets. Meanwhile, the political battlefront has shifted into the fatal terrain of essential liberties and economic freedom. This is the time for courage, conviction, and bold action… not whining about “big tents,” while pushing a product of the Pataki machine with a Margaret Sanger award dangling around her neck. A Republican party that embraces Scozzafava over Hoffman isn’t a “tent.” It’s not even a lean-to.

The most urgent task for conservatives is building a logical, consistent vision to place before the voters. They’re looking for a comprehensive explanation of why Democrat policies are wrong. They can see Obama’s failures all around them, but in the absence of a compelling narrative from the opposition party, they’re likely to conclude those failures were inevitable, and learn to accept them. If no one presents a coherent alternative to socialism, it wins by default, because too much of the political and media culture desires it. We’ve already tumbled far past the point where anyone views the Constitution as even a speed bump, let alone a barrier to socialist ambition. The principles embodied in that incredible document will perish, if they are not respected, explained, and defended.

A party that supports Scozzafava over Hoffman cannot mount that defense. They can’t run candidates to the left of the Democrats, then expect a spellbound audience when they explain why the Democrats are wrong. This is not a question of rigid idealism, or remaining a “perfect minority.” The voters, including the fabled “moderates,” need to be persuaded, not pandered to. Running a liberal squish in a largely conservative district will not cause moderate voters to squeal with excitement over the billowing expanse of the GOP’s enormous tent, and rush to see what other wonders might be hidden inside.

In her endorsement of Doug Hoffman, Sarah Palin said:

Our nation is at a crossroads, and this is once again a “time for choosing.”

The federal government borrows, spends, and prints too much money, while our national debt hits a record high. Government is growing while the private sector is shrinking, and unemployment is on the rise. Doug Hoffman is committed to ending the reckless spending in Washington, D.C. and the massive increase in the size and scope of the federal government. He is also fully committed to supporting our men and women in uniform as they seek to honorably complete their missions overseas.

And best of all, Doug Hoffman has not been anointed by any political machine.

Doug Hoffman stands for the principles that all Republicans should share: smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense, and a commitment to individual liberty.

She’s clever to throw in that jab at political machines. Dede Scozzafava rolled off the conveyor belt of such a machine, to stand blinking in confusion outside Hoffman’s headquarters, drowning in a sea of his campaign posters as she babbled about how she finally wanted to debate him. Voters impressed by political machines will be unable to tear their eyes from the stupendous contraption of media wiring and corrupt money that grows from Barack Obama. Those who are still capable of independent thought need to hear Palin battle cries, not Gingrich apologies.

The GOP is doomed if it holds the course Newt Gingrich set for it, in the waning days of his troubled tenure as Speaker of the House. It should set a new course, following the rogue stars rising to starboard. Palin and Hoffman are among the first of those stars. She’s taking a risk by endorsing him, since her detractors would savor his defeat. That’s good. America needs risk-takers, not undertakers. Newt Gingrich conceded far too many defeats before the race in New York-23 had even begun, by settling for a candidate he could live with, instead of backing the one New York – and America – really needs.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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This is a “One Federal Constitution determines the specific limits of the federal government” society.

progressoverpeace

A+++

beachgirlusa on October 25, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Dr. Zero, the anti-Allah.

fogw on October 25, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Allah’s been missing more and more as Doctor Zero has been putting more and more posts on the big board.

What do you want to bet that Doctor Zero is Tyler Durden to Allah’s Ed Norton, and every day we lose a little more of him? ;-)

RD on October 25, 2009 at 3:49 PM

This isn’t a One size fits all society.

AnninCA on October 25, 2009 at 12:56 PM

We cure deceases in America. We don’t change the constitution to accommodate them. :o)

David2.0 on October 25, 2009 at 3:50 PM

TheAlamos on October 25, 2009 at 3:04 PM

There’s room for both of them. Just pay Doctor Zero too.

Schadenfreude on October 25, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Doc might be a woman for all we know, does anyone know for sure? Either way, he or she is an excellent writer and I’d love to see daily posts by the good Doc.

beachgirlusa on October 25, 2009 at 4:00 PM

This isn’t a One size fits all society.

AnninCA on October 25, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Can you convince your goons on the left of that?

Schadenfreude on October 25, 2009 at 4:01 PM

While the country is being eroded and weakened by Obama and his band of radical fools, Newt has time to pussyfoot and write fiction?

He should be decrying the undermining of the nation, not supporting mediocrities.

He and his type obviously do not feel mortally-threatened enough by the current O-calamity, either because he is old and doesn’t care any longer what happens to the future of the nation, or he is comfortable being a stingless, one-winged gadfly.

The time for measured phrases and banal babbling are past.

Those who care for our Life and Liberty deep in their guts need to move forward and fight for the Constitution with fervor, not creaking platitudes.

Newt is yesterday’s fizzle.

profitsbeard on October 25, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Dr. Zero is not a zero. We need more of this sound rational reasoning. I found myself applauding every word.

jainphx on October 25, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Fabulous article. I appreciate the point about Conservatism not being so much rigid idealism as it is the ONLY philosophy that can win against socialism. It’s the opposite of what every other pundit says, but completely true and, in fact, provable: just look at Reagan’s win[s]. The fact that liberal socialism is the modern default position for America is another excellent point, and demonstrates why Conservatives MUST be active in order to reset American values.

Animator Girl on October 25, 2009 at 4:27 PM

This race is a microcosm of our strange politics, which have become like a speeding car with jammed door locks, cut brake lines, a dead steering wheel, and air vents that pump nitrous oxide.

You sure do paint a picture.

So if Doug Hoffman winds up splitting the GOP vote and helps elect Bill Owens what will have been learned here?

Boxy_Brown on October 25, 2009 at 4:31 PM

So if Doug Hoffman winds up splitting the GOP vote and helps elect Bill Owens what will have been learned here?

Boxy_Brown on October 25, 2009 at 4:31 PM

So if the nomination of Republican Dede Scozzafava so effectively marginalizes conservatives, resulting in the election of Democrat Bill Owens, what will have been learned here?

Skandia Recluse on October 25, 2009 at 4:41 PM

…the melancholy ruins of Newt Gingrich, who spent the last of his credibility endorsing Scozzafava.

Could not have said it better.

Gingrich should stick to big ideas, once his forté, and leave the tactics to others more well versed in the art of political war.

Thanks again, Doc, for an excellent article.

TXUS on October 25, 2009 at 4:59 PM

So if Doug Hoffman winds up splitting the GOP vote and helps elect Bill Owens what will have been learned here?

That those moving to derail Scozzafava’s candidacy waited too long.

JEM on October 25, 2009 at 5:22 PM

So if Doug Hoffman winds up splitting the GOP vote and helps elect Bill Owens what will have been learned here?

Boxy_Brown on October 25, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Hopefully GOP leadership will learn that if they want our support, they’ll put up candidates who are worth our vote and our money.

But I doubt it. I no longer think that the GOP leadership is capable of learning.

Chris of Rights on October 25, 2009 at 5:22 PM

Doc might be a woman for all we know, does anyone know for sure? Either way, he or she is an excellent writer and I’d love to see daily posts by the good Doc.

beachgirlusa on October 25, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Indeed, his style and prose remind me of Camille Paglia, a great writer and thinker, though I disagree with her politically, of course.

If she were conservative, and maybe she is a closet conservative, she could well have written this… from the Doc above:

Running a liberal squish in a largely conservative district will not cause moderate voters to squeal with excitement over the billowing expanse of the GOP’s enormous tent, and rush to see what other wonders might be hidden inside.

All I know is that with Doc Zero we at HotAir have one of the best contributors on the net, regardless of testicular carriage.

TXUS on October 25, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Another excellent essay, Doc Z

Palin’s ability to express ‘the vision thing’ so clearly is why the libtards, trolls, and Dems go after her with such Lunatic Viciousness. She makes them crazy because she reminds them of what they ARE NOT and of what we as a nation can be.

Janos Hunyadi on October 25, 2009 at 5:27 PM

So if Doug Hoffman winds up splitting the GOP vote and helps elect Bill Owens what will have been learned here?

That we may get socialism, but we’ll be damned if we’ll vote for it?

jimmy2shoes on October 25, 2009 at 6:12 PM

The GOP is doomed if it holds the course Newt Gingrich set for it…

Absolutely right. It’s good to see Doc remembers that Newt was palling with Hillary and going “bipartisan” to fend off his financial ethics problems before he was hustled out of town. He’s a professional opportunist just like 95% of the rest of the Republicans.

As long as there’s enough blood spilled I will admit it’s possible the GOP will survive. I hope not. Palin spawned a flurry of similar Hoffman endorsements, even from the colorless Tim Pawlenty. Momentum! That could finally tear down the rotten structure of the Grand Ol’ Party.

rcl on October 25, 2009 at 6:27 PM

The GOP wants to replace Arlen Sphincter.Or they are on Soros
bribe list.Or both ?

Farfed on October 25, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Dr. Z…! Keeping hot air on track! Yes. Keep it up.

trace_9r on October 25, 2009 at 6:45 PM

I’m not sure what it is going to take to get politicians in the Republican Party to stop pandering to liberals, but we must keep trying to get through to them. We have some major votes on Obamacare & Cap n Trade coming up in the Senate soon. The same usual suspects Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, John McCain and Lindsey Graham are aiming to stab conservatives in the back once again. I wrote this blog article to address this issue. Let your voices be heard as well.

The Three Stooges meet Ronald Reagan

TheRightWingM on October 25, 2009 at 6:57 PM

So if Doug Hoffman winds up splitting the GOP vote and helps elect Bill Owens what will have been learned here?
Boxy_Brown on October 25, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Three things:
1>GOP can not hope to put liberals up for election and expect the base to Shut Up and follow.
2>GOP needs conservatives more than conservatives need GOP – Erick Erickson (redstate.com
3>Squishes are not welcome – Me

antisocial on October 25, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Indeed, his style and prose remind me of Camille Paglia, a great writer and thinker, though I disagree with her politically, of course.
TXUS

She’s an intelligent, interesting person and she certainly can hit the nail on the head:

And what do Democrats stand for, if they are so ready to defame concerned citizens as the “mob” — a word betraying a Marie Antoinette delusion of superiority to ordinary mortals. I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wishes of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech.

But somehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government, which they revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills. The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration’s outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable “casual conversations” to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2009/08/12/town_halls/index.html

But no, reporters have been too busy playing mini-badminton with every random spitball about Sarah Palin, who has been subjected to an atrocious and at times delusional level of defamation merely because she has the temerity to hold pro-life views.

How dare Palin not embrace abortion as the ultimate civilized ideal of modern culture? How tacky that she speaks in a vivacious regional accent indistinguishable from that of Western Canada! How risible that she graduated from the University of Idaho and not one of those plush, pampered commodes of received opinion whose graduates, in their rush to believe the worst about her, have demonstrated that, when it comes to sifting evidence, they don’t know their asses from their elbows.

Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology

http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2008/11/12/palin/index1.html

beachgirlusa on October 25, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Bravo! Dr. 0. Encore, Encore!

chickasaw42 on October 25, 2009 at 8:18 PM

Shooting Rogue Stars will wipe out the RHINOsaurs and here’s to their extinction!

chickasaw42 on October 25, 2009 at 8:26 PM

The second decade of this century will be an existential war for the American soul

DZ… I love how you can take twenty thoughts that I think sometimes and distill them down to 15 or so words.

LibTired on October 25, 2009 at 8:33 PM

BRAVO, ZERO!!!

Dandapani on October 25, 2009 at 8:43 PM

AnnInCA – I’d like to say I agree with you, but we can’t go there anymore.

This is why we need another thousand House reps; right now it’s a mini-Senate full of a bunch of mini-Senators, far too many from carefully gerrymandered safe districts who need to pay little or no attention to issues back home.

A House seat matters a lot from a national-policy standpoint, and until we do something to dilute the influence of individual Representatives in national politics we’ll have to treat them as a quarter of a Senator.

JEM on October 25, 2009 at 1:15 PM

This is indeed the problem. Jonah Goldberg has written several times (for example, here) about the fact that originally, there was supposed to be one Representative for about every 30,000 citizens. The current ratio is closer to one for every 500,000. Quadrupling the number of representatives in the House would make each congressman far more responsive to his actual district, and far less able to stuff bills with pork and gerrymander his district to make sure it stays in his pocket forever. It would also give interest groups far less pull in the House.

Add on a few reasonable term limits, and we’d have some real reform.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on October 25, 2009 at 8:47 PM

not only is this another excellent Dr. Zero post, it is a fantastic title for one!

das411 on October 25, 2009 at 8:51 PM

Shooting Rogue Stars will wipe out the RHINOsaurs and here’s to their extinction!

chickasaw42

A+

beachgirlusa on October 25, 2009 at 8:54 PM

A Grand Strategy, for sure DocZ. But where is it? Everyone is a freakin’ expert and believes they have this Grand Strategy. That is except our elected rep’s. They seem clueless and what with thousands of people talking at them telling them what should be done, well they don’t know who to listen to. And they certainly are incapable of developing that strategy themselves. Why? Because they’re so short sighted. Why? Because they make decisions based on “fundraising”. And, because they’re so short sighted, they think that moving hard to the right will translate into a diminishing of money coming in. Honestly, they’re just too frightened to try and make the transition. IMHO, if they’re wrong. They’ll take in piles of cash. Darvin Dowdy

Darvin Dowdy on October 25, 2009 at 11:34 PM

I think any “Grand Strategy” has to come from rogues, new and fiesty ones! The present occupiers of our Government are strangely robotic and eerily complacent. I think they all view this as some sort of football game and it’s all part of the positions they play. We need to seriously clean house and start over. Get them all out of there and lets stop this country from flying off the cliff like some Thelma and Louise freakfest.

gina4 on October 26, 2009 at 1:08 AM

This isn’t a One size fits all society.

AnninCA on October 25, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Which is why liberalism and big govt solutions ALWAYS fail.

MarkTheGreat on October 26, 2009 at 8:35 AM

So if Doug Hoffman winds up splitting the GOP vote and helps elect Bill Owens what will have been learned here?

Boxy_Brown on October 25, 2009 at 4:31 PM

That Democrats gain when Republicans nominate Democrats.

MarkTheGreat on October 26, 2009 at 8:36 AM

Add on a few reasonable term limits, and we’d have some real reform.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on October 25, 2009 at 8:47 PM

One more change.
Return to the system where state legislatures appoint senators.

MarkTheGreat on October 26, 2009 at 8:40 AM

beachgirlusa on October 25, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Certainly can’t disagree with Paglia on those two issues. Actually, she’s spot on about a number of conservative positions, though she’s a true liberal, by her own admission.

If more were like her, we could actually have a civil discourse.

TXUS on October 26, 2009 at 8:47 AM

The NRCC cannot with with Scozzafava. The Hoffman camp feels (quite rightly) that it is better to elect a conservative Democrat than a left-wing Republican, so they have no motivation to drop out. Hoffman will draw enough votes to ensure, at a minimum, a Democrat victory, which they rightly see as the second-best result.

Of course, the best result is a Hoffman victory. That may still happen. But the worst result is a Scozzafava victory. Not only will she be a reliable vote for the Democrats on every point that matters, but whe will cause the House Republicas to tie themselves into knots trying to keep her on the reservation. Better a reliable Democrat in front of us than a stealth Democrat to our rear.

gridlock2 on October 26, 2009 at 9:52 AM

AWESOME post Dr. Z!

This man is definitly not a “Beta Male”.

pseudonominus on October 26, 2009 at 10:26 AM

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