Steele on Hoffman’s defeat: It was a botched process

posted at 8:18 pm on November 4, 2009 by Allahpundit

A rare point of agreement between him, Huckabee, and Rush Limbaugh: If only NY-23 had had a primary, all this unpleasantness would have been avoided. Maybe, maybe not. Ace and I have been arguing by e-mail about whether the third-party dynamic being championed by Beck is merely a bluff to scare the GOP into moving right (Ace’s theory) or whether GB and his fans are serious when they say they’ll no longer vote for the lesser of two evils (my theory). Certainly primaries are a better way to handle intraparty warfare than third-party challenges, but they’re not perfect. My sense of the looming Crist/Rubio battle in Florida is that it’s going to get nasty and that Crist will likely end up being just as demonized as the eventual Democratic nominee, if not more so. And if that happens — and Crist wins the primary anyway — I’m not sure how the fences end up being mended in time for a unified party-line vote in the general election. It’s hard to go from “this guy’s a scumbag RINO who’s no better than the Democrats who are destroying the country” to “this guy represents most of my interests” in a few months. I don’t know what the solution is to that, but I think Ace is smart in trying to build bridges between “pragmatists” and “maximalists” long in advance. The nastier things get, the more likely hardcore supporters in the primary loser’s camp end up staying home for the general, and the more likely a Democratic Congress becomes. Click the image to watch.

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The thing is that a lot of these rinos build up their “80% ally” rating by voting with the party to keep up appearances when their vote won’t determine the outcome.

Buddahpundit on November 4, 2009 at 10:34 PM

I agree. I’m quite willing to argue with them about votes and positions. But when Republicans who are less conservative than me actually get elected, I’m very reluctant to simply kick them out of the party.

Loxodonta on November 5, 2009 at 1:41 AM

NY 23 is EXACTLY what you get when the DNC elects a fraud like Michael Steele.

nelsonknows on November 5, 2009 at 2:34 AM

Ok….the I hope you the Democrats being in power for a long while.

terryannonline

As opposed to what, having the democrats(R) in power a long time?

Sheesh, your logic makes so little sense you couldn’t even type it out properly.

xblade on November 5, 2009 at 4:42 AM

Steele can be unbearably naive sometimes. Why does he have to concede Axelrod’s talking point on national tv that yesterday’s wins in VA and NJ were not a rejection of Obama policies? If that’s what he believes, fine, but give us a break, Michael, don’t gratuitously concede it on national tv.

petefrt on November 5, 2009 at 5:11 AM

It’s important to remember that NY is the ideal state for a challenge like Hoffman’s. Not only do you see plenty of parties, even in local elections, you sometimes see a candidate on multiple party lines. The same candidate may appear on Republican and Conservative tickets, for example. The line you chose when voting determines not only the candidate but where the line will appear on the ballot in future elections.

njcommuter on November 5, 2009 at 5:39 AM

Let me guees, sending money to the RNC is the recommended solution!

mossberg500 on November 5, 2009 at 6:21 AM

Steele went on to suggest that the process by which DeDe Scozzafava was selected was a flawed one.

Was DeDe the only person who showed up the day that she was selected to run? A little background work on a candidate and how they would represent their constituants should be in order if $1 Million is thrown in the ring from the RNC.

yoda on November 5, 2009 at 6:38 AM

Certainly primaries are a better way to handle intraparty warfare than third-party challenges, but they’re not perfect. My sense of the looming Crist/Rubio battle in Florida is that it’s going to get nasty and that Crist will likely end up being just as demonized as the eventual Democratic nominee, if not more so. And if that happens — and Crist wins the primary anyway — I’m not sure how the fences end up being mended in time for a unified party-line vote in the general election. It’s hard to go from “this guy’s a scumbag RINO who’s no better than the Democrats who are destroying the country” to “this guy represents most of my interests” in a few months.

Not that I want to model anything after the Democrats, but they do this all the time. Look at Clinton vs. Obama. Bill and Hill were foursquare behind Obama after the primary and I think they both probably liked McCain more, personally. The Right kept talking about the Democrats who would never vote for Obama after beating Hillary. It didn’t happen, they all fell in line by the time the election rolled around.

Republicans should stop being afraid of tough, hard fought primaries. One of the things Obama’s election should have taught Republicans is that airing a large portion of the dirty laundry to a generally friendly crowd is much easier then allowing the opposition party to do it with the general population. Then with the Democrat brings up the same issues in the general the eventual nominee will have had time to come up with answers or counter arguments.

drocity on November 5, 2009 at 6:39 AM

Let me guees, sending money to the RNC is the recommended solution!

mossberg500 on November 5, 2009 at 6:21 AM

You hit the nail, on the head. Remington 870 here

Jeff from WI on November 5, 2009 at 7:40 AM

that Crist will likely end up being just as demonized as the eventual Democratic nominee, if not more so.

crist is already doing that all by himself. He went on cnn and lied last night, his main campaign radio spot is dishonest and misleading. Rubio has barely started even advertising his campaign. crist is, and has always been, a dishonest, say anything, creepy little liberal. The national spotlight will expose him. A lawyer I know who deals with government all the time has been in meetings that crist attended over the years and she says he is mind boggling dumb. If elected to the senate he will go to washington and be having dinner in the white house within two weeks. He will turn out worse then snowe and collins. He is lincoln chaffee on steroids.

peacenprosperity on November 5, 2009 at 7:43 AM

they all fell in line by the time the election rolled around.

Don’t count on it in Florida. crist winning the nomination could be disastrous to all republicans on the ballot on election day. Conservatives have had martinez and crist and mccain forced on us here in Florida and having crist forced on us again by the nrc may significantly effect the conservative turnout at the polls hurting all republicans. The nrc has got another rino, smith from maine, to jump into the primaries here to take conservative votes away from Rubio. smith is not a conservative, he was a “maverick” along with mccain and was often a problem for the republican caucus. I’d bet the house the nrc is behind his candidacy hoping he’ll hurt Rubio.

peacenprosperity on November 5, 2009 at 7:51 AM

Mark me down on the side of no longer voting for the lesser of two evil category. I have been stating the same thing to the RNC and every other “conservative” solicitation I receive in the mail. I cover their letter with my opinions written in red, and send it back to them in their pre-paid envelope.
Dear “Leaders”, if you want my vote, then represent me. Don’t just give me lip service to get the vote and then not only ignore me, but insult me? To hell with you.

JeffinOrlando on November 5, 2009 at 7:54 AM

DeDe Scozzafava a $900K backed Republican!!?? She’s not worthy of picking up the horse crap on Reagan’s ranch.

Jeff from WI on November 5, 2009 at 8:02 AM

Steele, stop being the party’s token window dressing and actually LEAD.

Jeff from WI on November 5, 2009 at 8:06 AM

We ARE serious. And come election time, it’ll be the duty of republicans to come over and join us to defeat the libs so ya’ll don’t split the vote.

hogfat on November 5, 2009 at 8:13 AM

I hope Ace follows these comments so he’ll know whose theory is correct.

Allahpundit on November 4, 2009 at 8:30 PM

That would only be true if active HotAir posters are reflective of the conservative movement in general.

MarkTheGreat on November 5, 2009 at 8:22 AM

Should I vote for a Republican that I agree with 20% of the time, or the Democrat that I agree with 10% of the time, or just say the h#!! with it and stay home.

MarkTheGreat on November 5, 2009 at 8:25 AM

Should I vote for a Republican that I agree with 20% of the time, or the Democrat that I agree with 10% of the time, or just say the h#!! with it and stay home.

MarkTheGreat on November 5, 2009 at 8:25 AM

LOL..and watch the “Barry” Show on every station, at least twice a week.

Jeff from WI on November 5, 2009 at 8:29 AM

I can’t blame Michael Steele for the debacle in NY-23. It’s Dede Scozzafava, (a Democrat-in-RINO-clothing), and the eleven people who selected her who are at direct fault.

Steele was caught between our federalist principle of Self-Determination at the local level and job responsibility for funding Republican candidates. He chose correctly, albeit less than creatively.

We can no longer compromise on core principles. Politicians who are willing to twist the meaning of our Constitution like a taffy-pull at the county fair in order to win populist support will no longer be tolerated. It’s too late for that. The wolf is at the door and Fascism looms.

If Crist can’t display a basic knowledge of core principles and a willingness to strictly adhere to Constitutional governance… then HE is the one making a choice to plunge his state into chaos. The RINO commits a fraud upon us. The RINO is an identity thief, running under a banner that is not his own.

Two honest Republicans should be fully capable of competing against each other civilly, because even in opposition on certain issues, they are unified by common values. We do not ask that they share one opinion on social issues. All we ask is that they prove their unwavering commitment to tackle these issues constitutionally.

If people like Charlie Crist, Lindsay Graham, and Dede Scozzafava are unwilling to make that commitment, then it is they, not us, who fail the party. They can point fingers all they like, complain about our disdain for “moderates”, refer to us as “purists”… but there is no moderation possible when it comes to adherence to the U.S. Constitution. You either embrace it, or you don’t.

Murf76 on November 5, 2009 at 9:07 AM

I’m not sure how the fences end up being mended in time for a unified party-line vote in the general election. It’s hard to go from “this guy’s a scumbag RINO who’s no better than the Democrats who are destroying the country” to “this guy represents most of my interests” in a few months

Obama seemed to do okay after months of attacking Hillary – even liked her enough to put her in his Cabinet. /

Why can’t the RINOs “suck it up” and get behind a conservative candidate like they keep telling us to do?

katiejane on November 5, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Mike get a talk show, run for office, or sell insurance, but leave fund raising to serious people.

Angry Dumbo on November 5, 2009 at 10:58 AM

This is more flawed logic. Newt contended he supported Dede because we needed to get a “conservative majority” back in congress. Well, you do not get a conservative majority if you elect people who are patently liberal. This comes down to a lack of principle. Look at Palin, the reason people like her is that there is never any doubt where she stands on an issue. I understand that type of principled clarity can be risky for a politician, but if you are guided by your principles, your actions become clear. it is what people like about Reagan and people like Jesse Helms. You may have disagreed with or disliked Jesse, but you never had to wonder what side of the issue he was going to come down on.

pgrossjr on November 5, 2009 at 11:27 AM

What makes you think that Crist is the one who’ll get savaged in Florida? Rubio will have Crist’s people and the Dems coming at him in the primary. It seems more likely that Rubio will be (and HAS been) the target of unfair smear tactics.

The Dems fear the conservatives more than they do the RINOs, I expect alliances like Scoza/Owens to be more common.

Jason Coleman on November 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM

I’ve lived a long time. Sometimes to get an elephant’s attention you need to slug him with a two-by-four! This is what the republican party needs. I’m with Beck. Don’t tell me I’m throwing my voice away by voting for somebody who represents my interests and values. If that dilutes the officially backed republican’s vote, then the party is going to be in the wilderness for a long, long time. It’s time for the RINOs to move out and join up with the socialists. If what’s left is something solid to build on over the next few years, then so be it.

kens on November 5, 2009 at 12:37 PM

I wish they’d just replace Steele with Sarah Palin and things would work themselves out.

darwin-t on November 5, 2009 at 1:19 PM

The Dems fear the conservatives more than they do the RINOs, I expect alliances like Scoza/Owens to be more common.

Jason Coleman on November 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM

So true. Soros gave to a group called the Mainstreet Republicans a few years back. His contributions are not so easily tracked these days, but I am sure he is pushing RINOs as a cost effective strategy to split the Republican Party.

Angry Dumbo on November 5, 2009 at 1:28 PM

The reason they keep losing is because the establishment picks moderates/liberals within the GOP that end up alienating the base.

The reason the GOP won back NJ and VA is because the candidates focused on the right message – lower taxes, less-intrusive government, and more sensible solutions. I know…I saw the VA ads for months.

My state delegate GOP candidate entered the race 47 days before the election, and won 40% of the vote. If he, like Hoffman, had had more than 2 months to campaign, I honestly think they’d have won.

If the RNC, at all levels, doesn’t learn to butt out & let voters (or at least anyone interested in joining the selection process, like VA has…anyone can go to the convention in May who applies in time) decide who they want, we’re going to continue to have this problem.

I am no longer going to hold my nose & vote…I’ve done that too many times. I now look at the candidate’s voting record, what they stand for, and what grade they get from the NRA. If they don’t have an A regarding my 2nd Amendment rights, then they DON’T get my vote. Period.

Miss_Anthrope on November 5, 2009 at 1:42 PM

The thing is that a lot of these rinos build up their “80% ally” rating by voting with the party to keep up appearances when their vote won’t determine the outcome.

Buddahpundit on November 4, 2009 at 10:34 PM

Exactly correct. I call them the “55 Percenters” as long as there is overwhelming advantage either way they’ll vote Republican. As soon as it’s a very close nail biter and we need their vote, they find a reason to reach across the aisle and vote Democrat.

No Thanks!

RJL on November 5, 2009 at 4:13 PM

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