VIDEO: Hundreds of New York Tea Party Activists Vow to ‘Take Our Country Back’
posted at 12:32 am on February 16, 2010 by The Other McCain
Monday’s conference was also covered by the White Plains Journal-News:
NANUET — Organizers estimated more than 450 people attended the Blueprint for Change conference today sponsored by the newly-formed Rally for America at the Comfort Inn. . . .
While some who attended said they were concerned about America and its direction under President Obama, several said it was the overall actions of government, on the local, state and federal levels, that attracted them to the conference. They cited overspending, overtaxing and a government that had grown far too large as the main issues concerning them. . . .
You may have noticed that the TV news video reported that the conference organizers were collecting petition signatures to qualify an independent Tea Party for the ballot, an angle also covered by the Los Angeles Times today in a story that misrepresents the NY23 campaign by Doug Hoffman in last year’s special election:
Many Republican Party leaders have welcomed [Tea Party involvement in local GOP organizations], particularly because they worried that the energy driving the tea party movement might create a third party that would split the conservative vote.
That scenario played out in New York’s 23rd Congressional District in a special election last year, a cautionary tale in Republican circles because it led to a Democrat capturing a longtime GOP House seat.
That’s bass-ackward. As has been extensively chronicled (see Michael Patrick Leahy’s TCOT reports here and here), the national and New York state GOP officials were warned before they handpicked Dede Scozzafava that the ACORN-backed RINO would not be endorsed by the state’s Conservative Party. In any close election in New York, support from the Conservative Party is essential to Republican candidates, as the Conservative line usually adds 5% or more in the multi-party balloting. Without the Conservative endorsement, Scozzafava was doomed to defeat from the day she was picked by GOP insiders.
Furthermore, the Hoffman campaign strategy was based on winning a plurality in a three-way contest, and polls showed them well on their way to that goal until Scozzafava dropped out the Saturday before Election Day and endorsed the Democrat, Bill Owens. This startling betrayal by the GOP candidate was the only reason Hoffman fell about 3,000 votes short of winning. From start to finish of the NY23 campaign, then, the Republican Party was exclusively responsible for electing the Democrat.
Any attempt to foist blame for the Democratic victory in NY23 onto Hoffman and his supporters is a willful perversion of the actual history of that campaign.
Too many people let themselves be sucked into this bogus storyline of third-party conservative candidates helping elect Democrats, an irrational fear promoted with equal fervor by GOP operatives and the MSM. So long as the Republican Party nominates conservative candidates and promotes conservative policies, the third-party threat is irrelevant.
The failures of George H.W. Bush, not Ross Perot, were responsible for the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, and Clinton certainly would have beaten the hapless Bob Dole in ’96 even without Perot on the ballot. As in all such instances, scapegoating the third-party candidate (and third-party voters) serves mainly to exculpate the GOP for its own policy and political failures.
If you look at what happened in the Massachusetts Senate special election, Republican primary voters wisely picked Scott Brown, a candidate who — while relatively moderate on some issues — was solidly conservative on the issues that mattered most, particularly his opposition to ObamaCare. This is far different than what happened in NY23, or what the National Republican Senatorial Committee has tried to do by prematurely endorsing Charlie Crist in Florida.
The real danger is when the GOP establishment plays favorites amd tries to circumvent the party’s rank-and-file by picking well-connected “insider” candidates. The establishment-insider pick is almost invariably less conservative than other Republican candidates for the nomination. This tendency is indicative of the timid, defensive attitudes (“Oh, we can’t take a chance with a right-winger“) that have prevailed in the upper echelons of the GOP for more than a half-century.
At some point, Republican leaders must stop fearing their own party’s conservative grassroots and stop blaming third-party scapegoats every time the GOP establishment botches a winnable election.