Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Conservative anti-Republican ratfucking in NY-23

The title of Josh Kraushaar's post at Politico is wrong. It isn't Republicans who are engaging in dirty tricks -- i.e., ratfucking -- in NY-23, it's conservatives, and their target isn't the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens, it's the Republican candidate, Dierdre "Dede" Scozzafava. These supporters of Conservative candidate and right-winger Doug Hoffman are trying to lure Republicans away from the Republican candidate:

A brand-new organization calling itself Common Sense in America is up with a major television ad buy in the New York special election, praising Republican Dede Scozzafava as the "best choice for progressives."

At first glance, the group's ad looks like it's an endorsement of Scozzafava. But it's a dirty trick engineered by Hoffman supporters, looking to render her unacceptable to many Republican voters by detailing her liberal position on gay marriage, support of President Obama's stimulus and connections to labor.

"On Tuesday, progressives have one candidate to vote for with pride: Dede Scozzafava," the ad says.

"Dede supports President Obama's efforts to stimulate our economy. Dede supports organized labor's drive to expand membership. And Dede is the only candidate for Congress who supports marriage equality. Dede Scozzafava: the best choice for progressives."

The group's presumed intent with the ad is to trick unsuspecting GOP voters into thinking Scozzafava is the choice of progressives so they will then support her Conservative party challenger, Doug Hoffman. Common Sense in America is spending about $150,000 on the ad buy, and it is up on broadcast and cable in all three media markets in the sprawling upstate New York district.

Are Republicans that stupid? Well, maybe, yes, but I don't find the ad to be that much of a dirty trick. While the ad overstates Scozzafava's support for liberal-progressive causes, it's fair, I think, to seek to portray her, and her views, as un-Republican.

What interests me here, though, is not so much the ad, however misleading it may be (and which you can watch at Kraushaar's post), but how this race has seemingly become the key battlefield on which the GOP civil war is being fought.

Scozzafava may not be suitably conservative for the Republican base, but she's a Republican nonetheless -- one who can actually win in states like New York, one who could help broaden Republican appeal among non-conservatives, one who could help reverse the narrowing course the increasingly extremist Republican Party has taken in recent years.

But, no. She might as well be an honest-to-goodness socialist given the venom conservatives are hurling at her. No wonder even the likes of Newt Gingrich are fed up. (Even Mitt Romney, sucking up ferociously to conservatives and the right-wing base, is staying out.)

The Great GOP Purge continues. Sit back and enjoy the show.

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  • Hmmmm. Kind of reminds me of the time when Ned Lamont challenged Joes Lieberman. Do you remember that?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:05 AM  

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