Friday, October 23, 2009

The Oracle Of Wasilla: Cater The Base, Don't Court The Moderates

The votes of every member of Congress affect every American, so it's important for all of us to pay attention to this important Congressional campaign in upstate New York. I am very pleased to announce my support for Doug Hoffman in his fight to be the next Representative from New York's 23rd Congressional district. It's my honor to endorse Doug and to do what I can to help him win, including having my political action committee, SarahPAC, donate to his campaign the maximum contribution allowed by law.

Political parties must stand for something. When Republicans were in the wilderness in the late 1970s, Ronald Reagan knew that the doctrine of "blurring the lines" between parties was not an appropriate way to win elections. Unfortunately, the Republican Party today has decided to choose a candidate who more than blurs the lines, and there is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race. This is why Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party's ticket.
So wrote Sarah Palin, the Oracle of Wasilla, regarding the Congressional race in New York's 23rd district.  Quoting Ronald Reagan, like any good conservative, it appears Palin has taken the viewpoint held by many ultraconservatives that GOP candidate Dede Scozzafava is nothing more then a liberal in conservative clothing.  According to Palin, if one engages in the doctrine of "blurring the lines", one would lose the election, and apparently Doug Hoffman, Conservative Party candidate, does not.  He is a true conservative, but if Palin knew anything about elections, then she would realize that by splitting the ticket, and by using her highly publicized name to back a third candidate, she has effectively given the ticket to Democrats.  Palin seems to be a history buff, considering the frequency in which she evokes Reagan's name, so I'm sure she would love the reference of another prominent Republican who bucked the party to run on another ticket, and his name was Theodore Roosevelt, although many on the right are lumping him into the liberal/progressive movement, thus stripping the honor of having a "R" follow your name.

I'll spare the details of the actual party, but back in 1912, Teddy Roosevelt split with the Republicans after loosing to the Republican nominee William Howard Taft, forming the Progressive Party, better known as the Bull Moose Party.  Although I mentioned I would spare details of the party, I will say that it is interesting to note that when Roosevelt split with the Republican Party to support such changes as required health insurance in industry, social welfare legislation for women and children, and workers' compensation, Roosevelt beat out the Republicans in both the popular vote and the electoral college, although losing the election to Woodrow Wilson, with the fractionating of the Republican Party contributing to the Democrat's win.  The moral of this story is that Palin's public endorsement further chips away at the internal divisions within the GOP, and ensures that the Democrats will win the seat.  For a more recent example, Palin could research the presidential campaign of Ross Perot and George H. W. Bush's failed reelection bid, as well as his 1996 run under the Reform Party, or even looking across the aisle at Ralph Nader and the effect the Green Party had on the 2000 election for Democrats.

If history doesn't prove anything to Palin, what about numbers?  Democrat Bill Owens is ahead in the polls, leading Scozzafava by 4 points and Hoffman by 10 points, with Owens at 33%, Scozzafava at 29%, and Hoffman at 23%.  If you do the math, combining the moderate Republican and the independant conservative, they would beat out Owens by 9 points, but by splitting the ticket, their numbers have only gone down.  Two weeks ago, Owens was trailing the leader, Scozzafava was leading Owens by 7 points, with Hoffman still in third, with just 16%.  Right now, it appears that the unknown Hoffman is just siphoning off votes from the GOP.

Based on this, one should not fault Sarah Palin.  After all, she's a maverick, and choosing the rational and logical choice of promoting unity amongst the party members to help win an election and wrestle control away from those darn liberals would have been the Washington-insider business as usual way.  As I have predicted before, having Palin on the national scene is good fro politics, because her brand of idiocy will taint anything she touches, and maybe after she leaves her mark will the GOP realize the only way to win would be to become more moderate, not more conservative.  Court the moderates, don't cater the base.


  1. Kevin, I fear that the moderate wing of the Republican Party is an endangered species. The extremist base demands lock-step conformity with the regime and hounds moderates out of the party. That's is largely why, in my view, that 20% of those who identified themselves as Republicans just two months ago have left the party.

    In my reply to your most recent comment at Politics Plus, I suggested that you consider the 23rd District in New Your as an example of what ails the Republicans. Did you take my advice, or were we already on the same page?

  2. I had actually come across the article regarding Sarah Palin weighing in on the matter on the Huffington Post, but I would have to say I was on the same page as you. I would classify myself as such, a moderate Republican who has been alienated by the party because of the takeover by extremists, and I would make the argument that the Democratic Party had not moved farther left, but has broadened it's range to include former moderates from the right, although not all moderates would fit into this classification.

  3. Kevin, I think you are right on that. It's sad because there is no reason that people with differing views, like you and I, can't get along and exchange views in mutual respect.

  4. Don't you think Sarah, one of the top 50 or 100 politicians ever to come from Wasilla, Alaska, asked God before embarking on her great quest?

    Now, we all know she is on the honor system with regards to what answer she received...

  5. She may have asked God, but she probably heard one of the other voices in her head.


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