Cross posted at Freedom Defended
This installment is one of the more important ones, even though it deals mostly with minor players. This is the one that puts the lie to two very prevalent media myths about NY-23. See The Other McCain‘s excellent write up about Frank Rich and the media’s misrepresentation of NY-23.
The first myth is that the revolt in the GOP in NY-23 was about purity. To hear the media tell it, the Rush Limbaughs, Fred Thompsons, Erick Ericksons and Sarah Palins of the party want to kick out anyone that is not a strict conservative idealogue. The second myth was that it was all about the social issues, that the only reason Dede was unacceptable was because she was pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. How then do they explain the support from the following?
Tim Pawlenty – Minnesota’s two term Republican governor is one of a few likely 2012 Presidential hopefuls. In 2006, when Gil Gutknecht lost in CD-01, Mark Kennedy lost the Senate bid, Mary Kiffmeyer lost the Secretary of State office, and races up and down the ticket went badly for Republicans, Tim Pawlenty won reelection. Tim Pawlenty is not a liberal, but his positions on several issues, especially cap and trade, have made conservatives angry with him. Tim Pawlenty is really a true GOP moderate, he is right of center, but not overly so. Clearly his Presidential aspirations spurred him to get involved in NY-23, but even as a moderate, he was comfortable backing Doug Hoffman.
George Pataki and Rudy Giuliani – Both George Pataki and Rudy Giuliani gain no favor from pro-life groups for their pro-choice stances. Considering their positions in New York state and New York city politics respectively, a pro-choice view is not surprising. How is it that these two pro-choice politicians would line up behind Doug Hoffman, an unrepentant pro-life candidate, in a race that is supposed to be about ideological purity? The answer is simple, Dede Scozzafava was so far to the left that she was simply not acceptable even to Republican politicians with somewhat moderate views.
Dick Armey – In 2006, he made headlines for slamming social conservatives for being a problem in the GOP caucus. To his credit, he was not so much saying that social conservatives are bad, but that they were betraying limited government in favor of the social conservative issues. That is a debate left for a different time. What we have is Dick Armey, who clearly does not feel the social issues are the important ones, not only endorsing Doug Hoffman, but traveling to NY-23 to campaign on his behalf.
The Doug Hoffman campaign was a model we need to emulate in every race in the nation. Not the left wing crazy GOP candidate nor the third party conservative, but the coming together of Republicans of varying levels of conservative commitment to oppose the liberal agenda of Nancy Pelosi. NY-23 was the most unusual congressional race in a generation, but we can learn much by looking at it clearly.
Next up: The final installment in the unlikely backers series, and the one you did not expect and do not want to miss.