Chris Stirewalt at the Examiner draws a great parallel between the Obama/Clinton primary last year and why a Conservative/Republican streetfight will be a boon for our chances in 2010 and 2012, rather than the detriment Democrats so desperately wish it to be.
Obama beat Clinton for the same reason that Hoffman may win in upstate New York. He offered an authentic, passionate vision of his party’s core principles and did it in a way that didn’t make moderates uncomfortable.
I'm not sure exactly what makes "modeates uncomfortable". Is it that Doug Hoffman just looks comfortable? Is it that he's relatively soft-spoken? I don't know, but I wonder whether making moderates uncomfortable is what Frum/Noonan are really worried about. Hmmm...
Anyway, aside from that question, Stirewalt is right. It is the republican establishment that drives conservatives away, rather than the reverse. We are the base here, not them. Picking Dede was exactly the reason the tea parties happened this summer and why they culminated in D.C. on 9/12, with an overwhelming presence of signs demanding an end to legacy politics. The fact that Doug Hoffman not only has a chance but is leading considerably only proves that that sentiment is far more widespread than Democrats and liberals would have you believe.
The question becomes then whether my prediction that for every one moderate/independent we lose because of a Doug Hoffman, two Independent/Conservatives will take their place because of a Doug Hoffman, is accurate. There's no real way to quantify my theory, but the polls certainly seem to have borne out this approach.
Complaining about the pressure from conservatives, James Ellis, one of the party chairmen who picked Scozzafava, told the New York Times, “It’s a detriment to democracy.” Since when did democracy consist of 11 party hacks meeting at Sergi’s Italian Restaurant in Potsdam?
Yeh, since when the hell did that happen? Another action alert of sorts that was brought to my attention by a gentleman who commented on one of my earlier pieces, is that Conservatives need to crash the party chairmen regime and crash it hard. Go here for information on his plan to make Conservatives the nominators in local parties nationwide. The "Precinct Project" is a wonderful idea and something in which many of us can participate without having to commit the time needed for actually running for office.
Republicans such as Ellis and Gingrich think the Obama team is right that Hoffman’s success spells trouble for next year. They think conservatives will take over the party and drive out moderates.
But the lesson of the Obama ascendancy is that an enthusiastic base coupled with a reasonable-sounding candidate can win elections.
That is indeed the lesson to be learned from all of this. David Frum won't learn it, but I am confident that millions more of us will. I happen to think "reasonable-sounding" is perhaps a bit too elitist itself, (I wonder whether Stirewalt thinks a Sarah Palin is "reasonable-souding"), but at least it gets the point that it is Conservatism that drives the GOP and that the sooner the establishment learns that the better.
On the other hand, I'm fully prepared to go to war with the GOP in 2010 and let the chips fall where they may. I for one think that the Obama ascendancy lesson will play out on a grand scale and we will reclaim the party and the Country in truly spectacular numbers.