Why Moderate Republicans Should Dump Dede Scozzafava

Three candidates are vying for the NY-23 congressional seat, but only two have any business running for office. And GOP darling Dede Scozzafava ain’t one of ’em.

Conservatives have thrown their support to Doug Hoffman, a Republican running on the Conservative Party line, and he’s leading the race.  Now it’s time for moderates to dump Dede too.

Most of Hoffman’s supporters aren’t looking to “purge the party of anybody who doesn’t agree with us 100 percent,” as Newt Gingrich recently suggested.  In fact, my views on same-sex marriage are more in line with Dede Scozzafava’s than Doug Hoffman’s.  But moderate Republicans need to understand that the huge show of support for Hoffman isn’t just about wedge issues and ideological purity tests. And it isn’t a referendum on big tent ideals.

It’s about rejecting a piss poor candidate who heartily embraced the use of thuggish Castroite tactics to intimidate and silence a member of the press.  Whatever your views on social issues, that ought to be a deal breaker in America.

Dede Scozzafava cares more about her fleeting discomfort in the face of tough questions than she does about liberty and the First Amendment rights of a reporter.  That’s why her husband, a local union boss, filed a false police complaint against Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack.

Here’s how the Scozzafava campaign described the encounter to Politico:

This self-described reporter repeatedly screamed questions (in-your-face-style) while our candidate was doing what she is supposed to be doing: speaking with voters (remember, those who will decide this election?). And then he followed the candidate to her car, continuing to carry on in a manner that would make the National Enquirer blush. I have no doubt he intended to follow her home, too. His actions were reprehensible. Those are the facts.

While Scozzafava denies that calling the police was her suggestion, she expressed her support for the decision.  “I’m not going to be physically intimidated or threatened,” she said. “He has every right to ask questions, but he doesn’t have a right to ask them in the manner that he did last night.”

An audio recording later confirmed that the Scozzafava campaign lied about reporter John McCormack’s style of questioning:

In the audio recording of the reporter’s questioning played for The Associated Press by McCormack, the reporter didn’t raise his voice, but repeated his unanswered questions several times, including one about abortion.

Dede Scozzafava’s casual disregard for the crucial role of a free press is unforgivable.  It is a weakness that cannot be tolerated in public officials.

As if that isn”t enough to undermine Scozzafava’s appeal, don’t forget that she favors federal card check legislation and supported the President’s stimulus package.  You remember the stimulus, that $787 billion boondoggle that has created or saved a grand total of 656 jobs for Scozzafava’s home state. She also voted for tax increases over fiscal restraint often enough that her Democratic opponent is attacking her record on taxes.  According to John McCormack:

She won’t say if her no-taxes pledge means she’d oppose a health care bill that raises taxes. She refuses, in fact, to say how she’d vote on a comprehensive health care bill. And this summer her husband was in discussions with Democratic leaders about her potentially running as a Democrat for the seat she is now seeking as a Republican.

Exactly how would her election be a boon for the Republican Party?

Scozzafava has garnered the blessing of the Republican establishment and endorsements by heavy hitters like Newt Gingrich. Even after the false police report debacle, the GOP and Gingrich haven’t backed down.  They’re operating under the bizarre notion that continuing to dig will somehow get them out of the colossal hole they’ve created.

It’s time to put down the shovel because they’re dead wrong.

No laundry list of cherry-picked conservative credentials enumerated by Newt Gingrich will make Scozzafava less of a bully or more of a Republican.  Even Scozzafava’s far left supporter Markos Moulitsas may want to rethink his endorsement.

So let’s postpone the philosophical discussions about the relative merits of third parties and make sure Dede Scozzafava stays put in the New York state asssembly.  As reliably Republican as I am, when it comes to the NY-23 race I think those disenchanted Hillary supporters had it right: Party Unity My Ass.

Comments

One Response to “Why Moderate Republicans Should Dump Dede Scozzafava”

  1. theblackcommenter on October 27th, 2009 11:42 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree. It is stunning to me that the Republican Party nationally continues to flatly ignore the voices of the people on the ground in order to back piss poor candidates like Scuzzyfozzy or whatever her name is

Leave a Reply