Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who was disloyal in NY-23?

There's been some back and forth over the loyalties of various Republicans in New York's 23rd congressional district. I argued the other day that those who pushed Scozzofava -- the GOP's legitimate nominee -- out of the race to back someone who turned out to be unelectable were being disloyal to their party. I've heard others saying that Scozzofava was the disloyal one. After all, she dropped out and then endorsed the Democrat.

Over at the Monkey Cage, David Karol has a smart post on this topic. Says David,
I can also see how conservatives... would think that Scozzafava’s endorsement of Owens vindicates their attack on her in retrospect, but for politicians politics is often quite personal. Scozzafava is understandably embittered and her endorsement does not show that she would not have been a real Republican, albeit a moderate, had she been elected to the House. Her decade of service in Albany would seem to be more probative than her lashing out in anger following the extraordinary treatment she received. More speculatively, it seems less likely that she would have endorsed the Democrat had she simply been defeated in a GOP primary.
This sounds right to me. I try to put myself in Scozzofava's shoes. If a party had nominated me for a congressional seat, but then others in the party said they liked someone else and then publicly trashed my name, I think I'd be more than a bit pissed. And given a choice between endorsing the guy who replaced me and endorsing a moderate from the other party who's a lot closer to me on the issues, I might think about the guy from the other party.

Oh, and credit where credit is due, David was pushing the NY-23 race as an interesting example of internal party strife long before most other political observers (including me) were. Good on ya, mate.

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