Rightbloggers Get a Scalp, and Perhaps a Party, in NY-23
"Look for Hoffman to garner most of Scozzafava's Independent and GOP support," said Right Klik. "Give her credit for not wanting to play the spoiler," said Brain Droppings. "Scozzafava Quits NY Race For Hoffman... Nothing became Ms. Scozzafava's campaign like the leaving it," said Sweetness & Light.
Despite calling Scozzafava a "moderate/liberal" and a "Republican hack," The Patriots Pen declared her leaving "should put Doug Hoffman in an excellent position to win the seat." "From the look of the polls," said Manly's Republic, "it appears that Obama-style Democrat oligarchy is going to get it's collective ass kicked back to Karl Marx's grave in London."
The Susan B. Anthony List, which had slammed Scozzafava as an "abortion radical," now praised her "courage and strength" and called for a Hoffman victory. Even the Dump Dede site, which had denounced the former candidate as an "ACORN-backed, Working Families Party-endorsed liberal," turned gentle, commending her for "recognizing that the truly good thing to do is to bow out. It takes a certain level of humility to do so and I'm glad that she listened to the constituents."
RNC Chair Michael Steele called her suspension "a selfless act" and ported his Committee's support to Hoffman. Too late, though, as far as rightbloggers were concerned: "The GOP Establishment Must Be Purged," Erick Erickson said, telling conservatives "instead of packing up and fleeing the GOP, we should launch a coup and take it back." Underground Conservative agreed: "The next thing is for the conservatives to take back control of the Republican Party -- with a purge."
"For the Republicans who consider themselves conservative and still endorsed Scozzafava," said Proud Conservative, "let this be a lesson to you. We are done with the RINOs... You want us back? Start supporting the conservative candidates."
But on Sunday Scozzafava -- perhaps figuring she had nothing to lose, and seeking a last bit of revenge on the folks who drummed her out of the race -- threw her support to Owens.
Rightbloggers affected to be outraged that the candidate they'd been persecuting for weeks failed to support the party they had taken over.
"The Republican Party spent $900,000.00 to help her and this is how she repays them," cried Erickson.
"Once again, RiNOs attampt to screw over the conservatives when they can't have their way," said The Saloon.
"Confirmed: Dede Scozzafava is a DIABLO," cried Darleen Click, denouncing "Fascist Leftists like Valerie Jarrett" who "would have you believe Dede was a 'moderate Republican' and Hoffman's rising popularity is due to Republican Party leadership 'becoming more and more extreme, and more and more marginalized.'" Where would anyone get that idea?
Conspiracy theories were floated. "No word yet on what sort of payoff Scozzafava will get for her whoring herself out to the American Marxist Left," said the Jawa Report. "What Kind of Job Did the White House Promise Scozzafava?" asked Top Conservatives on Twitter.
New derisive names were invented: "Trojan Horse Scozzafava" (The Reaganite Republican), "Petty prick" (This Ain't Hell), "Dumb Dede" (Fire Andrea Mitchell), "One Bad Cup of Scuzzy Java" (Invincible Armor), etc.
"I hope she enjoys her new party," said Don Surber. "Hey, maybe she can take some of her RINO supporters with her."
We suppose that's the idea, but whether she can bring enough of them soon enough to elect Owens remains to be seen. What is clear is that rightbloggers, and their high-profile patrons, are not just committed to keeping the Republican Party ideologically pure -- they've got the pull to do it, even in districts where moderate Republicans used to win elections. It's certainly some kind of victory. But it will take a few more election days to find out exactly what they've won.