Hoffman loses to Owens!

Just a few minutes ago, Douglas Hoffman conceded the special Congressional election in upstate New York to Democrat William Owens. This is truly surprising, that after Hoffman’s insurgent Conservative candidacy forced the very liberal Republican Deirdre Scozzafava out of the race, and after the latter’s shocking endorsement of the Democrat Owens, which discredited her and confirmed everything her conservative critics had said about her, and after Hoffman surged 20 points ahead of Owens in at least one poll over the weekend—that after all this blazing drama, which had become a fixation of the national political class, Hoffman loses. Politics is as exciting and as filled with ups and downs as the World Series.

All is not lost, however. Let us remember what Stephen T. said earlier today: Hoffman is your standard, Cato-style conservative: against big taxes and spending, but in favor of unlimited Hispanic immigration and the legalization of illegal aliens.

- end of initial entry -

Tori D. writes from Kansas:

There is one thing I am good at, and that is predicting political weather patterns. I have an uncanny knack to figure out what is going on, or what will be going on in the future, in politics, if I follow my instincts. I have been posting on Twitter tonight that I believed Hoffman’s (NY-23) downfall was related primarily to the endorsement of Sarah Palin which I believe may have irritated independents. The other thing that may have doomed him was his immigration position which many people would find distasteful in the tea party and 912 movement. I organized a large tea party rally here in Topeka, Kansas and after healthcare, illegal immigration was the most important issue to these people. [LA replies: Hoffman only conceded in the last 45 minutes. Are you saying that you were predicting he would lose, before the returns were in?]

On the Internet, I was the first person to come up with the Palin theory and I believe that in the future it would behoove Republicans/Conservatives not to seek out her endorsement, nor encourage it. Her conservative bona fides are iffy at best. A true conservative could never have sold out the way she did with McCain in the last election. If I were she, and the McCain people had told me to go along with that global warming baloney, I would have told them I could never sell my soul that way. Apparently she could and I can’t respect that.

I am a 39 year old homeschooling mother of four who is a lifelong conservative first and Republican second. I would appear to be a big Palin fan if you just looked at me through sheer demographics, but I can’t forgive her for many of her transgressions when she ran with McCain.

People are as blind about her as they were about Newt Gingrich. Someday, let’s hope not too late, they will see her for what she is. There are things I like and dislike about her but I don’t see her as an authentic intellectual conservative.

I think Palin doomed Hoffman the way Obama doomed Corzine in New Jersey. Independents don’t seem affected by endorsements, other than for negative reasons at this stage of the game.

LA replies:

This is very interesting, and also hopeful from a traditionalist point of view. After all, while some VFR readers have been Palin supporters, I’ve been very critical of her (though also seeing her good sides and defending her when she was treated unfairly), and I certainly do NOT see her as a positive future for the Republican party and conservatism. She’s a female George W. Bush. Think of the erotic hysteria of Lucianne Goldberg and many of her readers over Bush on the aircraft carrier, with the manly bulge of his flight suit (she still keeps regularly re-posting photos of the magical moment, six and half years later). Palin is the female equivalent of that, arousing fanatical and largely non-rational support from conservatives, when in most ways that count she’s not a conservative at all. With their combination of personal, patriotic allure and neoconservative ideology, the Bush-Palin types deflect most of the available conservative energy away from conservatism and toward a perverted form of patriotism that consists of bizarre universalist fantasies as a replacement for actual defense of our actual country.

As for your other reason why Hoffman lost, we have no idea if his open immigration stand was a factor in the refusal of upstate Republicans to vote for him. But isn’t it pretty to think so?

Jonathan W. writes:

You wrote:
All is not lost, however. Let us remember what Stephen T. said earlier today: Hoffman is your standard, Cato-style conservative: against big taxes and spending, but in favor of unlimited Hispanic immigration and the legalization of illegal aliens.

You have established pretty conclusively that the latter (unlimited Hispanic immigration) will inevitably lead to the former (big taxes and spending). Do the Cato conservatives truly believe that they can reverse this trend or do they simply not care, figuring that the big taxes and high spending will come later, after they are out of the public eye?

November 4

James N. writes:

Very, very interesting. The tea leaves are a little murky. A couple of things stand out:

1) Our Lady of Wasilla has very, VERY high negatives. This is unfair and speaks to the effectiveness of the leftist control of the propaganda machinery, but there it is. (I don’t think Laura W. and you are polled by those counting negative opinion).

2) The votes of RINOs matter.

3) The national GOP is under the control of closet Democrats.

4) A “trucon” has to have a platform which is substantive, other than “I’m a conservative.”

John W. writes:

I’m not sure that Tori D. is completely on target about Hoffman and Palin et al., because Scozzafava still got five percent of the vote. That’s five percent of the electorate that reflexively votes for the candidate with the R after his name. We have to remember that Hoffman came out of no-where running third party; a conservative mindset could tend to look skeptically at someone so new. I’m not sure that NY-23 is exposed to the same immigration woes as the rest of the country which might explain (but not excuse) his position. A serious question for Tori D.: Palin and Hoffrman aren’t perfect but, well, who out there is?

LA replies:

“A serious question for Tori D.: Palin and Hoffrman aren’t perfect but, well, who out there is?”

This is a false question, a red herring, which people constantly use to deflect and delegitimzie any criticism of their own position or candidate. No one has ever said, “I’m against Sarah Palin because she’s not perfect.” As for me, I’ve argued at length why I think she would not be good for conservatism or for our society. It’s bothersome to be told that I’m against Palin because she’s not perfect, which would make my position mindless, since of course no one is perfect. Did I oppose McCain because he was not perfect? No, I opposed him because he was on the opposite side of the issues that matter to me.

Tori writes:

I just assumed by reading the county numbers he could not pull it out. It was not numerically possible unless he won almost every absentee ballot, and no Democrat ever lets that happen, so I made an educated guess that he was going to lose.

There were four counties that the Hoffman campaign specifically targeted and stated they must do well in to win.. They knew before the election that if they did not get enough percentage of the votes in those areas that they could not conceivably win. As I watched the election returns come in last night on several websites, including the ones on the Watertown newspaper website as they came in, I realized that Hoffman wasn’t doing well in those key areas, he was not getting a high enough percentage of votes in those targeted areas to win. Which meant he was not going to win, period.

I knew he could not win by about 10:45 Central time. I was also watching blogs that I knew had people at their campaign headquarters and they were also concerned about the numbers. I just did my pre-election research so I knew what counties to watch ahead of time. I always do that and take notes before I watch out-of-state elections so I am knowledgable about the area and can deduce what is going on from precinct, to county, to state.

Tim W. writes:

Hoffman actually performed amazingly well for a candidate unknown to the electorate a month ago. He came within a few points of a heavily financed Democrat. He did this with the local GOP split and with a few percentage points going to the “official” GOP candidate, who was still on the ballot even though she had withdrawn and thrown her support to the Dem.

I doubt that Palin helped Hoffman any. She’s more like a cheerleader now. Voters don’t take her seriously since she walked out on her governorship. It would be best if she faded into obscurity, even though, as I’ve said before, I admire her in some ways.

The official Democratic party line will be that the GOP lost NY-23 because the Tea Party insurgents overthrew a “moderate” and then sent forth a “fire-breathing right-wing extremist” to face the “centrist” Democrat (who no doubt is a hardcore leftist). But the Democrats in Congress know better. They know that a candidate who can come within three or four points of winning a seat with only brief name recognition, on a minor party line with the official GOP candidate still on the ballot, would almost certainly have won a normal one-on-one campaign.

BTW, on another issue, same-sex “marriage” is now 0-31. Maine voters overturned the law enacted by their legislature recognizing such pairings as “marriages.” The entire political establishment and media were on the pro-homosexuality side, and that side outspent the traditional marriage defenders by a huge margin. But the traditional side prevailed. The media will still tell us, though, that proponents of same-sex “marriage” are moderates, while opponents are right-wing insurgent extremists.

LA replies:

Thank you for this excellent analysis that makes sense of the 23rd district race and its political significance. Yes, even though Hoffman lost, the fact that he came so close, given his liabilities, sends the same message to the political class as though he had won—namely that Republicans need to field more conservative, not more liberal candidates;, and, more to the immediate point, that Democrats in moderate districts who vote for Obamacare will be sent packing. And this message gets sent, without the election of a pro-amnesty Republican. So we’ve gotten the best of both worlds. I’m happy. Stephen T. should be happy.

Tori writes:

Here is the link on Hoffman and his stance on illegal immgration that Stephen T. also sent yesterday. It shows that some tea partiers knew Hoffman’s position on immigration and were likely disgusted by it. They are very savvy about these things. They are showing up in comment sections of articles. This article at the Spectator has a couple of comments criticizing Hoffman over immigration.

24AheadDotCom| 11.4.09 @ 1:13PM

I wrote to him a few days ago, pointing out that he was on the wrong side of an important issue. Oddly enough, I never heard back, and none of the reporters who were covering the election or the tea partiers in the area asked him about that issue in an attempt to drag him away from the ClubForGrowthAtAnyCost school.

Hint: it’s difficult to take on the corrupt Beltway establishment when you’re being a useful idiot for them.

24AheadDotCom| 11.4.09 @ 1:16PM

Here’s the email I sent using the form:

Aw, too bad about your loss. Maybe next time you “patriots” won’t support massive immigration at the same time as millions of Americans are out of work.

I will keep looking to see how many comments I can find. People are unhappy with the Club for Growth and see them as supporting cheap (illegal) immigrant labor over American workers who are experiencing unemployment in huge numbers. Here is the link:

Paul Mulshine of the Newark Star Ledger writes:

A friend of mine who worked on the Hoffman campaign said a lot of it had to do with retail politics. Hoffman is from Lake Placid and was unfamiliar with the issues in Watertown and other parts of the district far away on the Seaway. He apparently got hurt by his ignorance in the debate. Lake Placid is a small and charming mountain town, but not central to anything.

It’s a weird congressional district, kind of like a horseshoe, and, as in so many such districts, the far-flung sections lack common interests.

Also, Dede stabbed him in the back.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 04, 2009 12:52 AM | Send

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