No Worries Jay, You’re Not Becoming A Conservative. It’s Just That Newt Is A Dirty Lib’ral Now

…and I thought “Bearded Spock Day” was over.

Then Jay Bookman has to go and say that Newt Gingrich is being REASONABLE?

These are frightening words to type, but … Newt Gingrich and I agree with each other.

Talking to Greta van Susteren last night on Fox, the former speaker noted that Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate in New York’s 23rd congressional district, had been chosen by county party leaders in that district to be the GOP’s nominee in next week’s special election.

Yet Republicans from outside that district are trying to overrule that choice as ideologically unsuitable and impose their own candidate on the district.

It’s O.K., Jay. We’re here to help you through this. You see, you haven’t become a conservative. According to many of my friends on Facebook, Gingrich has now become a dirty lib’ral. How’s that you say? Well, apparently he has the gall to support states rights and local control, in a state that doesn’t think like ours. What a commie.

Please Jay, please don’t try to remind me that me and my conservative friends ran several election cycles on the principle of federalism. You know, we didn’t really hate gays. We just want each state to be able to decide what’s appropriate for them and their gays. Abortion? STATES’ RIGHTS, JAY! Leave the federal government out of it. Let the states decide.

But you see Jay, those elections are sooo 2006. And well, those didn’t turn out so well for us. I mean, we’re still for states’ rights so long as it means we can declare Medicare unconstitutional. But now that we realize that New York may want their own ideas on abortion and teh gays, well, I think you understand. That just ain’t right.

So you see Jay, we’re not doing that whole neocon states’ rights stuff anymore. We should have never fallen for the version G. W. Bush tried to sell us. You know he was born in Connecticut don’t you? I mean, we were O.K. with him when we thought he was a Texan, but Connecticut? No. No. No.

So anyway Jay, I hope you understand that we really meant that we were for states rights, up until New Yorkers want to select a pro-gay, pro-choice person who supports the 2nd Amendment, and is against Obama Care and Cap & Trade. I mean, really, how did the NRA endorse her knowing that gay people might get equal hunting rights? Lord, at this rate, California might think it has the right to legalize pot.

So now we’re just for states rights when we can invoke them. I think we’re working on a special invokin’ amendment for that. It should be done soon. And once we pass that, we should be able to tell you which rights we think our state should have each time we commence an invokin.

So we understand that you were worried, but you see, Newt’s a RINO. He thinks we’re a bit misguided by letting them folks up in New York figure out what’s best for them. We’re gonna send him a strong message though. I mean, he was pretty good once, but now he’s got the squish all over him. I guess that’s what we get for letting a dude from Pennsylvania be a Speaker of the House from Georgia.

That won’t happen again. We’re keeping our states’ rights pure this time. It’s all about Georgia Jay. Newt doesn’t get that no more. So no worries. You and Newt can publicly go together to your socialist party meetings. None of us will think you are a conservative when we see you two together. This is a hill to die on Jay, and he’s dead to us.


  1. John Konop says:

    What I find bizarre is the Rush crowd supports Palin but rips Dede Scozzafava? It cannot be about real fiscal issues because the Rush crowd put us 11 trillion in the red and destroyed the economy. And when any conservative spoke up the Rush crowd went after them ie Joe Scarborough. From Joe Scarborough:Limbaugh put ‘testicles in a blind trust’ for Bush 8 Yrs. Please help me understand what you guys are for other than spewing hate?

    Also please help me understand was Palin right or wrong to put a windfall profit tax on oil companies?

    …..In 2007 Palin pushed for and enacted a major increase in state oil taxes – a step that generated stunning revenues for Alaska as oil prices soared. The Alaska Oil and Gas Association estimates the state collected $6 billion from Palin-imposed windfall taxes…..

    • ByteMe says:

      The whole talk radio phenomenon is about being “against” something rather than truly being “for” something. By being against, you automatically have a stronger audience connection, just because being against means you can go on and on about a topic and label those who disagree with you (again, being against) the enemy and there are a lot of people out there who need an enemy. Even if you’re ‘for” something, you have to find those who are “against” what you’re “for” and talk more about them. Just being “for” and not talking about who you are in conflict with is not entertaining enough to keep up the ratings.

      So why do you think conservative talk radio does better in ratings than liberal talk radio?

      • John Konop says:


        I agree with you. I think part of the reason is the consolidation of stations on radio has limited choices via signal problems. In our market you only have a few stations on AM with any reach.

        Now on Cable Olbermann has good ratings but I cannot watch that show it is just a long partisan rant like Fox shows.

        The problem is people like watching and listening to drive by car wrecks over shows like the late William F Buckley had, Bill Moyer…. which challenge you intellectually to think agree or not with them.

    • Holly says:

      Quite honestly, John, it’s because most people don’t know that much about Alaska, its government, or its terrain. What people know about Palin is the image that’s been created by the media or by those interested in promoting her image. There’s nothing wrong with that. Palin wanted (and got) a larger national profile, so it makes sense to “package” her in order to sell the image. It’s just funny to people like me who got to see her Alaska image before her national image that they’re often at odds.

    • Doug Deal says:

      What I find bizarre is the Rush crowd supports Palin but rips Dede Scozzafava?

      *Cough* abortion *cough*. *Cough* getting gays *cough*

      Sorry for the coughing fit John. It must be they are thinking about the True Conservative ™ issues, not something so totally triffling and unimportant as economics.

      • John Konop says:


        The liberals want all of us to marry gay people. Without the Rush crowd everyone would be gay. Are not all liberals gay? Please forget any data about this issue because with Rush it is all about how you feel about the issue. They are the policing America from everyone becoming gay.

  2. ChuckEaton says:

    I don’t have a problem with electing a moderate Republican from a moderate district, but Scozzafava doesn’t really seem to to have reached the moderate threshold. The district, while not as conservative as Westmoreland’s or Deal’s, appears to be able to elect someobdy more committed to Republican principles. I know she’s signed some pledges, but her record it fairly liberal.

    • ChuckEaton says:

      I think I voted for Forbes in the first 2000 GOP Primary and Bush in all subsequent elections. I voted for Bush becuase he was more conservative than Gore and Kerry.

      The problem with most of the states is they don’t have runoffs. Georgia gets it right. I’ve seen candidates for Congress and Senate, in other states, get elected with less than 40% of the vote and sometimes less than 30% in a primary. Keep in mind the knife cuts both ways.

      • John Konop says:


        How Bush more conservative than Gore or Kerry? BTW I did vote for Bush the first time and the second time I left it blank.

        No Child Left Behind


        Nation Building

        11 trillion in the red

        • GOPGeorgia says:

          GORE: “I proposed a prescription drug benefit under Medicare. You pick your own doctor and the doctor chooses the prescription and nobody can overrule your doctor. You go to your own pharmacy and Medicare pays half. If you’re poor, they pay all of it. If you have extraordinarily high costs, then they pay all over $4,000 out of pocket.”

          Source: St. Louis debate Oct 17, 2000

          Gore was in favor of no child to the point it was said Bush stole their idea.

          Nation build happened under Clinton as well. Anyone remember Bosnia?

          KERRY: “No Child Left Behind Act, I voted for it. I support it. I support the goals.”

          And for Medicare, Mr. Kerry wants to expand the new prescription drug benefit by eliminating the “donut hole” in insurance coverage. Do you remember that phrase? He wanted to expand Medicare much more than Bush.

          Kerry supported Clinton on nation building.

          I’m no fan on spending, but the records of Gore and Kerry suggest that they would have done far more damage.

  3. DTK says:

    I find it funny that Icarus insinuates that conservatives are somehow invading New York and trying to impose their preferences on the locals there.

    He completely ignores the fact that New York has a multiple party system, and the state’s Conservative Party has been at times a force in that state’s elections for decades. For instance, it elected Jim Buckley in 1970 and helped to run Jacob Javits out of the GOP in 1980 when it supported Al D’Amato.

    The GOP is a right-of-center party. The local New York GOP nominated a candidate many feel to be left-of-center on too many issues. Many conservatives in the district were upset and looked for another candidate; they settled on Doug Hoffman. The New York Conservative Party gave him its nomination. Polls show Hoffman is a viable candidate. National conservatives, therefore, have a choice: support a candidate you agree with on a most issues (Hoffman) or support a candidate that wears the same party label as you but whom you disagree with on a lot of issues (Scozzafaza). It does not help Icarus’ case to point out that this district in New York is a more moderate place than, say, Georgia. Why? Because the polls show Hoffman is a viable candidate that appeals to a good portion of the electorate in the district. He may not win, but he’s a serious candidate. People in the district are not wasting their vote if they cast one for Hoffman, and conservatives are not wasting their money if they give it to his campaign.

    So, if Icarus is making the point that national groups should stay out of local races all the time, then fine. But he’s not. He’s acting like it’s some affront for conservatives to back one of their own at the expense of costing the GOP a seat. Essentially, he’s arguing that party labels should trump ideology, and that’s just a very poor argument, but it’s one to be expected for someone who seems to enjoy carrying Sen. Isakon’s water all the time.

    • GOPGeorgia says:

      I don’t think that’s his point. I think his point was that it was Ok for Newt to back the person selected by the party at the local level. Republicans also believe in local control and the government (or party) closest to the people governs best.

      Before I take my smack down for this, I am just explaining a position. If I lived in NY, I would probably be voting for Hoffman. I have not looked at the race in detail because I don’t live there and I won’t be voting or sending money.

      JK, for the record I voted for W in 2000 and 2004. I was leaning towards E. Dole before she dropped out in the primary of 2000.

  4. Jeff says:

    What I find truly interesting is that the GOP appears to be copying the playbook of the anarchist wing of the LP with their “Free State Project”. Basically: Send thousands of new people to an area so that those thousands get to dictate to the people who have lived their entire lives there.

    • ByteMe says:

      To be fair, I don’t think it’s the “GOP” doing this, since the local GOP picked Dede. I think this is outside whack-wing noisemakers looking to get their face on TV.

  5. DTK says:

    I simply don’t understand why people are upset by this.

    Should not have pushed Ned Lamont as hard as it did in 2006 when he challenged Lieberman in the primary? Was the Club for Growth wrong when it pushed Pat Toomey against Specter in 2004?

    Outside groups always get involved in state and local races, when these races appear to have national implications. didn’t back Lamont because of who he was; they backed him to prove a point about pro-war politicians having no place in the Democratic Party. Likewise, the Club for Growth backed Toomey because of the right’s discontent over what it saw as profligate spending in the GOP, and Specter fit the bill as a good poster child of the problem.

    Here, we have a race that might also have national implications. Conservatives feel they were routed in 2006 and 2008 because they strayed from their conservative roots. Now, this is a debatable point, and the issue is certainly more complicated than the way the argument has been simplified. However, if conservatives want to test this theory in NY-23, why not let them do it?

    The only good argument against what’s going on is that outside, national groups should play no role whatsoever in local elections. But hardly anyone is making this point. Instead, we get handwringing over having a big tent party or letting local decisions lie.

    But the “big tent” theory is belied by the fact that Hoffman has a decent shot of winning, so there is no need to settle for a sometime-conservative in NY-23. And the “respecting local decisions” argument is weak since the people in the district did not choose Scozzafaza, since there was no primary. Instead, she was tabbed by the party apparatchik.

    • ByteMe says:

      I look at this as an intramural battle between different factions in the GOP and possibly a necessary step to finding their way out of the wilderness (but will you like the 2-lane highway you find when you get into the next clearing?).

      National implications? Only for the punditerati, since what plays well in one place often doesn’t play well at all in others.

  6. DTK says:

    Sure, it has national implications — on the politicians, that is.

    Let’s assume conservatives are successful in pushing Hoffman, and he wins. Conservatives will feel emboldened and will look at other opportunities to replace “squish” Republicans with rock-ribbed conservatives. We can argue with the merits of this position, but let’s just assume it’s a legitimate goal for a political faciton to have.

    Now, let’s assume you’re a moderate GOP incumbent. When a bill comes down the pike that conservatives support (or object to), what are you going to do? You’ll probably think long and hard before voting against the conservative position. After all, if they elected Hoffman in NY-23 when everybody said upstate New York is moderate territory, what could they do to you?

  7. DTK says:

    And it could also have implications on voters in other parts of the country too.

    If the conservative position is correct — that the GOP has lost recently because it offered a watered-down version of conservatism — then a Hoffman win would at least be some evidence that the theory is true.

    Here, Hoffman is running as an unalloyed conservative. Before this race heated up, virtually all pundits said this district is a moderate district. If he were to win, even if he took only 35 percent of the vote in a tight, three-way race, conservatives would try to use it as support for their position.

    We would, then, likely see more GOP politicians campaigning in “bold, primary colors” instead of “pale pastels”, as Reagan put it the last time the GOP was this far in the wilderness. And, according to the theory, we would see voters choosing conservative Republicans because of the inherent attractiveness of their positions.

    Now, I’m not sure how much I agree with this, but a lot of conservatives believe it. We’ll see how it plays out.

    • Doug Deal says:

      Here is a quote from an article I read today by Stuart Rothenberg for RealClearPolitics.

      In fact, Democrats might be better off were Hoffman to win the special election in New York. Yes, that outcome would prevent Democrats from expanding their House majority, but a Hoffman win might embolden the Club for Growth and encourage conservatives to take on other Republicans who aren’t entirely pure. And encouraging a bigger GOP civil war is something that could help Democrats win more than a single additional seat in the House.

      This is exactly what strategically deficient single issue “true conservatives” need to realize. Die on enough of these hills, and you do nothing more than guarantee more unchallenged single party rule and a Supreme Court guaranteed to be packed with Justices that can guarentee a long fruitful legacy for Obama.

      Third party voting in first past the post voting guarantees only one thing; the party most ideologically opposed to it wins.

      Why not try this crap in Georgia, with a majority vote requirement, where it might make sense?

      • DTK says:

        This Hoffman-Scozzafaza race is an aberration, I would believe. I don’t think too many disaffected conservatives truly want to run third-party candidates against perceived GOP “squishes.” They realize your point that it only would set their cause back in the end because the more liberal party would benefit in a general election with two center-right candidates.

        In NY-23, it’s different. First, it’s a special election, which makes for a funny dynamic anyway. Second, conservative voters in the district feel they didn’t get their say since there was no primary. And third, there is an established third party in New York that has had ballot access for decades. It just makes sense to support the more conservative candidate here.

        I think the obvious answer for disaffected conservatives is to pick off any GOP moderates in a primary. That way you can try to reunify the party in time for the general election and hopefully not divide your support.

        Of course, in a lot of districts you can only hope to have a moderate. I don’t think a conservative would hold, say, Michael Castle’s seat in Delaware, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it with the right candidate. For instance, Pat Toomey was a free-trading, tax-cutting, social conservative who represented a very blue-collar district in Pennyslvania that seemed tailor-made for a Democrat. Yet he consistently voted for economic legislation (such as free trade agreements) that seemed out of step with his district. But he held the seat for years.

        • Doug Deal says:

          Run on smaller government and stop being obsessed over abortion and gays. Every time people tell me how so and so conservative is against Dede because she “votes like a liberal”, I go to their website and the only proof of that is something where she voted “on the wrong side” of some abortion or gay bashing issue.

          Abortion has no place in DC. Gay bashing has no place anywhere. Yet, this is what, it seems, the party has been reduced to.

          The guy, that is such a hero to RS fan boys, does not seem to rise to even having a Palinesque grasp of any real issues beyond sound bites regurgitated during interviews. This is all about getting the heretic; it is not about doing anything for the country, “conservatism”, or the party.

          • DTK says:

            Oh, I’m right there with you. I would consider myself nominally pro-life, but I really only care about economic issues: trade, spending, regulation, etc.

            But I thought Mark Steyn made a good point in a column a few weeks ago: there really is no such thing as a “fiscally conservative but socially liberal” politician.

            Steyn wrote: “The problem with being ‘socially liberal, fiscally conservative’ is that most of the social liberalism comes with quite a price tag — just have a ten-minute riffle through the non-stimulus bill. … But the reality is that almost every ‘socially liberal, fiscally conservative’ politician turns out to be fiscally liberal — in the same way that, if you mix half a pint of vanilla ice cream with half a pint of horse manure, it’s not hard to figure which taste will predominate. ”

            I tend to agree with this. Unless a politician is explicitly an ideological libertarian, the “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” label doesn’t make sense because so much of what we think of as social liberalism really is just government-funding of the left’s preferred position in the culture war.

            For example, take abortion. If it was only about respecting a woman’s right to choose abortion, ok, fine. But, no, the left believes it’s a “positive” right that requires the government to subsidize it if a woman can’t afford one. Same thing with drugs, immigration, or any other cultural issue. It’s not enough to be left alone; in the left’s view, if the government isn’t funding a program for it, then it’s not a right that’s being respected.

          • Doug Deal says:

            You will have to give more specific examples. I for one think the words conservative and liberal are worthless throwaway terms that are meaningless to any productive discussion.

            I think people who call themselves “social conservative” and generally big government socialists. They want the government to dictate behavior in a nanny like fashion, just as the left does. They just have a different goal.

            It’s all about control, one way or another. I want no part of that.

          • ByteMe says:

            that most of the social liberalism comes with quite a price tag

            The problem is that sometimes not doing a socially “liberal” program also has a price tag. Unfortunately, the whole “socialism” boogieman we have going gets this confused.

          • DTK says:

            “The problem is that sometimes not doing a socially ‘liberal’ program also has a price tag. ”

            Only if you grant the assumption that government must step in and correct any and all perceived wrongs in the world.

            People who believe in a meddling, activist government use the phrase “Don’t just stand there, do something” as their reason for passing legislation. They see any problem as a means for social engineering, ignorant of the fact that most problems tend to go away on their own, and that government interference often makes things worse, turning problems into crises.

            Conservatives used to understand this. That’s why they often embraced the phrase “Don’t just do something, stand there.” They recognized that we don’t have the capability to iron out the contradictions in life, that it’s sometimes inevitable that we have to just muddle through any unpleasantness in life, that there’s not a silver-bullet solution for every perceived problem.

            But as Doug notes above, the label “conservative” doesn’t mean quite as much anymore when you have right-wing progressives like Mike Huckabee and George W. Bush leading the movement. So we get a right-wing version that promises to “leave no child behind” and to “bring God’s gift of democracy” to backward parts of the world. It’s a fool’s errand when we grant the assumption that such things can be done, because, in fact, they cannot. Indeed, it only turns things that were once problems into full-blown crises.

        • ByteMe says:

          Only if you grant the assumption that government must step in and correct any and all perceived wrongs in the world.

          Strawman… and not at all what I wrote, but it’s your perception of what I wrote.

          Example: There is a cost in lost human capital and forced money transfers for not having an affordable effective healthcare system. There’s a real cost that’s not in the dollars you personally spend, but the economic and social losses endured by society as a whole. You either believe in the commons or you don’t, but a society with 300 million people does indeed have a commons and it’s real and it costs money to maintain it effectively.

          And sometimes we have to make a trade-off that expands the commons for the common good.

          • DTK says:

            “And sometimes we have to make a trade-off that expands the commons for the common good.”

            Ah, you get to my implicit point. So, to WHOM do we delegate this decision? Do we rely on the outcomes of 300 million people all acting in their self-interest, or do we turn over decision-making to a “panel of experts” who will decide what’s good for us, including everything from what food we put in our bodies to how often we exercise?

            And again, you’re making the assumption that these experts have enough knowledge to accurately allocate resources to provide for the well-being of 300 million people. Yes, you make a good point that our overall well-being suffers as a nation (or as a world) because of injury and disease. But you take it as granted that your preferred policy proposals are the cure-all for the problem.

            I’m going to state this as explicitly as I can: we have to accept inefficiencies. You can’t escape them. People will get sick; people will die. Yes, you may help the overall commons in some way if you seek to provide universal access to health care. But what other inefficienies are you introducing by having such an all-encompassing approach? What unintended consequences are you not foreseeing?

            That’s my entire point. There’s so much that we don’t know, and the sooner we admit this the sooner we can craft much narrower policies that will actually do a little good, instead of crafting comprehensive policies that shoot for the moon but ultimately fail.

          • ByteMe says:

            Yep, you’re right: let’s do nothing because we might do worse. 🙄

            But this is too good to pass up:
            To whom do we delegate this decision?

            You need a civics lesson now?

          • DTK says:

            Sigh. Talk about strawmen. Actually if you’ll read what I said you’ll notice I talk about instituting narrow reforms that might have a good shot at actually getting results, rather than enacting broad, sweeping reforms that make us feel good, but ultimately don’t help, and oftentimes make things worse.

            And, no, I don’t need a civics lesson. In fact, your response shows your complete blindness to political philosophy. I thought I was making an obvious reference to the age-old market vs. experts debate over how resources should be allocated in society. I guess I gave you too much credit. If you’d like to catch up, search for Hayek’s “The Use of Knowledge in Society.”

            But what troubles me the most is that you apparently think that since we have a government with elected officials, then these officials have carte blanche to enact any law they see fit. Is there any area that you consider unproper for government to regulate? Or is everything fair game?

            You seem like a rather intelligent person, from what I can tell from reading your posts the past couple of months. But you don’t seem well acquainted with any of the philosophical arguments for limited government. You do well when you debate the Limbaugh-Beck-Hannity ditto heads, but seem utterly flummoxed when someone like Deal makes a case for limited government. Do you ever read anything serious that does not comport with your worldview? And, no, the fanbois here at Peach Pundit are not considered “serious.”

          • ByteMe says:

            Let’s just say I don’t elevate “political philosophy” to the level of “religious faith”. Too many people do. Same with economics. You can’t get too married to one philosophy or school of thought or you miss out on opportunities.

            And there are definitely a lot of folks out here (fanbois? I like that) who fall into the “my philosophy is never wrong” worldview.

            And our government was designed to support incremental change and not broad reform… which is a good thing (otherwise, you could just as easily reverse a broad change and give the country whiplash). So you may want to rethink whether what you’re seeing now is really broad reform or just incrementalism in a direction you disapprove.

          • DTK says:


            Sounds like you subscribe to Pragmatism which, of course, is a “philosophy or school of thought.”

            You are right about the need for incrementalism, but are wrong about the source of it. I believe change should occur organically, through the slow modification of custom and tradition, not through an intelligent design (for a lack of a better term) of the Legislature.

            The Founders understood that legislation is not a magic wand. Instead, the best we can hope for is to set up simple rules applicable to all that protect life, liberty, and property. After that, the natural abilities of individuals will determine their place in life.

            So long as one person does not take advantage of others, then government should stay out of the daily affairs of its citizens; it has no place in determining winners and losers in our society. If we let it be otherwise, success in life will determined purely by power. I’ll leave it to you to pick out contemporary examples illustrating the preceeding sentence.

  8. yellowb says:

    If Dede is truly the person that represents the GOP of the 23rd District of NY, then she should not have any problem beating Hoffman on Tuesday, even if they come in 2nd and 3rd. She wasn’t chosen by a primary, but in sense the primary will be on Tuesday. They just need to hope that the winner of that battle beats the Democrat as well.

  9. Harry says:


    The Federal Election Commission has issued a “no reason to believe” decision in a complaint against U.S. Rep. David Scott, political blogger Andre Walker and Scott’s campaign treasurer, Hammerin’ Hank Aaron. The complaint, filed in March, charges Walker blogged favorably about Scott’s re-election campaign without disclosing $2,950 in payments from the campaign. The FEC’s general counsel accepted Scott’s explanation that the money was for maintaining the campaign Web site and no other purpose.

  10. slyram says:

    My unfounded conspiracy theory: the GOP establishment gets the far-right to get more vocal and high profile so all of a sudden the average Republican officials don’t seem half bad…relatively speaking. That Newt and Michael Steele are brilliant but what to do with the protesters who not only want a seat at the table but take the table outside and toss it on the bonfire. Since I watch Fast Forward on ABC where everyone see 14 mins. of their lives a few months from now, what about a vision 6 months ago of Newt supporting a pro-choice, gay marriage supporting candidate. That would have blown my mind. Scozzafava would be to the left of Jim Marshall and a third of the Blue Dogs.

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