Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Winning the Battle but not the War

After internal GOP squabbles--and endorsements from the likes of Sarah Palin and Dick Armey--pushed third-party favorite Doug Hoffman to the forefront and ousted the allegedly too liberal Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava from the race for New York's 23rd congressional district, Democrat Bill Owens--a lawyer and retired Air Force captain--ended up winning Tuesday's special election by a 49 percent to 45 percent margin. The significance?

The New York 23 has had a GOP representative in Congress for about, oh, 125 years, more or less. D'oh! Great work, guys! Genius move!

(Then again, the seat became vacant after President Obama named the district's congressman, John McHugh, to a Pentagon post. So did Obama shrewdly play out this move in advance? Hmm...)

As for the present day meaning of the election, Salon's Alex Koppelman:

The thing to watch for now is the reaction of the GOP and its base. A Hoffman victory might have given the most conservative wing of the party even more clout, if not a virtual veto over 2010 candidates deemed too liberal. This result--the right winning the intra-party battle, but not the war--might give the Republican establishment more room to push back.

Oh, and yeah: Mike Bloomberg won a third term as NYC mayor. Fuck.

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