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Posted by on Oct 31, 2009 in Breaking News, Politics, Society | 32 comments

Dede Scozzafava

This is not one of the subjects I’ve been following closely, since I don’t live in New York State, but the response to her decision to drop out of the race is interesting.

My understanding is that Scozzafava is a moderate Republican — she does not hew to the far right position on abortion and marriage equality, for example. But Michelle Malkin, in her post exulting about the news that she is no longer a candidate, calls Scozzafava a “radical leftist.” I didn’t realize that even the hard right had gotten extreme enough to consider a moderate Republican a “radical leftist.”

Andrew Sullivan speculates on what it all means:

What we’re seeing, I suspect, is an almost classic example of a political party becoming more ideological after its defeat at the polls. in order for that ideology to win, they will also have to portray the Obama administration as so far to the left that voters have no choice but to back the Poujadists waiting in the wings. And that, of course, is what they’re doing. There is a method to the Ailes-Drudge-Cheney-Rove denialism. They create reality, remember?

From the mindset of an ideologically purist base – where a moderate Republican in New York state is a “radical leftist” – this makes sense. But for all those outside the 20 percent self-identified Republican base, it looks like a mix of a purge and a clusterfuck. If Hoffman wins, and is then embraced by the GOP establishment, you have a recipe for a real nutroots take-over. This blood in the water will bring on more and more and deadlier and deadlier sharks.