Just when it seems congressional Republicans have finally gotten the message about standing on principle before grasping for power, they go and pull a Dede Scozzafava.
Scozzafava is the “Republican” New York assemblywoman selected by the GOP establishment as their candidate in the upcoming special election to succeed Rep. John McHugh. He recently resigned from his seat representing the Empire State's 23rd Congressional District on Capitol Hill to become President Obama's secretary of the Army.
Incredibly, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, is throwing its money and resources behind Scozzafava.
And what kind of Republican is Scozzafava? She favors unlimited abortion rights. She favors Big Labor's Card Check. She favors government bailouts like the Troubled Asset Relief Program. She favors more government spending. She also favors higher taxes, but doesn't appear to get in a hurry about paying them, as earlier this year there were multiple liens against her companies for $192,000 in unpaid state and federal taxes.
There is something else about Scozzafava – she has repeatedly run for the New York Legislature with the endorsement of ACORN's Working Families Party. If you know anything about the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, you know the WFP was established to give the most far-left fringe candidates a comfortable place on the ballot.
In other words, if she is elected, Scozzafava's voting record in Congress likely will be at least as extreme as that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Considering her tax problems, you also have to wonder how long it will be before Scozzafava defends Charlie Rangel, thereby demonstrating that imitation can also be the lowest form of flattery.
If you doubt that assessment, consider this: Scozzafava has been endorsed by Daily Kos, the clarion voice of the loony left in the blogosphere.
Yes, what is Sessions smoking?
That is an especially relevant question when one takes a look at Doug Hoffman, the man who could be the GOP candidate instead of Scozzafava. An extremely successful entrepreneur and family man from Lake Placid, Hoffman is the candidate of the Conservative Party of New York.
For those who don't remember, the Conservative Party of New York was behind the 1970 election of Sen. James L. Buckley, brother of William F. Buckley Jr. Buckley defeated Charlie Goodell, a male version of Scozzafava who was appointed by then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller following the tragic assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
Goodell was a classic liberal GOPer, who sought to capitalize on the growing public dissatisfaction with the Vietnam War. Buckley's winning campaign slogan – “Isn't it time we have a senator?” – captured traditional Republicans, independents, and culturally conservative blue-collar Democrats.
It’s déjà vu all over again for David Keene, the chairman of the American Conservative Union who worked for Buckley and later for President Ronald Reagan:
“Republicans, conservatives, independents and moderate Democrats will rally to Doug because he represents their values and because no one wants to be forced to 'choose' between two virtually identical and equally distasteful major-party candidates,” said Keene.
“Doug Hoffman is an intelligent, sincere leader who can and will win this election and at the same time send a message to New York state GOP leaders that they won't be able to ignore,” Keene added.
Keene's optimism is matched by New York political insiders who say Hoffman is polling well and proving to be an effective campaigner.
Something else those insiders note: Thousands of previously uninvolved New Yorkers made the trek last month to Washington, D.C., to join the massive Middle Class Rebellion of 2009 rally on Sept. 12.
These people may be political rookies, but they get the difference between a Doug Hoffman and the favorite candidate of Daily Kos and ACORN. So why can't Republican “leaders” like Pete Sessions?
Mark Tapscott is editorial page editor of The Washington Examiner and proprietor of Tapscott's Copy Desk blog on washingtonexaminer.com.