Newt Gingrich needs to do a serious mea culpa.
For those of you who haven’t been following the 23rd Congressional District in New York race, here’s a quick recap. The seat came open when President Barack Obama nominated the Republican who held the seat to be his Secretary of the Army. In response, the local GOP chiefs selected Dede Scozzafava, a very liberal Republican as their nominee.
How liberal? So liberal that it’s doubtful that there is a single Republican in the House to her left. So liberal, that DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas actually endorsed her over the Democrat nominee.
With the two major parties offering a liberal (the Democrats) and an extreme left-winger (the Republicans), Doug Hoffman, running on the Conservative Party line, started gaining serious support. As of Saturday, the race was really a two-man affair with Hoffman and the Democrat Bill Owens in a statistical dead heat and Scozzafava bringing up the rear.
Yesterday, Scozzafava dropped out of the race.
Back to Gingrich.
As Hoffman surged in the past few weeks and earned the endorsements of the likes of former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was steadfast behind Scozzafava. Gingrich dismissed Scozzafava’s pro-card check, pro-abortion, pro-taxes positions and argued that party loyalty was paramount.
Scozzafava, with her endorsement, has returned Gingrich’s party loyalty with an “Atomic Wedgie.”
It’s become clear that the party bosses in NY-23 were woefully out of touch with their constituents. Gingrich was wrong to put his faith and trust in them – an apology is in order.
On a related note: If the Republicans manage to make serious inroads against the Democratic House majority in 2010, it will likely be despite, not because of, the NRCC which reportedly spent in the range of $900k on Scozzafava before she stabbed them in the back.
For the record: This is insufficient.