Let me briefly explain the situation up in the 23rd District: Hoffman's got a relatively small paid staff and he's campaigning as a third-party candidate against both the Republicans and Democrats, in the largest geographical congressional district east of the Mississippi River. It ain't a walk in the park up there, OK?
While I generally have a low opinion of Republican campaign staffers -- who tend to treat reporters like crap -- these guys on Hoffman's team have my sympathy. They're spread thin, and working like hell all the time. They must be ordering Red Bull by the case.
Today was absolutely crazy for them, with news breaking faster than anybody could possibly keep up, new ads being produced, a new Democratic TV attack ad airing in the district, etc., etc.
Crazy for them, and crazy for me, too. So then, just after I posted the Fred Thompson ad video, I flip over to Instapundit and see him saying this:
Hoffman's kind of a special case. There's basically no downside. That's not true in 2010. I remember a blog commenter somewhere a while back worrying that Beck would turn out to be a Pied Piper leading people to Third Party self-destruction. In Hoffman’s case that's not really an issue, but a Perot-type candidacy might put the Dems back in bigtime.And he's writing this irrelevant crap about third parties and 2010 while linking Allahpundit:
What is the endgame? There's a sense I get from watching Beck that he thinks there's a supermajority out there willing to return to Founders-style libertarianism if only he and other conservatives hammer the message hard and long enough. I don't think there is.Well, f*ck what you think, Allah. We're talking about one congressional election that's now only a week away, and all your forward-looking "Big Picture" theorizing is just a distraction from the fight.
Today, I had the same reaction when I found a couple of commenters squabbling about Hoffman's position on immigration. Here's the thing: What's the deluxe enchilada plate we're looking at now? ObamaCare.
If that passes, we're doomed. Period. Good-bye, US of A. Hello, Sweden.
Doug Hoffman is a sworn opponent of ObamaCare. If a guy like that wins, in an underdog third-party bid where nobody gave him a snowball's chance two weeks ago, what's the message?
The message is that Democrats had better watch out in 2010. If a guy like Hoffman can win in a district that went 52% for Obama less than a year ago, it will be like a flare shot skyward from a ship on a moonless midnight. Add in a victory for Bob McDonnell in Virginia (which also went for Obama last year) and any Democratic senator or congressman with half a brain is going to start thinking, "Ruh-roh. This kinda looks like 1994 all over again."
If Hoffman can pull off a miracle upset victory in NY23, it would be a shot across the bow of Obama, Pelosi and Reid that they won't be able to ignore.
The Blue Dogs will freak out, and the RINOs will start wondering about the possibility of a Tea Party/Club for Growth/Sarah Palin convergence in their GOP primaries. They'll find an excuse to pull the plug on ObamaCare and start looking for opportunities to denounce deficit spending. Heck, you might even see some of them work up the gumption to suggest a vote to extend the Bush tax cuts.
All of this is possible, if Hoffman wins. But a Hoffman win isn't a random hypothetical we can postulate and discuss like we were in some damned poli-sci grad-school seminar. The battle for NY23 is the kind of desperate tooth-and-nail fight that doesn't lend itself to dispassionate theoretical discourse.
At such a time as this, to waste pixels pondering ridiculous fourth-bong-hit-in-the-dorm-room questions -- "Hey, wow, wouldn't a third party be cool?" -- is such a complete waste of time, it's almost a complete waste of time explaining what a waste of time it is.
You're bumming me out, man. Honest to God, you guys are bumming me out.