Democrat wins in NY-23 and New Jersey may not say much more than that. Indeed, if Democrats win there by narrow margins, it may say that, a year after Obama won the presidency, it takes nasty three-way contests for Democrats to win in Obama-friendly territory.And here is Glenn Reynolds:
The hope on the left is that NY-23 is a bellwether of intra-GOP warfare, or of the party being seized by "extremists." However, most such fights will happen within primaries, which allows more time for unification. And few of those will feature "Republican" candidates as liberal as Dede Scozzafava.
Likewise, if Tea Partiers get too carried away and full of themselves -- like the Nader Democrats of 2000 -- they will wind up handing the elections to people they really don't want running the country. The third-party threat is a good way to get the GOP establishment's attention, but, as they say, the value of the sword of Damocles is that it hangs, not that it falls. Like a nuclear deterrent, it's a threat that's best not employed.Karl displays a proprietary concern about the Republican Party being perceived as too "far right." This is what happens when Republicans internalize liberal critiques of conservatism and begin to believe -- as all liberals relentlessly proclaim -- that there is something wrong, inferior or shameful about being conservative.
Professor Reynold's concern is similarly unfounded. Talk of a third-party conservative movement is just that: Talk. Republicans who fret over such things are just worry-warts who still blame Ross Perot for the Clinton presidency. (In fact, the blame should be placed squarely on Bush 41 and the idiots responsible for the '96 Dole campaign.)
My advice: Don't let liberal spin to drive you into fear-based defensive thinking. The real danger to the Republican Party is not "extremists" or third parties, but rather the cluelessness of the Beltway GOP establishment.