As a follow-up to my last post. Hoffman, the Conservative party candidate actually lost and the Democrats picked up a seat held by Republicans since 1872. True, the NJ and VA governor's races went to the GOP but exit poling in both cases showed that the results there were determined by local issues, as gubernatorial races often are. Oh, and the only other national race, another House special election that could have gone either way was kept by the Democrats. So at the end of the night the Democratic majority in the House actually increased. And how poignant was it that last Saturday's health care bill vote in the House was determined by Bill Owens' lot? Perfect.
[One update to my last post: Bill Owens is actually likely to hang on to this seat in 2010 because the districts are being redrawn and what was the GOP seat will be going away]
But that's just background.
What's more interesting is to watch what's happened with the GOP and the hard right since then. The Tea Party (as they're calling themselves in Florida) isn't taking the hint that they caused the loss of what should have been an easy GOP win in NY-23 and they're challenging other more moderate Republicans elsewhere around the country for the congressional elections to be held next year. The intraparty war I predicted were Hoffman to win is happening even though he lost. This purity purge maybe emotionally satisfying to the ultra-right but this isn't an ultra-right country - independents are the real deciders.
Polling now shows that a generic Republican is several points of a generic Democrat in many parts of the country. If the Conservatives force ultra-conservative candidates on the GOP you can bet the only poll that matters will come as quite a shock to the Republicans next November. A lot can happen between now and then, but on top of this if President Obama and the Democrats can get a solid health care bill passed and even implement some of its improvements right away, the GOP doesn't stand a chance in 2010 or likely for a generation.
And they know it. Which is precisely why they're fighting health care reform with everything they've got including lies, propaganda, rallies sponsored (possibly illegally) by sitting House members and even using infants as props on the House floor. It's a circus.
And they're losing.
Detect a trend here?
It couldn't be happening to a more deserving group of people.