Newt Gingrich, glutton for punishment, tries to make the case for Dede Scozzafava one more time: “The New York 23 special election is a test of whether we respect local parties and local leaders.”
In the abstract, and in many cases, Newt is right; my taste for conservative or Republican candidates and preferred issue positions may or may not match up with Olympia Snowe, or Mike Huckabee, or David Vitter, or Mike Castle, or many others (which is not to say I don’t like most of those figures). But I don’t live in Maine, or Arkansas, or Louisiana, or Delaware or anywhere except Virginia right now, and ultimately, the choice is up to Republican voters in those states.
But every once in a while, the local leaders nominate a person who is intolerable. And as I noted on Hugh’s show last night, Scozzafava asks us to do way more than just tolerate an unorthodox position on abortion or gay marriage or the stimulus or any one of plenty of policy issues. Her behavior suggests she doesn’t know what a local police force can and cannot handle. She may or may not know what constitutes a crime, and she clearly doesn’t know how to handle a reporter who is asking a question she doesn’t want to answer. (Correct response: Say, “no comment,” and leave.) It is not unreasonable to wonder if her desire or willingness to have the police intercede to deal with an inconvenient reporter suggests a quasi-fascist view of the role of government officials and the citizenry.
Sorry, Newt. That’s not a bridge too far, that’s an overpass so remote that it takes the light from it several years to reach us.