From the great mind that brought us both Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle, Bill Kristol first does his best to build up what electoral successes in Virginia and New Jersey might mean for the Republicans in 2010, even though he claims that’s not what he’s doing. Republicans managing to pick up a Governor’s seat in Virginia or having an unpopular Governor in New Jersey who is a former Goldman Sachs CEO in the middle of this scandal with Wall Street managing to hold onto his seat or barely losing are not exactly bellwether races for what might happen in 2010.
Kristol then tries to downplay the havoc that his girlfriend Sarah Palin is reaping upon the Republican Party with her endorsement of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the NY-23 Congressional race.
Kristol: Tim Kaine has said, and this is the favorite mantra now of the Democrats and of the liberal media I would say as you quoted “the divide between moderate Republicans and conservative Republicans” that’s kind of their hope. When was the last time that there was really a big divide between moderate and conservative Republicans? I would say in ’76 when Ronald Reagan ran a primary challenge to go then against an incumbent moderate Republican president Gerald Ford, barely lost, bitterness, divisiveness at the convention, he didn’t even really…give his full fledged, full support to Gerald Ford. In 1978 I remember a friend of mine, a young activist Jeff Bell challenged and beat the liberal incumbent Cliff Case, the Republican primary in Jersey, lost to Bill Bradley, in the general Al D’Amato challenged Jacob Javis in New York, actually won the general election. There was a huge amount of turmoil.
What came out of all of that—Reagan’s victory and a Republican takeover of the Senate in 1980. Turmoil in a party isn’t bad. Obviously it’s problematic. If you’re running a campaign you don’t, you know, it’s easier not to have a primary, it’s easier not to have people grumbling and complaining, but it’s—I think it’s a sign of health, it’s a sign of grass roots activity. It’s a sign of citizens getting involved. I don’t think people are going to go off the deep end. I think you’re going to have…the fact that there were challenges in the 23rd district of New York doesn’t mean that conservatives aren’t going to accept more moderate candidates which they will in Delaware where Mike Castle’s going to be the nominee, where Illinois where Mark Kirk’s going to be the Republican nominee.
The left keeps hoping that conservatives will be suicidal. They’re not going to be I think. But I think you do need the conservative populace’s energy and independence from Washington—and ideas. I think conservatives need that, that Republicans need that. You can’t just be top down, sort of rehashed ideas from inside the beltway, so I’m actually ah…Tim Kaine can console himself with tomorrow’s defeat—it’s going to be a pretty bad defeat and Republicans are going to win all the state wide races and I think pick up six to ten state legislative seats—Tim Kaine can console himself that hoping that the Republican Party will self destruct, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.
Bill, Hoffman wasn’t a primary challenge in case you didn’t notice. He’s a third party candidate propped up by a bunch of outsiders that are not from the state. And if you think this is going to stop with this NY-23 race and that “people aren’t going to go off the deep end”…you might want to go read this--Uncivil War: Conservatives to challenge a dozen GOP candidates.