Let me see if I've got this crystal clear:
1. Dede Scozzafava, who lives in the District and has previously served in the State Assembly, wins the Republican nomination for NY's 23rd District, a traditional Republican stronghold.
2. Conservative Republican launch a more conservative candidate against her, denouncing her as a "RINO," a "leftist" and seeking to tie her to ACORN. GOP Celebrities such as Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson and Tim Pawlenty supported her conservative rival, Bill Hoffman. Although nominally supporting her, Meanwhile, the RNC formally supports her, but provides no financial support. Money pours into the district in support of Hoffman. Even Newt Gingrich called it a "purge."
3. Outspent by both Bills, Scozzafava withdrew from the election, a move Steele praised as "unselfish," allowing the NRC to join the roster of its luminaries officially embracing Hoffman.
4. Yesterday, Scozzafava, a lifelong Republican endorses Owen. The GOP's response? State Party Chair Edward Cox:“Dede Scozzafava’s endorsement today represents a betrayal of the people of the North Country and the people of her party." Similarly, Dick Armey (who supported Hoffman, by the way), “She basically put aside any pretensions and threw in with the Democrats.”
Now, isn't this rather like saying that Julius Caesar betrayed Brutus with his dying words?
And isn't this the fate of moderate Republicans in the modern era? To serve as a reassurance to the less extreme elements of the party, to be used by the dominant, increasingly, er, frothy, hard right, and then discarded and dismissed as traitors when they have the temerity to resent being cast aside? (Remember my Whitty Awards? Named after Chriistie "It's My Party, Too" Whitman, it's gone not only to Colin Powell, and Matthew Dowd, but even to George W. Bush).
Like all good cults, conservatism needs its scapegoats.