Moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava has suspended her campaign in the special election to New York’s 23rd Congressional District, (h/t to AmericaBlog). Although I cannot predict who will win the election in this GOP-leaning district and what the winner will act like, rest assured that if some appeals to, and is pandering to, teabaggers, it is pretty likely that they will act like and have the same positions as a teabagger. I think this is bad news because when the teabaggers take over, compromise is crushed.
Extremists on both sides of the political spectrum are bad because it is difficult to get them to compromise. Compromise is good because it prevents the foolish excesses of both the left and right. I know, it’s frustrating to not always get what you want, but while ideologies create the ideas and initiatives, it is moderates who actually put them into practice, regardless of which side they are from. Extremists are unable to do that. Consider the case of California, where due to gerrymandering, incumbents on both sides have a 99% reelection rate. If elections are not competitive, there is no need for candidates to hold moderate positions and attract the votes of centrists, and hence nearly everyone in the California Legislature is an extremist. What does that bring? Budget crises because no one is willing to cooperate instead of compete.
Scozzafava would probably have been a reasonable conservative. She was pro-choice and supported marriage equality. She would have been a necessary “Let’s go slow” counterweight to left-wingers. But her withdrawal, that will not happen. Instead, the wingnuts and teabaggers will likely be energized and will try to take down the remaining GOP moderates.
And that is another step on a dangerous downward spiral.
Update: Look at all the wingnuts who supported Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party’s candidate: Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Concerned Women of America, James Dobson, Michele Bachman, the Eagle Forum; a who’s who of what’s wrong with the Republican Party. Yikes!