Yesterday the GOP lost an important race in NY-26 when Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Jane Corwin. Conservatives are already offering excuses minimizing the importance of this loss. Here are a few of the new ones hitting the blogosphere and talk radio:
Excuse #1: Blue collar voters are easily scared by Democrats. This argument was made by Henry Olsen from the National Review who argues that blue collar voters respond differently to GOP tactics and that “they are also susceptible to the age-old Democratic argument that the secret Republican agenda is to eviscerate middle-class entitlements to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. The truth is, if conservatives and Republicans are to move forward with entitlement reform (as they should), they need to address the real concerns of these pivotal voters.”
Excuse # 2: New York Republicans are way worse than the rest of the party. Erick Erickson was quick to subscribe to this belief. “The truth of the matter is that the Republican Party of New York sucks and has sucked for a while. It is especially terrible at special elections where the out of touch party leaders pick state legislators who everyone hates and runs them”. So, naturally, this loss means nothing.
Erickson later revised his stance and blamed the press, bringing us to excuse #3: media bias. “The press’s ready willingness to believe Democrat spin is yet again driven home this morning by the Republican loss in New York last night,” Erickson said. “Immediately, the press was adopting Democrat spin that this was all about Medicare.”
Excuse #4: Chris Lee’s Craigslist scandal made the GOP loss inevitable. John McCormack from the Weekly Standard writes that the fact that this loss was “precipitated by Republican congressman Chris Lee’s Craigslist sex scandal and ensuing resignation” means that the Democrat win is not “all that impressive or significant”.
Excuse #5: Tea Party candidate Jack Davis split the Republican vote, making a win impossible. W. James Antle III says at the American Spectator, “Unless the “Tea Party” independent is a total non-factor, reading too much into this race would be like exaggerating the impact of the Djou race in Hawaii last year”.
Excuse #6: You can’t read too much into one district. Philip Klein from The Washington Examiner cautioned that “at the end of the day this is just one data point in a single Congressional district out of 435. So it would be silly for Republicans to panic suddenly flee from the Ryan plan.” Don’t give up hope – there are still 434 more chances for the win.
On his show today Rush Limbaugh introduced excuse #7: voters are easily confused. “What happened here is the Republican tea party candidates got confused … and bought the notion that this was a genuine tea party candidate running in NY, ” he said. “The voters actually thought they were voting for something other than what ended up happening.”