Sen. Lindsey Graham offers the least cogent commentary about New York-23 I’ve seen. Graham told Politico:
To those people who are pursuing purity, you’ll become a club not a party. Those people who are trying to embrace conservatism in a thoughtful way that fits the region and the state and the district are going to do well. Conservativism is an asset. Blind ideology is not.
There’s some unintended irony in Graham’s “conservatism that fits the region and state” argument. Graham’s state, South Carolina, is about as conservative as any in the Union. Yet Graham, among other liberal stances, supports the Democrats’ concept of immigration reform, was the only Republican on the Judiciary Committee to vote for confirming Sonia Sotomayor, and has been at the forefront of terrorist rights advocacy in the Senate.
If conservatives in South Carolina were to “embrace conservativism” in the “thougtful” (i.e. pragmatic) way Graham recommends, they would see to the nomination of someone other than the Arlen Specter of the South. Such a conservative would probably have little trouble winning the general election. After all, South Carolina’s other Senator is Jim DeMint.
As for conservatives in New York-23, there’s a good case that they have behaved thoughtfully and pragmatically. Had the Republican nominee, Dede Scozzafava, been elected, she might well have become a fixture. It would have been a blow to conservatism to have a moderate to conservative district (its recent representative had an ACU rating of 71 percent) represented by someone as liberal as Scozzafava.
As things stand now, it is not unlikely that a center-right candidate will be nominated and elected in 2010.
UPDATE: I almost forgot about Sen. Graham’s role in pushing liberal “climate change” legislation. NetRightNation has some interesting things to say about Graham’s “bedfellows” in this endeavor.