There are few things the media love more than intramural battles among Republicans. Thus, the developments in New York’s 23rd District that are being cheered by conservatives across the country are somehow spun as bad news for the Republican Party. Best of the Web quotes the New York Times:
A string of defections by prominent Republicans who endorsed Democratic candidates, the biggest in decades, has exposed an ideological rupture in the Republican Party and demonstrated how difficult it has become for the major parties to enforce discipline.
While it is not clear how much effect the endorsements will have on this year’s state and Federal races, the fissure exposed by the desertions points to trouble ahead for Republicans. . . .
If the campaign events are any indication, even if the Republicans make major gains next Tuesday, the party may have a hard time smoothing over differences between its conservative and moderate wings. . . .
Actually, that was from 1994, just before the Republicans’ sweep that gave them control over both houses of Congress. But experience doesn’t dampen the media’s enthusiasm for purported civil war in the GOP. This morning, Tim Pawlenty went on Joe Scarborough’s show on MSNBC and was berated non-stop about the supposed small-tent, exclusionary party on display in NY-23. Unmentioned, of course, was that the real Republican candidate, Doug Hoffman, appears poised to win the election. After Scarborough harangued Pawlenty for a while, Ariana Huffington and another Democratic Party hack weighed in. Pawlenty defended himself and the party ably, but he must have felt as though he was stuck in a time warp and it was still Halloween:
Meanwhile, Byron York points out that division among Democrats is at least as newsworthy:
MoveOn.org is sending out emails today seeking more contributions for its campaign to defeat any Democratic senator who does not fully support Obamacare. Yesterday the left-wing activist group asked members to contribute “to a primary challenge against any Democratic senator who helps Republicans block an up-or-down vote on health care reform.” Today, MoveOn reports that it has received $2 million in pledges in less than 24 hours. “It’s a clear sign of how angry progressives would be at any Democrat who helps filibuster reform,” MoveOn executive director Justin Ruben writes in the new email. …
MoveOn is already planning radio ads targeting Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and Arkansas Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln over the health care issue. …
MoveOn’s new threat of primary attacks on Democratic lawmakers suggests that the story might be a bit one-sided. Democrats who stray from progressive orthodoxy might be in for big trouble — and the divisions inside the Democratic party might be just as big a deal as the problems inside the GOP.
Somehow, though, the fact that the far left is raising millions to defeat center-left Democrats, in what could be a reprise of the suicidal Ned Lamont campaign that was mounted by the same people, doesn’t register on the media radar screen.