Sarah Palin, kingmaker! In New York, no less!
But there it is. Sparkling Sarah, whose chief qualification as candidate for vice president was that she could field-dress a moose and who, as far as we can tell, dumped her job as governor of Alaska just because she didn’t feel like doing it anymore, is now a major player in the politics of our own Empire State.
Or so it seems, since Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava was holding her own as Republican candidate for Congress from the northern part of our state until Sarah jumped in with a Facebook endorsement of the Conservative Party challenger and then was joined by the celebrated political philosopher, Glenn Beck.
Oh, what a pair — the slayer of moose and the Aristotle of the airwaves, in agreement that a Republican assemblywoman from the land between Massena and Watertown was actually a quasi-Marxist, a pal of labor unions, a supporter of abortionists, in cahoots with homosexuals, and a sympathizer with that most infamous of socialist conspiracies, ACORN.
The rush was on, and before you knew it Scozzafava’s support had dropped from a none-too-impressive 35 percent in a three-way race to a hopeless 20 percent, just in the month of October, and she famously called it quits.
Sort of. It was too late to get her name off the ballot, so all she did was say, in effect, that she didn’t want to win anyway.
Little Miss Mooseslayer graciously thanked her for “acting so selflessly,” and there you had it, the new royalty of the Republican Party giving a pat on the head to a lowly commoner.
I am not one to believe, by the way, that the millions of dollars poured into this race from outside the state made all the difference.
I hope the people of the North Country are not as sheeplike as that but are capable of doing some thinking for themselves.
If 35 percent of them tell poll-takers that they prefer the orthodox Conservative candidate, compared with only 20 percent who prefer the moderate Republican candidate, as they did on the last day of October, let us pay them the compliment of believing them.
That’s how many of them have joined the great wave of anger and paranoia which is sweeping the country and which has pretty much taken over the Republican Party. Why not?
I don’t believe Glenn Beck created them; I think it’s closer to the truth to say they created Glenn Beck. If a poor showman like him can make a ratings hit out of finding Marxists lurking under every rock, it’s because that’s what a lot of people are ready to believe. It’s inconceivable that he could convince anyone of anything they weren’t already up for, if you have ever seen him or heard him.
I do wait to see if the Conservative Doug Hoffman or the Democrat Bill Owens wins the election today, but I think the Republican side of the equation has been made clear enough: If you’re not part of the anger and paranoia wave, you’re not welcome.
I hear some Democrats expressing satisfaction with this position, thinking it will forever marginalize the Republican Party, but I have no such conviction myself. If a majority of our Adirondack brethren sign on, why not a majority in the country as a whole?
In my column on Sunday I wrote a sentence that made it sound as if Kurt Semon, candidate for the Schenectady County Legislature, lives in Niskayuna. He doesn’t. He lives in Glenville.