Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Myth of The Celebrity Tea Party Race In New York's 23rd District

The Celebrity Tea Party wing of the GOP is trying hard to make one congressional race in New York mean something, anything and as always the CTP whirls a wildly distorted spin as they yearn for a single victory in the political landscape. They hope a single election victory will mean the CTP is a gigantic political force in America. (or should that be political farce?)

So let's do a wee reality check on that race.

The 23rd District in N.Y. has been firmly held by a Republican for decades. President Obama selected the current officeholder, John McHugh, as Army secretary and that left the seat open and for the first time in decades, the Republicans were poised to lose that seat to Democrats.

What to do?

Fortunately for the Republicans, a Wild Card Celebrity Tea Party candidate was ready and eager to join in the race, Doug Hoffman. True, he does not live in the district, and won't even be able to vote for himself in the election.

Since Hoffman had little support in the district, he turned to some national fundraisers to help him, bringing in millions and millions of dollars to pay for ads in which he talked not about issues affecting residents of the 23rd District, but instead he echoed the fearful moans and cries of the Celebrity Tea Party: America is being dismantled and turned into a Socialist state, gays are running the country, etc etc.

Once the money arrived, the other Celebs (none of them actually holding an elected office) like Sarah Palin and Fred Thompson and Glenn Beck appeared to anoint the Chosen One. The media frenzy then followed, Republicans abandoned their own candidate and now they warn voters that Hoffman is their only salvation from evil politicians who have all turned to the Dark Side:

Tell the politicians, no more, we won't let you bankrupt America. We need conservative leaders who stand up for our values."

Translation: Don't trust us, just trust the other us instead.

And if Hoffman does win, what will Republicans and the Celebrity Tea Party gain, other than a moment of glamour in their favorite arena, the Media Spotlight? It may be absolutely nothing.

As it stands now, the district is about to be eliminated completely, as the upcoming census shows population in New York is falling and must lose one congressional seat. It is more likely to disappear if Hoffman wins:

If Hoffman wins, boy, that district has a big, juicy target on it," said Bruce E. Altschuler, a political science professor at the State University of New York at Oswego.

"Added Sherwood L. Boehlert, a former Republican congressman from the Utica area who survived two redistrictings, "I would think a third party candidate would virtually guarantee the elimination of that district as we know it."

So what is it the CTP is after?

The CTP desperately need people to talk about them, to wonder at their mighty skills, to include them in political discussions. And so far, they have won just that. The Myth will be praised, the needs of the residents of the district ignored, and in a few months, the district may well be gone completely, vanished in the mists of fantasy which shroud all the inhabitants of the Celebrity Tea Party.

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