iOS app Android app

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly

Posted: November 4, 2009 07:50 AM

Dud, Baby, Dud: The Lesson of Doug Hoffman

What's Your Reaction?

"I believe America is turning the page to a new dawn." ~ Doug Hoffman, Concession Speech

Doug Hoffman lost his election last night. He was supported by a plurality of talk radio entertainers, and a majority of former half-term governors of Alaska, but it wasn't enough. An obscure quirk of constitutional law says you also need votes from voters. This is the same cruel hurdle that tripped up three of his other biggest supporters, Gary Bauer, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani, all of whom ran for President of the United States, but failed the "getting votes" test, because everyone hates their guts.

With their help, and a million dollars from the Club for Growth, Doug Hoffman lost a part of New York State that had voted Republican since the best way to get from Albany to Buffalo was by canal.

Not bad for a first try.

Doug Hoffman didn't just have money to burn and the staunch support of Facebooking frost bunnies, Fox News and the Ghosts of Vanity Campaigns Past. He also had coots on the ground; an army of volunteers from the tea bag movement, the 9/12 Project and the fanatic anti-choice fringe. The problem was, they could shout at the polling places as loud as they wanted, and they did, but they didn't live there, so they weren't allowed to vote.

There's probably a lesson to that. Something about politics being local.

And beyond that, about the people who do live there resenting being told what to do.

Rush Limbaugh predicted that Hoffman would win. In fact, Hoffman's victory was such a foregone conclusion yesterday that Rush had already moved on to mocking Democrats spinning their loss.

Rush:

If Hoffman wins -- and polls suggest that he will -- the race there will be dismissed as an outlier...


Folks, I want you to print these words out. I want you to get the transcript off my website. I want you to print these out, I want you to distribute them, I want you to carry them with you, and we'll just see how close I am to being right. (When Hoffman wins) the State-Run Media will say, "New York-23, the race is more about the demise of the Republican Party and anger on the right than Obama or his policies."

Print it out. Distribute it. And carry it with you, just to see how close he was to being right: Not within a zillion light years.

Rush couldn't be right, (and he can never be wrong) because he's debating a straw man from the future. His point is that X would say Y. And that's always his point: If the thing he imagines happening happens, liberals will react in a way he imagines, and it'll be just like them, too. Except they never do, because it doesn't, so they can't, not that they would have. But I wouldn't put it past them, since they do it every time.

But not today. Imaginary liberals won't be saying New York-23 doesn't matter. Rush will.