[UPDATED BELOW THE FOLD – Apparently, the NRCC did not write the press release in question. LHW]
As conservatives are energizing themselves for a run at taking back the House, we would like to be able to place our faith in organizations like the NRCC to recognize the issues conservatives believe in and work to advance those issues. This kind of crap, written by NRCC Deputy Communications Director Paul Lindsay, does not help. For background, Lindsay’s op-ed is written in support of Dede Scozzafava, who is currently running for the now-vacant NY-23 seat in a special election. We have written extensively on Scozzafava’s execrable liberalism at length here and here. Scozzafava is a pro-abortion liberal who is bad on spending and in the pocket of the labor unions. I can think of no issue on which she is a measurable improvement over any Democrat. I can’t imagine that the people who are giving money to the NRCC (which is something I generally encourage) are doing so in order to fund the campaigns of people like Scozzafava. However, the job of the NRCC is to get Republicans elected, so I don’t really expect them to oppose Scozzafava’s candidacy. It would be really great, however, if the NRCC’s communications staff would not write op-eds that a) concede that liberal positions are “mainstream” positions, and b) completely cede the moral and linguistic high ground to liberals:
While some of her views may alienate more conservative Republicans, her positions put her in the political mainstream. Her support of women’s issues has been consistent. Her efforts to improve the north country economy and responsiveness to the needs of workers has earned her endorsements of organized labor.
There is basically no conservative response to this paragraph that would not violate the posting rules of this site. “Women’s issues”, of course, is the extreme liberal framing code phrase for abortion. To see someone in the communciations shop of a Republican organization using it favorably is positively sickening. It’s especially offensive when followed by praise for “organized labor,” which is of course a less thinly-veiled code phrase for the liberal thugs who are pulling the levers of the modern Democratic party. It’s more offensive still to see these positions described as “mainstream” in a way that implies that the opposite positions are out of the mainstream, and only held by some of the far-right kooks in the party.
The NRCC has done many things over the last few months that are praiseworthy. They are doing a good job of recruiting candidates and have done a passable job of fundraising as well. But we are approaching a time when many conservatives who have never been actively involved in politics before are looking for ways to get involved, and they are inherently distrustful of the Congressional fundraising and election committees (thanks in no small part to the marvelous tenure of Liddy Dole at the NRSC). The NRCC has an excellent opportunity here to win back the trust of the boots on the ground and the small donors that the GOP has always relied on. Unfortunately, their communications shop seems to have not gotten the memo.
This is not the time to abandon the NRCC. This is the time to let the NRCC that we are watching, and we don’t appreciate being told that our positions are not mainstream, and we don’t appreciate our Congressional campaign committees parroting the language of the left. Contact the NRCC’s communications shop here (or at 202-479-7070) and let them know how you feel.
[UPDATE]: The story here explaining this phenomenon is unbelievable, but apparently true. The Watertown Daily Times initially published an editorial praising Scozzafava on July 24. You can read that editorial here, which clearly does not have the Paul Lindsay credit at the bottom. The press shop at the NRCC then did what they are supposed to do, which is to circulate positive press about Republican candidates to potentially interested parties. Apparently, the folks at the Watertown Daily Times were on that email list. Someone at the Watertown Daily Times did not realize that this was an editorial that they published in their own paper, and erroneously believed it to be a letter to the editor from Paul Lindsay. So, they published it again, this time erroneously crediting Paul Lindsay as the author of the piece. Just a spectacular piece of journalistic incompetence here. So apparently, no need to send a bunch of angry calls/emails to the NRCC over this.