If you’ve been paying attention, you know that that special election to fill an upstate New York congressional seat has prompted a full-scale schism between the GOP base and big-tent Republicans.
Newt Gingrich and national party regulars are backing Dede Scozzafava, a veteran state assemblywoman handpicked by the local GOP. Scozzafava backs abortion rights and gay marriage – it’s that kind of district.
Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty – both presumptive 2012 contenders – are backing a third-party, alternative candidate, Doug Hoffman. As has Dick Armey. Erick Erickson of RedState.com, the Macon-based web site that concentrates on rallying hardcores, has also declared the 23rd District race a hill to die on.
A few minutes ago, Erickson sent out this paragraph from the Los Angeles Times that both acknowledges his presence in the conflict, and sums up the Republican identity crisis very nicely:
“Her positions on a lot of issues are reflective of the electorate here,” said Matt Burns, a Scozzafava spokesman. “If the idea is that every Republican that runs for office needs [to be] someone who fits in Georgia, then it’s going to be very, very difficult for Republicans to gain a majority in the House of Representatives.”
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.