NY 23rd: GOP's Lose-Lose War

Righties are now a 'wacky, paranoid cult eager to eat' their own
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2009 11:35 AM CST
Congressional candidates in New York's 23rd district, from left, Democrat Bill Owens, Conservative Party Doug Hoffman, and Republican Dede Scozzafava.   (AP Photo/FILES)
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(Newser) – Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are the undisputed standard-bearers for true conservatives, and they've just led a suicidal attack in upstate New York in what's become "a riotous and bloody national GOP civil war." For Frank Rich, there's only one sure outcome: 'Republicans are the sure losers" in a battle that proves "how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama.

"The more rightists who win GOP primaries, the greater the Democrats’ prospects next year," writes Rich. "But the electoral math is less interesting than the pathology of this movement. Its antecedent can be found in the early 1960s, when radical-right hysteria carried some of the same traits we’re seeing now: seething rage, fear of minorities, maniacal contempt for government, and a Freudian tendency to mimic the excesses of political foes."