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

(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."

Congressional candidates in New York's 23rd district, from left, Democrat Bill Owens, Conservative Party Doug Hoffman, and Republican Dede Scozzafava.
Congressional candidates in New York's 23rd district, from left, Democrat Bill Owens, Conservative Party Doug Hoffman, and Republican Dede Scozzafava.   (AP Photo/FILES)
In this March 12, 2003 file photo, conservative radio and television personality Glenn Beck is shown doing his radio show in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
In this March 12, 2003 file photo, conservative radio and television personality Glenn Beck is shown doing his radio show in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.   (AP Photo/Mike Mergen, file)
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The battle for upstate New York confirms just 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. - Frank Rich

Its antecedent can be found in the 1960s, when radical- right hysteria carried the same traits: seething rage, fear of minorities, maniacal contempt for government, and a Freudian tendency to mimic the excesses of political foes. - Frank Rich

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