In an amazing turn of events, Dede Scozzafava, the controversial Republican candidate for the 23rd Congressional district for the State of New York, has dropped out of the race, three days before a special election to fill the seat for the last year of the current term. This leaves the race between Democrat Bill Owens and third party candidate Doug Hoffman, who had been a Republican before he lost out on his bid for the Republican nomination for the seat to Scozzafava.
Socially conservative Republican forces have deluged Hoffman with money, campaign workers, media resources and outspoken support in recent days, after deciding that Scozzafava did not embody the kind of image consistent with their vision of future, socially conservative, American Republicanism.
This is now a huge crap shoot for the social conservatives. If Hoffman wins election to Congress, the social conservatives will have effectively taken control of the National Party, its platform and slate of candidates, in next years mid term election and then likely, also in the Presidential year of 2012. If they lose in the 23rd next Tuesday, they will likely be seen, within their own party, as hysterical meddlers, who lost a seat in Congress that the Republicans desperately need and could easily have kept.
I guess I don't really care who wins or loses or even who controls the Republican Party. In the long run, American politics for the next generation is going to be all about shifting demographics. A situation like this though, is beautiful to watch as it unfolds, revealing the Byzantine internal machinations of the American political system.
This is turning out to be one of the the most pivotal off year elections in American history.