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Paladino Party!

by on September 16, 2010

If you’re going to get buzzed, you may as well get loaded.  I may or may not be reflecting upon personal experience, but I do hear from reputable sources that indulging wholeheartedly is the only path to true revelry.

With that room-spinning notion in mind, New York State Republican primary voters decided to attend a blast thrown by their ideal host in Carl Paladino rather than be kicked out at midnight after playing Yahtzee with Rick Lazio.  Going all in for good times beats safe boredom.

Wags could argue that purist primary voters suffered impaired judgment by selecting a thoroughly unrepentant Tea Partier to run in a Democratic hive.  But they were actually just being brutally honest in backing a candidate who’s the same way.  By casting their lot with an unapologetic conservative and human, Republicans simultaneously stood behind Paladino and their principles.

Besides, choosing a lukewarm righty often means discarding standards in exchange for the opportunity to get trounced.  Most notably, the allegedly electable Lazio fell to a carpetbagging, inexperienced, leftist, conniving harpy of an opponent by over 12 points a decade ago. Aside from losing while failing to provide a consequential alternative to the opponent, the 2000 New York Senate race went great for Republicans.

Blame the result partly on the high quantity of Empire State voters who reflexively seek out the Democratic line and vote straight across.  But Lazio’s scattershot adherence to conservatism didn’t motivate what should have been his base, either.

A contender presenting a genuine antidote to Democratic principles as opposed to someone who, say, has been on the outs with the NRA might have done better back then.  What was true in November 2000 will remain so in November 2010.

In between, pulling punches didn’t help Republicans nationally in either 2006 or 2008.  The Party of Huckabee lost because they offered nothing more than half-calorie versions of Democrats.  Most GOP candidates basically wanted slightly less governmental meddling, which wasn’t quite helpful when it came to getting out the conservative vote.

Committing economic suicide at a slower rate is not a persuasive stance.  If voters preferred intermittent conservatives, John McCain would presently be calling former President Dole from the Oval Office for advice.

Why campaign for someone who will reward you by frustrating you?  At best, a victorious Rockefeller Republican will invariably disappoint anyone tipping rightward.  Winning is barely satisfying when the losers get their way so frequently.

We might as well try running someone who actually may own a rattlesnake flag.  The possibility of losing in that scenario beats at best settling for a semi-victory.

That’s why party members took a stand with a candidate who they hope will in turn show his appreciation by acting similarly.  Thankfully, it’s unlikely Paladino will contact Pataki Syndrome.

Now, he just needs to convince enough people who didn’t cast a ballot for him Tuesday that he’ll be the Bizarro David Paterson.  The greatest factor in his favor is the calendar, as we’ve got a season change and then some before the general election.

Paladino is just getting started: increasing his statewide name recognition while promoting his rather candidly dissimilar tack will help him even in this navy blue state.

The delightfully outspoken Buffalonian enjoys an opportunity to motivate conservatives and sympathetic independents who are sick of both Democrats and America’s limpest Republicans.  Simultaneously, Mario Cuomo’s kid is stuck having to choose between appeasing his liberal base or attempting to appear moderate. No matter the upcoming election’s result, it’s amusing to see the other side’s candidate still agonizing over what he wants the public to believe about him.

Refreshingly, Republicans don’t have to worry about that thanks to their straightforward gubernatorial choice.  In the meantime, we’re having fun knowing we chose to hang out with someone who shares common interests with us.

It’s liberating to eschew strategic voting for the thrill of backing someone who would be flattered by being compared to Jim DeMint.  The general election will now serve as an experiment to see if a habitual conservative can triumph in New York.  Best of all, if the Republican wins, we’ll be able to tell the difference.

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