It was only a matter of time before the Wingnut Express collided with the Reality Choo Choo, and how fitting that the kaboom occurred in a backwater congressional district in upstate New York that has voted reliably Republican save for a single election since Rutherford B. Hayes was wearing holes in the Oval Office carpet.
Mind you that the election of a Democrat in a district where that party polled barely 35 percent in the last election over a carpetbagging right winger endorsed by Republican Party leaders Beck, Limbaugh and Palin will not appreciably slow let alone halt the Wingnut Express. That is not likely to happen until 2010 or perhaps 2012 when these certifiably extreme hacks render a national GOP wildly out of step with the mainstream totally irrelevant and cooler heads recapture the party leadership.
Beck and Limbaugh make no pretense of wanting to be taken seriously. They are clowns to their very cores. But Palin, who can't even maintain the high ground in a faceoff with the 19-year-old high school dropout who knocked up her daughter, yearns to be taken seriously and the victory of Bill Owens over Doug Hoffman in a race that she transformed into a contest about herself is a big cream pie to her smarmy face.
The larger lesson here is that the good Republican burghers of NY-23 wanted to be taken seriously and they had a winner in Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who was a moderate in step with their views and had deep local roots.
Instead, Scozzafava was tea bagged out of the race in favor of an inarticulate carpetbagger whose infatuation with big national names out of step with the district angered the Republican base so deeply that enough of them crossed over to send Owens to Washington. Meanwhile 6 percent of voters still cast their ballots for Scozzafava in what has to be viewed as a protest.
There needs to be a place in the national conversation for conservatives, but not the kind who demand party purity, don't even bother to try to understand what voters care about, and excel only at empty sloganeering.