Sunday, November 1, 2009


People do wonder why I am so interested in American politics, while so much of the stuff in Britain leaves me cold. Well, here is an example of what makes it more interesting.

In Britain the Conservative Party is getting all into a tizz over Elizabeth Truss (too many links but Iain Dale, ConHome and Shane Greer have all been writing endlessly about it and ... well, OK, here is one), who had been chosen to be PPC in South West Norfolk. The local association, having never heard of Mr Google or the possibility of finding out certain facts about a candidate on the internet realized belatedly that Ms Truss had an affair with a Conservative MP about four or five years ago. At the time both were married but he, Mark Field, has since divorced because of that or some other reason. He is also no longer the Culture Spokesman, which is probably just as well.

Round and round everybody goes: Do private lives matter more than political achievements? Do affairs long in the past matter? Should he be forced to resign if she is deselected? Should idiots who have never heard of Google be in charge of selecting candidates? Does anybody outside the magic circle care? Well, actually, I know the answer to that last question.

Now compare and contrast this with the saga of Republican nominee in NY 23rd Congressional District, Dede Scozzafava who has just been forced to resign and start supporting her conservative rival by the GOP grassroots, led by the bloggers such as Michelle Malkin. Here is Melissa Clothier analyzing the story in terms of identity versus conviction politics. Here is Rick Moran giving a summary of what happened and there are some interesting comments.

I don't think I need to add anything of my own to the NY-23 story except to point to the main difference between that and the SW Norfolk story: the American one is about politics. What we are seeing is a new movement, that may attach itself to the Republicans or may not, of people who are, roughly speaking, conservative and believe in what one can describe as American virtues (many of which are Anglospheric virtues and even Western virtues so we should all be paying attention). It is important to watch developments. Who really cares about the endless personal tittle-tattle that surrounds people unable to see a political idea in front of their noses?


  1. Scozzafava has just endorsed the Democrat.

  2. Just reading Michelle Malkin:

    She is right about the RNC - suckers.

  3. All across Europe we have a choice between far left and centre left, its not a purge, its lying out what core principals the party should stand for and this RINO was the clearest example of a centre left infiltration of a Conservative party that I have seen exposed so far and best of all rejected, if only people in Europe could do this sort of thing, Independent Conservatives indeed...

  4. South-west norfolk?where the hell is that/

  5. Helen,

    Agree absolutely with your last sentence. But you should correct the body of your post to reflect the fact that Scozzafava has endorsed the Democrat.

    Also of interest is the fact that this NY-23 election is taking place at all ... it's because the Republican Congressman for the area resigned to become Obama's Secretary of the Army.

    NY-23 (in the north of New York State on the Canadian border) has been voting Republican by at least 60% since at least 1996 - and in the last election - which coincided with Obama's win - the Republican Congresssional vote actually increased.

    Nick (from New York today)

  6. I looked up liberal in the dictionary on this computer, among the definition, point 2 actually was willingness to give up ones values, and under conservative was adhering to traditional values and one for Cameron, unwillingness to change!
    Does the trade description act still apply in England? if so the current Tory party must fall foul of it?

  7. Nick,
    Lucky you, commenting from New York. Hope you are enjoying yourself. I shall either do an update on the post or another post to add your comments. This is all part of the same process: the conservative grassroots are fed up with the way the Republican establishment is behaving and are on the warpath.