The NY-23 race is interesting to a lot of people, and memeorandum has pointers to a Ben Smith article in Politico quoting a Newt Gingrich interview by dear Greta. Newt is banging the “moderation” thing pretty heavily, still:

And so this idea that we’re suddenly going to establish litmus tests, and all across the country, we’re going to purge the party of anybody who doesn’t agree with us 100 percent — that guarantees Obama’s reelection. That guarantees Pelosi is Speaker for life. I mean, I think that is a very destructive model for the Republican Party.

I think he’s wrong, and even if he isn’t, he’s meta-wrong. The “agree with us 100%” is a stupid mischaracterization. What’s being objected to is having a candidate supposedly on “our” side who agrees with the “other” side more than with us. It does us, as a country, no good whatever to have two political parties if both the parties are playing from the same hymnal.

The selected (by the local Republicans and the NRC) candidate can’t be distinguished from a somewhat-conservative Democrat by neutron activation analysis. If people want a Democrat, they’ll vote for a Democrat. This is the real problem with the “reach across the aisle” strategy — “Me too, but cheaper!” is not a winning political slogan.

Meanwhile, a Real Clear Politics poll finds Hoffman, the conservative Independent, with a clear lead over all other candidates, and the RNC’s preferred candidate in last place except for “undecided”. I don’t know what New York does about runoffs, but Hoffman isn’t running officially as a Republican. Perhaps he and Joe Lieberman can form the nucleus of a new party of current Independents?