But what conservatives achieved with their support of Hoffman is much more important to their cause than a one-year lease on a seat in the U.S. House. Erick Erickson points to two major accomplishments of national significance conservatives made by standing firm on the ground of NY-23. The first is nothing less than groundbreaking:
We did exactly what we set out to do — crush the establishment backed GOP candidate.Erickson sees NY-23 as a dress rehearsal for Florida, but in the Sunshine State, unlike in NY-23, there will be a Republican primary, and the conservative candidate is working from inside the GOP instead of being on the outside, as Hoffman was forced to operate.
So we have demonstrated to the GOP that it must not take conservatives for granted. The GOP spent $900,000.00 on a Republican who dropped out and endorsed the Democrat. Were we to combine Scozzafava and Hoffman’s votes, Hoffman would have won.
Secondly, and just as importantly, there has all of a sudden been a huge movement among some activists to go the third party route. We see in NY-23 that this is not possible as third parties are not viable.
Pointing out that the GOP had better pay attention, Erickson advises:
If John Cornyn and the NRSC do not want to see Florida go the way of NY-23, they better stand down.And indeed, shortly after Erickson's diary was published on RedState.com, Cornyn got the word out:
He made sure to tell a reporter that the NRSC will not spend any money in Florida for Crist or against Rubio.So conservatives finally have the attention of the Republican establishment inside the beltway, and it's been demonstrated that the GOP, not third parties, offers the best opportunity for the movement to advance. For helping to get this accomplished, Sarah Palin deserves her share of the credit, as do Dick Armey, Fred and Jeri Thompson and a number of other conservatives.