This Week in Conservative Media: Is NY-23 Outcome a Sign of Victory for Conservatives?

Last week Glenn Beck prophesied that Sarah Palin was on a potential roll with her upcoming book tour, one that might carry her into 2012—as a real rogue. Beck told Bill O’Reilly that her resignation as governor was a smart move, and that “she’s also positioning herself for a third party. By the time this election runs around for the president, I'm sorry, but unless the Republicans and the Democrats wake up, a third party will win,” he said.

Given the Republican victories—and losses in New York—is that idea still alive? We all know that Dede Scozzafava got essentially “ground up in the gears of the Palin machine,” in the words of one Huffington Post blogger, after which Palin told her Facebook fans: "I want to personally thank Republican Dede Scozzafava for acting so selflessly today in the NY District 23 race. Now it's time to cross the finish line with Doug Hoffman so that he can get to work for District 23 and the rest of America."

Whoops.

But…wait…apparently his loss is still a win for conservatives, according to RedState’s Erick Erickson. “Now, in NY-23, conservatives rallied and destroyed the Republican candidate the establishment chose. I have said all along that the goal of activists must be to defeat Scozzafava. Doug Hoffman winning would just be gravy. A Hoffman win is not in the cards, but we did exactly what we set out to do—crush the establishment-backed GOP candidate.”

While Erickson says NY-23 is a win for conservatives, he says it’s also a loss for the idea of anyone going rogue. “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.” The recipe for success? Conservatives have to work within the GOP and the GOP needs to pay them some attention. A new Web site launched by The Washington Times last week that aims to combine grassroots conservative activists with leading conservative voices didn't touch the third-party question, but did bash the idea of their liberal friends thinking they need to move more to left to woo back independents.

Michelle Malkin is also proclaiming victory for conservatives, not surprisingly. “Here is one of the loudest messages of the 2009 off-off-year elections: conservatives in America will no longer let their opponents define them as outside the mainstream. They will not submit to Democrats. Or to the media. Or to Beltway Republican capitulationists.”

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