Saturday, February 14, 2009

Whither The Great Liberal Lions

With Teddy Kennedy battling terminal cancer, it's worthwhile aksing what happened tot he great liberal lions? Or, maybe a simpler question is in order: is David Patterson the best we can come up with?

I mean, he is for all intents and purposes the represented of the Liberal wing of the democratic party. He is a New York City liberal and governor of the state. That should mean that he has gravitas and substance. He has none of that. I like the man, I like him a lot, but after the fiasco of the senate appointment I have to ask: is this the best we can do?

The left in New York is completely bankrupt. We just elected a black democrat from the south-side of Chicago as president, for crying out loud. But Barack is much closer tot he center than most New York democrats (though not closer than Kristen Gillibrand). But he has some real liberal credentials. He has support of minority groups, teachers, labor unions, intellectuals, New Yorkers and Hollywood. But more than that, he has ideas. New York's left has none. They are still fighting the same old fights over unionization and police brutality, and engaging in destructive politics centered primarily on race. They have nothing new to offer. After thirty years of allowing conservatives to dominate the debate in Amerrica, and after sixteen years of having republican mayors (only barely in Bloomberg's case to be sure), the left has lost its center. Now that the tide has turned and the Republicans are sailing blissfully into the seas of irrelevancy, you would expect New York's liberal establishment to be at the forefront of change and new ideas and great thinking: in short, to be leading the way toward building a new America. Instead we have David Patterson as out leader.

Don't get me wrong: I like Kristen Gillibrand. I said it before, she is closer to my political views than any of the other people under consideration would have been, including the person I was pulling for, Caroline Kennedy. I don't consider her a place holder. Everything I read tells me she is the real deal, and I intend to support her from here on out. And she is exactly the type of new democrat we need to help this party maintain control of congress and change the course of America. But the way Patterson handled her appointment was shameful. Granted, Caroline Kennedy didn't help any, withdrawing at the 11th hour (and 58 minutes). But the awful way Ms Kennedy was treated by the Governor's office afterward warrants more than just a few people getting sacked. Yes, Gillibrand seems to have been Hilary's choice to replace her, but Patterson still managed to get on Hilary's bad side by the way he dropped the ball. And he was bound to piss off Andrew Cuomo if he appointed anybody else. So in one fell swoop Patterson managed to anger the Kennedys, the Clintons, and the Cuomos. How on earth does he expect to survive as a democrat in New York with an enemies list like that?


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